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There are moments during the listening experience of Mr. Otani and Mr. Aoki’s disc that I’m not sure what is captured on disc and what is contributed from my environment. While listening to the opening track, a minimalist bass solo mixed with a futurists walk through an urban sprawl, I heard birds chirping. But, ah, they were outside of my window fighting over bread scraps. Then they were part of the recording. Cool. Next, horses and cars passed (on the disc). Otani’s capturing of everyday sounds from traffic to chewing brings the music, ala John Cage, out of the concert halls and nightclubs into the neighborhood. Otani, who has collaborated with the likes of Bob Ostertag and Elliot Sharp, favors the sounds of a movie soundtrack, allowing the listener to draw her own visual. Noise as music is not a new concept. Sampling without the mindless beats of hip-hop is an exercise in clarity. Otani and Aoki’s work reminds me of playing with a refrigerator box as a child, inventing flying machines and race cars in my head. The freedom of sampling seemingly random sounds, allows for a flight of imagination not forced upon me.
I was first exposed to jazz as a middle school band student. A college ensemble passed through and put on a concert for the band students (of which I was one). The level of mastery and musicianship blew me away, intimidated, and inspired me
I was first exposed to jazz as a middle school band student. A college ensemble passed through and put on a concert for the band students (of which I was one). The level of mastery and musicianship blew me away, intimidated, and inspired me. Try as I might, I was never able to achieve a high enough level of competency to perform at the level I was first and subsequently exposed to. Regardless, I was hooked on jazz and remain so to this day.