Kazuya Matsumoto: OchiruChiruMichiru

Certainly no one could call Kazuya Matsumoto's OchiruChiruMichiru (Drop Scatter Full) unoriginal. His follow-up to 2015's Mizu no katachi (also on SPEKK) is an hour-long, single-track work the Tokyo-based sound artist produced by positioning a glockenspiel's metal plates inside a limestone cave and recording the ambient sounds of the setting and the tinkling sounds generated by water dripping from the cave's ceiling onto the plates.

Though Matsumoto obviously relinquishes a healthy degree of control over the resultant glockenspiel content, rhythms and melodies of a naturally generative kind arise from the setup; as prominent are the rustling and shuffling noises generated within the site, which are themselves ever-changing and reverberant. Consequently, even though OchiruChiruMichiru doesn't stray from the physical implementation of its conceptual plan, it engages the listener from start to finish, especially when the glockenspiel content is marked by unpredictability. Further to that, the work, while not static, exudes a peaceful quality in the unhurried calm with which it unfolds, and there's a rather child-like playfulness to it also that's reinforced by the striking illustrations Mai Kuroki created for the release.

As original an idea as OchiruChiruMichiru is, it's consistent with Matsumoto's general approach, which involves focusing on sound more than melody and performing and recording in nature. A connection could be made between his persona as a drummer who plays in a number of bands (e.g., FilFla) and the percussive dimension of OchiruChiruMichiru, but the aleatoric character of the latter distances the project from the kind of approach associated with group interplay. Though it's not ineffective as a recording, it also would be easy to imagine OchiruChiruMichiru as a gallery installation, with photos and videos included as visual supplements to the sound material.

August 2017