I.S.O. - I.S.O. (2003)

"It is said that Sesshu-tei Garden of Joeiji Temple in Yamaguchi was built by Sesshu, a priest and artist, about five hundred years ago. The garden is positioned on the north of the main temple, and in the center of about 30 acres is a pond, which is shaped in the Chinese character of "heart," surrounded by many vertically-standing stones. The woods on the east, west and north sides of the garden make up the shape of a horseshoe, which creates a special space for vision and sound. For this live performance, three performers were positioned around the garden apart enough not to see each other to present their music over the garden. (I.S.O. / left side: Yoshihide Otomo, center: Sachiko M, right side: Yoshimitsu Ichiraku)

Note: This CD was recorded through one-point stereo recording in the center of the main temple. The surrounding sounds such as animals around the garden, wind, and visitors were kept as they were at the mastering, because if they had been mechanically removed, delicate feelings generated by the extremely subtle sounds penetrating the whole garden would have been ruined."

That was from the inside of the nicely embossed digipack. This is the fourth I.S.O. album, released in December 2003 on Sound Tectonics in association with the Yamaguchi Center for Arts and Media (YCAM). There haven't been any releases since then, I don't know if this project is terminated or just on hold.

Yoshimitsu Ichiraku: drums, percussion, electronics
Sachiko M: sampler with sine wave
Otomo Yoshihide: turntables, CD player, guitar



  1. Fascinating, just like the other album I listened to, "Good Morning Good Night". This is one of the most extreme forms of music that I've heard.. although I'm not very familiar with it.

  2. "Good Morning Good Night" (Sachiko M / Toshimaru Nakamura / Otomo Yoshihide) is a classic of the genre, but also one of its most extreme exponents (and yes I admit, this I.S.O. is pretty extreme too). I love it, but I would never recommend it as a first listen for someone new to the genre. There's a lot of other stuff on Erstwhile that might do the trick though. I'm reluctant to post any Ersts on this blog, because almost all of them are still in print. I could name at least a dozen of their releases that are absolutely essential though (for instance Annette Krebs & Taku Unami's 'Motubachii', perhaps my favourite release of 2010). And anyway, it's only a matter of time before I post some more obscure, out of print releases by all the artists mentioned above!