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Otomo Yoshihide Install

Otomo Yoshihide
Turntable Discs, 2022
Photographic prints 

Otomo Yoshihide is a composer, musician and sound installation artist of international renown and a giant figure in the development of abstract and experimental noise music. His music extends from the extremes of saturated noise to the quietest, minimal gestures of onkyo in settings as diverse as his orchestrations for big bands and giant ensembles to his free improvisations in solo performance.

Born in Yokohama, Japan in 1959, formative encounters with the music of Derek Bailey and the teaching of free jazz pioneer Takayanagi Masayuki, accelerated his love of the “uncontrollable” elements of playing amplified instruments, and a curiosity to develop a singular vocabulary of extended technique on guitar, turntables, live electronics and sampling. Since his first recordings in the late 1980s, Yoshihide has made over 100 albums and composed more than 80 scores for film and television. He has convened a number of groups from the seminal Ground Zero in 1990, to Filament, I.S.O, ONJQ and the huge “chaos conduction” ensembles gathered as part of his events for Fukushima staged in the wake of the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami of 2011. Otomo has collaborated with a vast array of artists, including Luc Ferrari, Sergey Kuryokhin, John Zorn, Lawrence ‘Butch’ Morris, Jim O’Rourke, Sabu Toyozumi, Christian Marclay and his early heroes, Keith Rowe and Derek Bailey, but he is equally at home with a form of community practice working with non-musicians, as seen in his work in Fukushima and residency at the YCAM in Yamaguchi.

Otomo’s sound installation for 127 portable record players, ‘Without Records’ (2008), transfixed its viewers visually and aurally, its automation a further demonstration of Otomo’s attraction to “not being in control”.

The series of photographic prints ‘Turntable Discs’ were produced especially for ‘Cover Versions’. They show the highly distressed surfaces of records Otomo has used in his extraordinary turntable performances over the years, the physical scars of an often abusive method and intense, physical enquiry into the range and properties of sound that can be wrought from turntables, vinyl discs, and cartridge needles. In their own way, the photographs are a record of Otomo’s lifelong pursuit of something that “does not demand a quick solution”.

Otomo Yoshihide website

Otomo Yoshihide
Omoto Yoshihide
Omoto Yoshihide


A group exhibition curated by Anthony and Graham Dolphin
1 April - 1 May 2022, Abject Gallery, 27 Fawcett Street, Sunderland
9 July - 4 September 2022, Exeter Phoenix, Gandy Street, Exeter