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Musical Procedure

by Takumi Ikeda

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This CD documents a series of works that I call "Musical Procedure." In composers' usual works, the sounds to be performed are written in a score; but in these pieces the procedures (which could also be called programs, algorithms or specification sheets) for shaping music, such as performance methods and the general ideas of the works, are written as concisely as possible, and the type of sound to be produced is left largely to the performers.

The score is merely an arrangement of tools for creating music, and the musicians are always the subjects who produce the music. They are expected not just to execute what is written down, but to use what is written to create their own music. The result can be likened to an ants' nest or a beehive constructed in a procedural way without a blueprint.

In the works of Musical Procedure, an inevitable result of the composition method is that the influence of specific musical genres is to some extent removed, with the exception of aspects like instrumental playing methods. (Omitting the concept of notes is possible, too, as in the first piece in "Trio.") The idea behind the works is that awareness of patterns precedes sound image. For this reason, the pieces also suggest an approach to music that is independent of context, or neuro-atypical. Since the current world situation calls for constraints on group activity, it seems to me that the possibilities of music like this, which keeps a distance from groups, will further increase the significance of considering this approach.

1-3. Delimiter (2021) for piano
On a two-staff score, a fixed sound pattern is written on the lower staff, instructions such as "any single note" and time values are written on the single-line upper staff, and repeat sighs enclose all measures. This is the only piece written on a paper score; the other three use video scores.

4. Duo (2021) for guitar and piano, with video-score
Sounds are produced according to the timing of rectangles passing white lines as they move from right to left across the screen. Each musician follows a different set of rectangles. When the tempo is slow, any harmony is played; when fast, any single note; and when moderate, any melody is played in tempo.

5. Canon (2021) for guitar, with video-score with embedded soundtrack
Fourteen playing methods are indicated in the sequence [A-A-B-A-B-C-B-C-D-C-D-E...]. The methods include "basic practice" and "other." The same method is performed three times, and the speed/density/volume/degree of difficulty etc. are "high" the first time, "moderate" the second, and "low" the third.

6-8. Trio (2021) with video-score
This work is made up of three pieces in which instruments are not specified. 1. Elements such as speed, density and volume are increased and decreased according to an indicator. 2. Any two types of sound or playing method are performed according to the symbols □ and ■, of which two to six are displayed on each screen. When a symbol is accompanied by an arrow, its meaning changes. The speed of screen changes increases gradually and is three times higher at the end. 3. Like "Duo," this piece is performed to coincide with moving rectangles.

(By Takumi Ikeda)

Takumi Ikeda is a Tokyo-based composer and computer music artist who uses musical and general programming language in composing and performing. His works have been commissioned and premiered by artists and groups such as Tokyo Gen'On Project, Tambuco Percussion Ensemble, Ensemble for Experimental Music and Theater, and Vox humana. Since 2011, Ikeda has been performing in the trio Electric Powered Music along with Masamichi Kinoshita and Tomoki Tai. Their CD "Electric Powered Music Concert" was released on the Meenna label in 2018.

This album documents performances of four pieces that composer Takumi Ikeda calls "Musical Procedure." In composed pieces the sounds to be performed are usually written in a score; but in the "Musical Procedure" pieces, procedures for shaping music (such as performance methods and the rough outlines of the works) are written extremely simply, and the type of sound to be produced is left largely to the performers.

The four pieces on this CD are "Delimiter" (for solo piano), "Duo" (for guitar and piano), "Canon" (for guitar), and "Trio" (performed by three musicians). The three works other than "Delimiter" utilize video-scores. The musicians are Fumi Endo (piano), Kokichi Yanagisawa (electric guitar) and Takumi Ikeda (electric percussion, drain hose, etc.). The CD actually contains eight tracks, since "Delimiter" and "Trio" are divided into three tracks each. The performances were recorded without an audience at Ftarri, Tokyo, on May 24, 2021.

