Friday, July 07, 2006

Japanese improvisationalist Tetuzi Akiyama brought his guitars (acoustic, electric, mystic) to the experimental music series at the Schindler House last month for his first ever performance in Los Angeles. The night was cool, the crickets were chirping, and the occasional helicopter cruised by in the distance overhead as Akiyama strummed his acoustic, and then, after a short Campari break, boogied with his electric. I don’t own the vocabulary of a music critic, but I would guess that Akiyama’s acoustic noisy twangs & plucks are greatly influenced by Derek Bailey. The electric half of the show was conceptual: Akiyama essentially played a single classic rock riff for, oh, five to ten minutes, and then switched to another classic rock riff, which was also repeated for several minutes. It was very “dorm room”, but as my friend Jon said, the entire “rock” portion of the performance was put into relief by the more experimental acoustic half; many Derek Bailey style experimentalists can easily play “rock” but it’s not often that the rockers can play Derek Bailey.

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