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This discussion is in response to:
The “John Cage Shock” Is a Fiction! Interview with Tone Yasunao, 1

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Posted on 27 Mar

Awesome ! Thanks for this. People might be happy to know a new Tone album set for May release has just been announced at http://editionsmego.com/release/eMEGO+142

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Awesome ! Thanks for this. People might be happy to know a new Tone album set for May release has just been announced at http://editionsmego.com/release/eMEGO+142

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Posted on 26 Sep

What a fascinating interview with Tone! It's interesting to read about all the connections (a few of which Tone himself did not anticipate) that led to him and his music to progressively bigger audiences both within and without Japan. Not having extensive familiarity with Group Ongaku, it was incredibly helpful to read Tone's narration not only of the group's origins and formation, but also of the reception that the group received after their concert at the Sogetsu Art Center. As with other experimental artists of the time, the emphasis on the new, on the creation of the new, again takes centre stage, accompanied by an equally emphasized clean (?) separation from the past.

That said, it is also interesting to read about the nuances that being abroad (and the specific location of that experience) effected on the formation of Japanese artist communities abroad, as well as their interactions with the general local artistic/musical groups. Despite his identification of a generational mindset borne out of the specific socio-political conditions of 1960 in Japan, Tone doesn't seem to be putting much emphasis on a national quality or distinction to Japanese artists/musicians working abroad, even as other artists, such as Maciunas, were looking specifically for Japanese artists.

Tone's own definitions of experimental music, specifically experimental music as defined by the relationships between its variants and its contemporaries, was another point of great interest. In describing Group Ongaku's conscious decision to refrain from MEV's performance style, Tone draws a distinction between experimental music and jazz -- specifically through the sort of closed consciousness, the refusal to react, that defined the former. In this, the lines defining experimental music seem precariously thin, so the legacy that Group Ongaku ultimately comes to have becomes even more remarkable in light of it.

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What a fascinating interview with Tone! It's interesting to read about all the connections (a few of which Tone himself did not anticipate) that led to him and his music to progressively bigger audiences both within and without Japan. Not having...

Show more »