Akio Suzuki

Photo © Helen Petts

Recorded at the Vortex Jazz Club, London, 16th August, 2010.

Solo with self-made percussion instruments

Akio Suzuki is known as a pioneer of sound art, but the breadth of his activities and the form of his works far exceeds the normal boundaries of sound art. It is perhaps more as a “quester after sound and space” that he has received the most attention from artists in many fields. During the sixties, Suzuki’s sense of playfulness led him to undertake a series of Self-Study Events, where he explored the processes of “throwing” and “following”, taking the natural world as his collaborator. The experiences he gained in these events led him in the seventies to invent an echo instrument he named Analapos.

From the late seventies and through the eighties, Suzuki also developed a form of performance he refers to as Conceptual Soundwork. Applying a number of self-imposed, simple and austere rules, he uses objects close at hand in a mode of “intellectual play”.

As sound art enjoyed a period of prosperity in the nineties, Suzuki was given the chance to create many installations, particularly in Berlin. In recent years, the insights he gained from the Turbridge (1999-2000) installation at the Daad Gallery in Berlin have opened up new avenues of development for his future work. By recording and creating sound sources himself, and by using electric amplification with Suzuki’s own self-designed output devices, he was able to reconstruct sounds and experiment with listening to the “factors of place”.


Recording Notes

Recording Akio presented quite a challenge as the music he makes sits mostly at the quieter end of the spectrum. Nevertheless, by placing the recording horn close to his objects I managed to capture the whole range of the sounds he produced – although the accompanying surface noise vies for attention.

Akio Suzuki rubs polystyrene blocks on a glass plate and water-filled and cloth-covered glass bottles hit with various types of beaters.

One of two cylinders recorded during an afternoon session.

Photo © Helen Petts