Lethe / Catastrophe Point #6 ( CD SR-001 Japan )
sound materials recorded at Arsenic : Lausannne
2004.10.21 - 11.28
cover art and calligraphy by Mizutani Isao
edition 500 copies
A4 size card board paper sleeve with cd
c&p 2005 private release
Order : halu[at]lethe-voice[dot]com

Nagoya based Kiyoharu Kuwayama has an interest in reverberant spaces, recording under bridges and flyovers as well as in warehouse
and shinto temples at night. Although he occasionally employs cello, his works tends to explore space and perspective in utterly unconventional ways.
Typically, he favours objects found in situ to sound the acoustic enviroment and is as likely to use a chair scraped along the floor as a standard musical
instrument. But music this most definitely is. The first piece on offer here foregrounds what sounds like a handful of pebbles being clicked together against
a distant backdrop of scraped sheet metal. The thickness of the room's acoustics lends the whole an almost frightening clarity, and there's an unreality
to the way the two different reverberant layers combine that only adds to the sense of unease. We're thrown into a subtly heightened acoustic realm,
in which scale and perspective are altered, to disquieting psychological effect. The second piece heightens and complicates the acoustic picture even further,
and increases the density of the sonic activity. The sound sources here seem to be bundles of sticks, bottles, tea trays and iron girders thrown down lift shafts.
Once again the ear tries to make sense of the altered relationships Kuwayama set up between loud and soft, close and distant. Slowly, the piece starts to focus more and more strongly on a huge, dark vibration at the furthest end of the acoustic spectrum, which builds in intensity, racking up the tension and subtly
disturbing the mind's equilibrium. By this point, the music sounds like it's taking piece in a vast, pitch black aircraft hangar of the soul.
by Keith Moline (WIRE No.264)

Lethe / Catastrophe Point #6
Kiyoharu Kuwayama aka Lethe from Nagoya is a man that is not often reviewed in Vital Weekly,
perhaps simply because there aren't that many of his releases. In Nagoya he has a small studio
under the subway bridge, filled with all sorts of self-built instruments and machinery,
and creates much of what he does through methods of improvisation. However for 'Catastrophe Point #6',
Lethe went to Lausanne in Switzerland where he stayed a month to record this piece (in two parts)
at a place called Arsenic. It's not easy to describe the music of Lethe. With his violin or cello pieces it was easier,
since you could say it was related to drone music in a modern classical way, but the two pieces here
it's less obvious drone related but on the other hand it is. I know that sounds a bit of a contradiction,
but with the pieces or objects that fall towards the floor, in combination with a rich amount
(perhaps sometimes a big too rich) of reverb, creates an open architectural atmosphere
that in a way is hugely organic, taking the listener to different spheres.
It's hard to tell what the sound sources are, other than a vague suggestion of stuff falling
on the floor or perhaps the amplified sound of chemical dropping on a metal plate. The cover,
a nice printed hardboard A4 sized print suggest something like that. This is music to take in on
a low volume in a darkened room. It will have an effect of disturbance as much as it relaxes the listener.
Quite nice altogether. (FdW) Vital Weekly


Lethe/ Catastrophe Point #6    (SR-001, JAPAN) 2005




氏の人生観は、作品に如実に表れている。黙々と演奏し、日々の生活を送り、思索する桑山氏の姿には、いにしえびとの誠実な姿が重なる。最後には「桑山清晴」という自我も消去し、肯定的に個を乗り越えたいと語る彼は、間違いなく、宇宙と対話する術を知る表現者の一人だ。こうした術を体得するには、それ相応の経験が必要なのは言うまでもない事だが、何よりも、本来持って生まれた資質に依る処が大きいだろう。彼の様なタイプの表現者は、好むと好まざるとにかかわらず、言わば宇宙の側から、あらかじめ選ばれてしまっているのである。この「Lethe/ Catastrophe Point #6」において、桑山氏は宇宙との対話の為に、石や木といった極めて土臭く、原初的なマテリアルを使用している。

尚、今作を包むジャケットの絵画、及び題字を制作された故・水谷勇夫氏(1922 - 2005)は、その晩年を通して、桑山氏と親密な交流があった。石庭をテーマとした個展を最期に、惜しくも急逝した希有な美術家である氏の生涯に亘る仕事と、氏の歳若き友人である桑山氏の仕事とは驚く程共通点が多い。

(笠原亘 - 2005.09.26)