The works of the composer Tomomi Adachi are, paradoxically (rather, they sound “baroque”!) part of a long minimalist tradition (Satie, John Cage), extended by the culture of Japanese microtonality of Gagaku music. As an alternative to the term “minimalism”, the word “microscopic” could also be used to express, in particular, the idea of inaudible music elusive to human perception . Consequentially, the composer requires a visual index for his music: the transition is being made from the field of sound to the field of plastic art (La Monte Young, Ligeti). As will soon be seen, the transition is also being made from silence to noise.
A musical work in this “microscopic” perspective looks somewhat like a photographic trace. As such a trace, the perception of sound is necessarily deferred. In other words, this trace is mnestic. But memory is imperfect and incomplete. There are interferences and parasitical distorsions between the memory and its referent.
It brings to mind how, in “Nebenstück” (1998), the French composer, Gerard Pesson tried to rebuild a piece by Brahms (Ballades Op.10, No 4) using his memory alone. The result is monstrous. The piece of Brahms is almost unrecognisable. The memory failed… the work of Pesson is a success.
Similarly, the appetite of Tomomi Adachi for cacophony (“Yumiko”,1997) and crackling sounds illustrate his determination to reflect an injured memory. The body and image are often called to contribute to the interferences of sounds (“Another ear stretching”, “Head is audible”, 2013). The instruments are unrecognisable, sometimes with the form of onions, sometime appearing as zucchinis. The memory suffers !
Noise itself in Adachi’s work is no more than an injured or coded inaudible sound. This noise is used by Tomomi Adachi for its annoyance value. The macroscopic becomes a memory of the microscopic. The composer makes some works outside, this context is particularly effective at generating the interferences which he likes so much. In “Tempeltofu” (2012), the music comes to call as witness to the sky, and some stars which have the air of peppers, but by doing so, it returns by contrast to its microcosm and its silence, the effect of the interference of the infinite. This little musical game is, of course, made with the imperceptible sound of a Divine photography.