Otomo Yoshihide

Otomo Yoshihide


Otomo Yoshihide - Multiple Otomo Project Trailer
Preview of DVD+CD release. (Trailer Produced and Edited by Masako Tanaka.)

Otomo Myspace Page

One of Japan’s best-known and most successful experimental musicians,
Otomo Yoshihide has been creating his own improvisational music since he started making sound collages using open-reel tape recorders in junior high school. A self-taught guitarist, Otomo has been active in Japan’s free jazz, punk and avant-garde noise music scenes for more than three decades, producing over 100 albums as a solo artist, band leader and collaborator for labels like Touch, Tzadik, Transonic, Virgin, Sound Factory, Polystar, Wire, Omba, Trigram, Toshiba EMI, Sony Japan, Rag Tag, Atavistic Worldwide, King International, BMG Victor, Ameobic, Audiosphere, Ambiances Magnétiques, Extreme, Lost in Space, Alcohol, Extreme, Blast First, Erstwhile, ReR, NANI/disk, Gentle Giant, God Mountain, Three Blind Mice, IMJ and Tanga Tanga.

“I'm not interested in using music in order to send the kinds of explicit messages that can be put into words,” Otomo says of his approach to composition. “I have absolutely no intention of making music that consumer society can use for propaganda.”

Otomo’s music may be anti-commercial, but, like the work of Christain Marclay, Phillip Jack and Steinsky and Mass Media, it displays a singular beauty for listeners who are open to the vast possibilities of pure sound. “I’m very interested in my relationship with the audience,” Otomo says. “If an audience has never heard my music before, maybe half will leave, while the rest will get very excited.” In his wide-ranging career, Otomo’s style of free improvisation has made use of electric guitars, folk instruments, samplers, sine wave machines and, most recently, turntables.

“Using the turntable without records and making feedback, gathering much less controllable than sampling,” Otomo explains. “The fact that people have started using the turntable as a musical instrument - recycling it, in a way - just when its role as a practical piece of audio equipment was ending is extremely interesting.”