SHIOMI Mieko

"Requiem for George Maciunas"

1990
Set of casette tape and sheet music
Set size: 18 x 12cm
Signed on sheet music


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When I decided to participate in a festival in Venice, I considered the person who would be the origin for this kind of event - who else than George Maciunas? - and composed and recorded a requiem for him, which I brought with me on a portable tape recorder. There were no speakers at the venue, so I played it for each of my friends one by one. They all had the same thoughts as me and were pleased. I recorded the sounds of the venue and of people speaking, layered them together, and recomposed the piece, which I published as a cassette tape for this work. This tape contains musical notes layered with several short messages for Maciunas, but on side A they are all reversed and can only be heard as an incomprehensible noise. On side B, you can finally understand the words themselves, but the music itself is reversed and becomes strange sounds. It was an experiment that truly belongs to the analogue age. The environmental sounds include the voices of those including La Monte Young, Eric Andersen, and Willem de Ridder. When I asked for permission to use their voices, they all kindly consented. The jacket photo is one I took from atop a boat of the Fluxus Festival venue.

This track is used in “SHADOW PIECE”, a short documentary by Goto Minami. It is the music with the timbre of the cembalo. (Text by SHIOMI Mieko)

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