C (1997-8) 10'00"
A departure from the driven-snow, sine tone minimalism that is often associated with Ikeda, "C" is a suite of short pieces that mixes drill'n'bass-like excursions of clicks and bleeps with random sample looping. Tonight we present 8 of 10 tracks [the 2 others leaning toward his sine tone minimal side] diffused over our surround speaker array. A rare performance in this kind of environment, we hope to expose relationships between this music and some of Ikeda's more recent sonic-architecture recordings.
Ryoji Ikeda (Japan)
The Japanese Composer Ryoji Ikeda uses the humblest scraps of electronic communication to cobble together his music: a tiny, narrow pop, like a single particle of radio static; a fax-connection screech; a bell-tone as soft as a feather against the eardrum; a drum-machine beat slammed up to super-speed, making a short, single block of noises, and a CD player skimming across a selection, catching glimpses of a song. It's not ambient music; there are
no long, enveloping tones. And its not dance music, because some selections have as much as five seconds of silence between each sound. But there's always a building narrative to these pieces. They get longer as the disk goes on, and the listener grows increasingly comfortable with Mr. Ikeda's strategies: bit by bit, the composer reveals his logic. And in his own oblique way, he's dramatic. You either love Mr. Ikeda or you hate him; his art elicits the same reaction as Ad Reinhardt's black-on-black paintings - either a dismissive I-could-do-that or awed admiration.
-- review from The New York Times