Yasunao Tone


2116 West Chicago Avenue
Chicago, Illinois 60622

Yasunao Tone presents his new eight-channel Paramedia Mix, which moves sound around the room, from speaker to speaker, very quickly. Collaged clatter from TV and radio. Tone also performs Wounded Kanji Dictionary—using original sounds from his software process that converts shapes of Kanji characters into sonic material.

Yasunao Tone (b.1935, Tokyo, Japan) has been active in creating event works and experimental music since the 1960s and has been an organizer and participant in Fluxus, Group Ongaku, Hi-Red Center and Team Random (Japan’s first computer art group). His work typically employs random events and indeterminate compositional techniques. Text-based sources also have inspired him throughout his career.

Since coming to New York in 1972, Tone has composed several pieces for the Merce Cunningham Dance Company and has performed numerous solo concerts. For the past twenty years, much of his work has focused on extending the possibilities of CDs as a performance medium. To override the player’s error-correcting mechanism, he sticks bits of Scotch tape with tiny pinholes on the CD surface. His prepared CDs, where the original recording is now “wounded,” don’t skip exactly. Instead, his technique creates burst errors that distort the digital information. Tone also has conducted ongoing software research in transforming the characters from Man’yo-shu, an 8th century anthology of Japanese folk poetry, into corresponding digital sounds. In 2002 he received the Prix Ars Electronica Golden Nica for his Wounded Man’yo #38-9/2001.

Yasunao Tone appeared at Lampo in November 2002, when he performed with Florian Hecker. They premiered their collaborative Palimpsest, in the duo’s first U.S. concert. Tone also presented his Solo for Wounded Man’yo #11/2002 and his multimedia work, Molecular Music (1982-85) for sound and 16mm film.