The work of Toshiya Tsunoda, the Japanese sound artist extensively thought of one of the vital vital area recordists of the previous quarter century, is distinguished by its startling precision of thought and sound, united within the perception that our settings are all the time residing, by no means fastened or frozen in time. In his phrases: “Place is all the time transferring, like a sleeping cat.” Not content material to deal with the sector recording as a inflexible doc or summary sound materials, Tsunoda—who has a background in oil portray—prefers to zero in on the complexities of human notion and consciousness. His music positions the “area” as not merely bodily but additionally a subjective psychological map created in actual time by the listener.
On his newest album, Panorama and Voice, Tsunoda applies a glitching method—most notably used on 2013’s o kokos tis anixis (Grains of Spring)—that pauses the free passage of time by looping tiny segments of the “area” for various durations and pairing these grains with brief, vowel-like human utterances. Whereas the glitches on Grains of Spring have been typically so delicate they have been unnoticeable, on Panorama and Voice—a 25-minute end result of Tsunoda’s aesthetic and philosophical analysis—they take middle stage, consistently disrupting the listening expertise and making it certainly one of his most visceral works. Whereas many sound artists like Francisco Lopez work alongside equally noisy strains, Tsunoda’s work stands alone in its measured, tactical fracturing of actuality; right here, water, wind, and birdsong are recognizable as such, however they someway bear traces of the inaudible—air itself, solar and shadow—with an almost psychedelic depth.
Opener “On the port” begins nearly conventionally, with a gurgling lap of water in the correct ear and scattered birdsong arcing from left to middle. Nonetheless, a mere 30 seconds in, the pristine area is shattered by the glitch: A disembodied voice loops “eh” in tandem with the stuttering area recording, and we’re thrust right into a seemingly synthetic house. Tsunoda phases panorama and voice out of sync with each other; the 2 step by step separate by infinitesimal levels earlier than the panorama—water dripping from leaves, wind rippling by means of foliage—comes flooding again. Whereas a few of these interruptions are soothing and nearly humorous, just like the looped boing of droplets midway by means of “On the port,” others, just like the shrill whistle of sparrows on “Within the grass area,” pierce with surprising pressure. It turns into clear that the human expertise is all the time relational: What we’d ignore in a single context crashes harshly in one other.
On “Research,” Tsunoda facilities the glitch, silencing the panorama and solely working briefly looped phrases. By biking by means of these frozen moments in an overtly mechanical approach, Tsunoda highlights course of versus outcome, making clear that even in stasis there may be movement. The push-pull move of the music itself communicates this flux: As a result of “Research” comes after “On the port,” every glitch conjures glimpses of the unaltered panorama, which quickly burst and dissipate like flares within the thoughts. In the meantime, the percussive vocal repetitions—every of which catches a slice of panorama as if by chance—set up rhythmic patterns that linger within the net of rumbling autos, chirping bugs, and the disembodied scraping of steel pipes on concrete, encouraging us to make connections between human and nature, topic and object, artificial and natural. Greater than merely attuning us to background noise we could have beforehand ignored, Panorama and Voice reminds us that we’re lively topics, shaping the world simply because it shapes us.