原载于杉本拓CD《澳大利亚现场》封套内页。由厂牌 Improvised Music From Japan 授权翻译发表。
Recording, the Live Situation, and Difficulties
But we are consciousof more than clarity.
—— 怀特海（A.N. Whitehead）
I have been considering possibilities, inseveral ways, of what might be called photographic recording. I still rememberthat, when I got a portable DAT recorder for the first time about 10 years ago,I was really excited to record environmental sounds on many occasions. There was absolutely no plan to use those recordings as an element for a composition.I only wanted to listen to them.
Maybe people who listened to the double CD Album futatsu, a collaboration withme and Radu Malfatti said or wrote to me that the rhiz recording on the CD included many environmental noises that prevented a listener from concentratingon the music. Unfortunately, certain types of environmental noise seem to be aproblem for them. Of course, I know there were few people in rhiz who reallywant to listen to our music. But most of them seemed to stand such kind ofnoise, whether they liked what we did or not, because they didn’t care so much.Nonetheless, I think that the moment while we were playing was perhaps thequietest moment in the history of rhiz.
It was not a normal concert, but a sort offestival of chess and music. We had a chess match in front of us playing.People there could do what they wanted. They could leave, drink, talk, playchess and do whatever. In this kind of situation, as in ordinary life, we don’ttend to pay special attention to the environmental sounds which are surroundingus. But time goes by in any case, whether we pay attention to those sounds ornot. The fact that we are always with time itself is quite often forgotten,though we are conscious of the space with which we are concerned.
People could stand the situation like therhiz concert. But when listening to the recording of it, many peoples could notstand it. In such a case, the recording is not considered as music which we arefamiliar with. It is considered a mere recording, like photograph.
When we listen to a CD, we never doubt thatwe are listening to the music that is defined as sounds really played andcomposed by musicians. More simply to say, we are listening to musicians. Itwould break the conviction to consider what can be recorded. For example, ifthere are no sounds played by us in the rhiz recording, who produced therecording or the music? The decision not to play any sounds is determined byus; in this sense “no sound” is done or produced by us. But if there was noconcert by us and someone recorded this situation, the recording could be anart work by the person who recorded it. What is the difference?
It is absurd to think that people come tothe concert for no performance. But it could happen because there were always chessmatches whether we played or not. It is predictable that this “no concert”situation does not produce the same environment sounds as when we perform “nosound.” To record this is merely field recording. And it is not absurd to enjoylistening to this kind of field recording.
What is represented in recording is not thesubstitution of what is believed to be real sounds. What is represented, bymusicians, in the live situation is not the substitution of what is thought theentity of music. All that media can be is a reproduction through which we cancapture something.
The question is “What is real?”
In recordings, we tend to have an effort tocapture real sounds of instruments. But, even in the live situation, what wehear is not only the sounds from instruments. There are always a lot ofinevitable elements or noise which is intimate with the musical sounds. Thereis never any independent element, indeed. No logic can be applicable here.
In the composition of musique concrete orelectroacoustic music, the composers use the elements of recordings withintention. A composer of musique concrete has an aim for the piece. He placeseach element adequately toward what he wishes.
Let’s go back to the rhiz recording.Whereas the sounds like cars passing by, that we can hear in the appel track,are okay, why is the crowd noise that we can hear in the rhiz track a problemto the CD listener? Some kinds of sounds are acceptable. Some are not. Again,why are the sounds of cars passing okay? Why are the sounds of people talking aproblem? It is assumed that there is a certain type of environmental soundwhich doesn’t matter to the recording of music or which even sometimes addssome fragrance to the music.
There can exist the opposite type as well.The next step is to have difficulties in listening to a CD (and music in a livesituation). Though we are conscious of more than clarity when listening tomusic, we tend to focus on so-called musical things believed to be a substanceof music. The other parts only can appear as mere noise in normal listening. Weneed the existence of musicians who play certain sounds, even if the sounds arerecognized as mere noise, because there is a prejudice that the music isrealized by only musicians and all other sounds are accidental elements. Yet, Ithink it is true that we must have the existence of musicians in listening to music!
None of us can survive without a culturalbackground which influences our life and tends to confine our daily action forthe society. But we have to doubt that what we feel is always real. Throughdifficulties we are able to be conscious of more. In a particular situation, I think, we can get out of the limitation which we subconsciously deal with.
I don’t want to make conclusion about whatI have been thinking in this short essay. I have scattered several ideasconceived in many possibilities. There is no limitation in the world, which isso flexible that we can’t limit ourselves. So, an extraordinary idea which onecan conceive is possibly very important even if the idea is so profound or soabsurd that we can’t understand it at all.
 Radu Malfatti 和杉本拓在维也纳演出的场地。