本アルバムには、作曲者が音楽的手続き Musical Procedure と呼んでいる一連の作品が収録されている。作曲者の通常の作曲作品では演奏すべき音が記譜されているのに対し、音楽的手続き作品においては演奏の方法や曲の概要など、音楽を形成するための手続き--プログラム、アルゴリズム、仕様書などと言い換えることもできる--ができるだけ簡潔に記されており、どのような音響が実現されるべきであるかの多くは演奏者に委ねられている。

楽譜は音楽を作り出すための道具立てに外ならず、音楽を作り出す主体はあくまで演奏家である。演奏家は書かれていることを単に実行するだけでなく、それを用いて自らの音楽を作ることが求められる。その結果は設計図なし で手続き的に建築される蟻や蜂の巣に喩えることもできる。

また、音楽的手続き作品においては、その書法から必然的に、楽器の奏法等を除いて、特定の音楽分野からの影響がいくらか取り除かれる (Trio の1曲目のように音符の概念の排除も可能である)。作品のアイディアは音響的イメージよりもパターン認識が先行する。そのため、これは文脈非依存的あるいは神経学的非定型 neuro-atypical 音楽の在り方の提示でもある。集団行動の抑制が求められる現下の状況において、集団から距離を置くこの種の音楽の可能性はさらに検討の意義を増すと考える。

1-3. Delimiter (2021) for piano

4. Duo (2021) for guitar and piano, with video-score
右から左へ流れる矩形が白線を通過するタイミングで発音。矩形は等間隔に配置され、テンポが遅い場合は任意の和音、早い場合は任意の単音、中程度の場合は in tempo で任意の旋律を演奏。

5. Canon (2021) for guitar, with video-score with embedded soundtrack

6-8. Trio (2021) with video-score
楽器の指定がない3曲からなる。1. 指示計に従って速度・密度・音量などの要素を増減。2. 1画面につき2~6個表示される記号□と■に応じて任意の2種の音響ないし奏法を演奏。記号が矢印つきの場合はその内容を変更。画面の切替速度は徐々に加速し最後に3倍となる。3. Duoと同じく流れる矩形に従って演奏。


池田拓実は東京在住の作曲家 / コンピュータ音楽家。音楽用または汎用プログラム言語を用いて、作曲と演奏をおこなう。これまでに、東京現音計画、タンブッコ・パーカッション・アンサンブル、実験音楽とシアターのためのアンサンブル、ヴォクスマーナなどの演奏団体、演奏家によって作曲を委嘱初演される。また、2011年より木下正道、多井智紀とのトリオ「電力音楽」の演奏活動を続けていて、2018年にCD『電力音楽演奏会 Electric Powered Music Concert』を Meenna レーベルよりリリース。

本アルバムには、作曲者である池田拓実が音楽的手続き "Musical Procedure" と呼ぶ4作品を収録。通常、作曲作品では演奏すべき音が記譜されるが、「音楽的手続き」作品では演奏の方法や曲の概要など音楽を形成するための手続きが極力簡潔に記され、どのような音響が実現されるべきであるかの多くは演奏者に委ねられる。

ソロ・ピアノの「Delimiter」、ギターとピアノのための「Duo」、ソロ・ギターの「Canon」、トリオによる「Trio」の4曲を収録。「Delimiter」を除く3曲はヴィデオ・スコアを使った作品。演奏は、遠藤ふみ (ピアノ)、柳沢耕吉 (エレクトリック・ギター)、池田拓実 (エレクトリック・パーカッション、ドレン・ホース、ほか) が担当。なお、「Delimiter」と「Trio」はそれぞれ3トラックに分かれているため、CDには全8トラックが収められている。2021年5月24日、東京 Ftarri にて無観客で録音をおこなった。


released February 27, 2022

Fumi Endo: uplight piano
Kokichi Yanagisawa: electric guitar
Takumi Ikeda: electric percussion, drain hose, etc.

All compositions by Takumi Ikeda

Recorded at Ftarri without an audience, May 24, 2021
Recorded, mixed, and mastered by Takumi Ikeda
Artwork and notes by Takumi Ikeda
Design and translation by Cathy Fishman


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