“Dew Drops is the first of my three-parts solo electronics works.
It was developed as a live percussion and electronics performance piece in Nov, 2015. The recordings from the actual performance and sound check run-through were edited together to finalize the first three tracks of this release. I am very much fascinated by real time electronic processing of acoustic sounds. The fact that something simple and small, like a single tap on a bell can be turned into a dense and intricate texture excites me with creative inspirations. I wanted to build a structured improvisation with this idea of elemental process behind it. In preparation, I limited myself to only use one or two acoustic instruments per section to focus and challenge myself to build/shape the entire form from a single (or two) source of sound. I also set up the electronics to have elements of surprise (randomized parameters & audio routing, e.g.) so that I can react to unexpected events just like in a improvisation with another performer.
The fourth track “Quattuor Elementa” is made up from four short, prototype pieces I made prior to the live performance piece. I put them together as “four elements that shaped the final piece”.”
Compositions and performance by Satoshi Takeishi
Instrumentation is Broken Autoharp with contact mic, Kanjira, Slit Drum, Shells and Bells, Waterphone, Computer and iPad, Handheld Cassette recorder/player. Additional instruments (Glockenspiel, African Marimba) were used for “Quattuor Elementa”
Recorded and mixed at ORC in New York City, November 2015 – January 2016
Mastering by Lars Graugaard
Cover artwork by Satoshi Takeishi
It is too easy to say drummer; in these spellbinding and solitary 50 minutes, Satoshi Takeishi (trusted collaborator of Erik Friedlander and Michaël Attias) uses many percussion instruments but also the computer and a tape machine as well as string instruments of the most diverse origins. The result is this recently appearing soliloquy, a beautiful combination of rhythmic creativity, inventiveness and ethnic and electronic flavour, made with loops and alterations of the instruments’ natural tuning. Takeishi passes from biting sounds to more “rubbery” ones, always full of details that is appreciable not only for fans of improvisation. Less mysterious than his renowned colleagues Milford Graves and compatriot Toshiaki Ishizuka, Takeishi’s sonic narration is just as effective and amazingly fresh. More than (7).
INCLUDE ME OUT
Dew Drops by Satoshi Takeishi offers great detail too, this time in the playing. It’s OK to be all modern in repeat mode-plus-bass but this is something else. It’s old-fashioned musicianship! Professional musicianship which, as you know, can (frequently does) result in muso-induced boredom. It does for me anyway because the only examples of great playing I listen to are collectively known as Jazz, but not the kind made by sterile perfectionists. Satoshi Takeishi plays Jazz, but not here. Instead, he plays broken Autoharp with contact mic, Kanjira, Slit Drum, Shells and Bells, Waterphone but also Computer and iPad along with Handheld Cassette recorder/player, all of which are put to excellent use – the chimes, pitter-patter of percussion, subtle electronics all blended for a proper sound experience. With delicacy and strength, a perfect awareness of space, acoustics, the sonic reverberations of his kit and a true feeling of what constitutes dynamics, Takeishi’s Dew Drops is a masterclass in electro-percussive elegance.
The formation of this four-track album emerged from something quite spontaneous. As Takeishi explains, ‘it was developed as a live percussion and electronics performance piece in Nov, 2015. The recordings from the actual performance and sound-check run-through were edited together to finalize the first three tracks of this release. I am very much fascinated by real time electronic processing of acoustic sounds. The fact that something simple and small, like a tap on a bell can be turned into a dense and intricate texture excites me with creative inspirations.’
As such, the recordings – at least the first three tracks here – are not only about process rather than composition, but are process, captured in real-time. And while the acoustic instruments are very much in evident, the way they very swiftly morph beyond recognition is, indeed, enthralling, because nothing is as it seems.
Primus twangs, detuned, retuned, out of tune, the notes bending and overlapping seemingly in a state of disorder, and soon the album’s trajectory reveals itself as fleeting moments of grace emerge from an ever-shifting away of tinkling chimes and funnelling drones. Strings scrape and scratch atop a woozy buzz on the lower frequencies and ominous hums hover and eddy.
The fourth track, Quattour Elementa is essentially what the title suggests: four pieces put together to form one extended piece. Each segment offers a different sonic vista, formed as they are using different instruments – and only ever one or two on any one track. Again, it’s an exploratory piece that is concerned with, and captures, the process. Fortunately, rather than sounding like someone’s soundcheck or studio fiddling, or the musical equivalent of someone’s scrappy workings out for a new story or a difficult mathematical calculation, Dew Drops actually holds up as a work in its own right, and something worth listening to.
Interesting proposal by Japanese drummer and percussionist Satoshi Takeishi, also active in jazz but here completely immersed in an experimental project. Dew Drops consists of performances from 2015 and the artist uses electronic elements of randomized parameters to obtain the element of surprise, then further developed with percussion instruments processed digitally in real-time as expansions and transformations of bells and chimes, objects, skins, and wood. The effect is that of being touched by drops of sagacious sound that is both pulsating and physical as it touches and stimulates the senses. The most powerful effect would probably obtained if you attended one of Takeishi’s live performances but the album nevertheless expresses the work’s concept very well. TOUCHES OF ZEN. Gianluca Polverari