January 4, 2015

Perhaps the Japanese have a traditional allegiance to non-expressive sound. Composer Toru Takemitsu thought so: “As a people who developed the concept of ‘attaining Buddhahood in a single sound’, the Japanese found more meaning in listening to the innante quality of sound rather than in using sound as a means of expression. To them natural sound or noise was not a resource for personal expression but a reflection of the world.” A thousand years ago the Japanese were wrtiing poems about the songs of cicadas: “If a jewel of dew could sing, it would tinkle with such a voice!”

—Clive Bell, revieiwing Junko’s Noise of Voice for The Wire; January 2015, Issue 371