Tetuzi Akiyama

Tetuzi Akiyama

Tetuzi Akiyama



Japan’s improvisational music scene is pretty amazing; it’s able to sustain itself, even flourish, despite being completely abstract and inaccessible. The fact that it manages this while not even having any specific genre dynamics makes it even more interesting. While a majority of the improv community tend to be technology-oriented — electric guitars, sequencers and other forms of digital sound creation — Tetzui Akiyama sets out to accomplish the same thing with a single acoustic guitar.

Pre-Existence is loosely shaped like evolution itself, beginning with a random confluence of dissonant notes and jarring, grating sounds. Tetuzi accomplishes this by what sounds like massive detuning of his guitar strings while playing. The result is a balance between taut, splintery notes and slack tunelessness. As the disc progresses, Tetuzi offers more concessions towards a conventional song structure, even going so far as to hint at melodies and strummed chords. In the end, he acquiesces to the primordial discordance from the beginning of his journey.

Tetuzi’s command of sound with his acoustic guitar is incredible. Not only does he create music based entirely on sounds you don’t expect to hear coming from a guitar, he uses silence as a second instrument. There are moments on the album when Tetuzi lets a particularly sharp note ring out and fade into a second or two of nothing before sound is unearthed again. It’s like that old jazz adage: “you’ve got to listen to what he’s not playing.” This album begs the question, “What it pre-existence? Lack of sound structure or the sound of silence?” Either way, Tetuzi Akiyama plays it masterfully.

Locust: www.locustmusic.com

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply

Recently on Ink 19...

  • Summerland

    In rural England, a cranky woman bonds with and evacuee boy and uncovers a strange connection to her past.

  • Laurel & Hardy: The Definitive Restorations
    Laurel & Hardy: The Definitive Restorations

    These geniuses of early comedy finally get the presentation they are due in this Blu-ray edition.

  • Four-Letter Words
    Four-Letter Words

    No need to worry about offending delicate sensibilities with this playlist. We’re not talking about profanity, so just take the title at face value.

  • A Genesis In My Bed
    A Genesis In My Bed

    Former Genesis guitarist, Steve Hackett shares his life story in his story in an engaging and honest memoir. Reading his story feels like hanging out with a friend who’s interested in sharing how he felt living these experiences.

  • The Jayhawks
    The Jayhawks

    XOXO (Sham/Thirty Tigers). Review by Jeremy Glazier.

  • 18 to Party
    18 to Party

    When you’re in 8th grade, sneaking into a bar is way cooler than it is when you’re 40.

  • Adam

    A pregnant woman finds a home in Casablanca.

  • 2020 on Fire
    2020 on Fire

    Sound Salvation takes on current events with a playlist addressing the current fight for racial and social justice in America and the battles playing out in the streets in the aftermath of the death of George Floyd.

  • Pokey Lafarge
    Pokey Lafarge

    Rock Bottom Rhapsody (New West Records). Review by Jeremy Glazier.

  • Landfall

    Cecilia Aldarondo takes a look at Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria.

From the Archives