Performance by Takeshi Ikeda, on the occasion of his visit to New York on an Asian Cultural Council grant.
I think that 60s experimental music like that of Fluxus or New York School musicians found a possibility of taking things other than sound into music. However, few of those artists searched more deeply into the vast possibility that they found. Actually these musical experiments were conducted in the small scene of Japanese experimental music. I was also influenced by them.
The idea that I learned from their music and examine in this performance of mine is about ‘sign.’ In their music, which involves few sounds and long compositions, I noticed that what I was most conscious of was the ‘signs’ between audience & players. And I felt that the presence or meaning of these signs changed while the music was playing. Then I developed the idea to present music itself as a ‘sign.’ Fortunately, in Japanese horror movie scenes, there are various & practical expressions which we may call the science of ‘signs’ of ghosts. And since I was a great fan of those movies, I considered being affected to be positive for me.
Of course, a true ghost cannot be used. But a player can be treated like a ghost. In my performance, on the basis of the simple directions I give, the signs of players who are out of sight of the audience change with time. I present this activity as a kind of music.
I hope that the improvisatorial & ceremonial quality of the work, in which the musicians are like ghosts, will open a new aspect of experimental music.
TAKESHI IKEDA was born in Tokyo in 1984. He is a 2011 graduate of Tokyo University of the Arts, where he earned an MFA in media art. While practicing as a video artist, Mr Ikeda is also a professional musician/drummer, leading a band called Ningen Gokaku, which has toured in Europe and performs more than 40 engagements per year in Japan. He was awarded an Asian Cultural Council grant in 2012, which allowed him to travel to New York City and research contemporary art, meet artists and curators, and create new work while participating in an artist residency program at NARS Foundation in Brooklyn, NY.