International Domestic: Front Cover

MP3 Sample: Track 2 (1:12, 353 KB)


(Tetuzi Akiyama / Toshimaru Nakamura / Greg Malcolm / Bruce Russell) (Corpus Hermeticum). Tetuzi Akiyama and Toshimaru Nakamura are the moving forces behind the Improvisation Meeting at Off-Site performance series in Tokyo. They are tireless improvisers and collaborators.

Tetuzi is best known for his work with Taku Sugimoto and the mysterious Amephone collective, while Toshi is world famous for his 'no-input mixing board' work, both solo and with the likes of Sachiko M. and Otomo Yoshihide.

In late July 2002 Toshi and Tetuzi came to Australia and New Zealand for festival shows. They wanted to see the South Island of NZ after their other shows, so they put a call through to Hermescorp HQ in Lyttelton. The result was a programme of two shows at the Dunedin Public Art Gallery and Christchurch's Physics Room contemporary art space. The NZ side of the tag-team wrestling face-off was Greg Malcolm and Bruce Russell. For them it was a rare chance to play with some Japanese improvisers, with whom they had already had some dealings in the past. For Toshi and Tetuzi it was an chance to play together for the first time with no third party, something they had never previously attempted. So these were special shows for all concerned.

Each concert took the format of a Japanese duo, an NZ duo, then two international pairings, different each night. Hence the title of this disc, perhaps more accurately 'international/domestic'. On listening back to the tapes in Japan, Toshi and Tetuzi decided that the best material involved Tetuzi each time, so the concept became a disc featuring him in duets with the other performers, with his guitar the constant element throughout.

Tetuzi played prepared acoustic guitar, using rubber bands, knives, stones and toys, while Toshi employed his no-input set up. Since Greg is an accomplished exponent of his adapted multi-pick-up guitar, Bruce decided to balance the line-up by employing only electronic devices, including his 1949 Clavioline keyboard. The resulting improvisational meetings were very satisfyingly varied, in tone, texture and amplitude. They varied from the painfully withdrawn, getting the audience on the edge of their seats for every note, to the startlingly explosive and aggressively nagging, causing the listeners to squawk with hytsterical laughter. The music you'll hear on this disc runs a full frequency spectrum gamut of state of the art improvisational practice at the dawn of the 21st century.

Track Listing (All tracks were recorded live with no overdubs or pre-recorded tapes)

  1. T.A. + T.N.
    Equipment: prepared guitar and no input mixing board. Recorded live at The Physics Room, Christchurch
  2. T.A. + G.M. (1:12, 353 KB)
    Equipment: prepared guitar and adapted guitar. Recorded live at The Dunedin Public Art Gallery.
  3. T.A. + B.R.
    Equipment: prepared guitar, electronics and clavioline. Recorded live at The Physics Room, Christchurch


MP3 Sample: The World of Sound (1:04, 439 KB)

The World of Sound is an environmental duet that combines the audio components of the luthier's craft with the playing of the finished musical instrument.

The distinction between sound and music has been increasingly blurred to the point that music must now be regarded as continuous and only listening as intermittent. The adapted guitar in the context of an environmental duet demonstrates that it is possible for both musical instruments and musical perception to continue to broaden and evolve. This radio piece does not ask the question, which is more musical, a guitar being made or a guitar being played but seeks to point out that they both simply co-exist within the World of Sound.

The construction of an instrument involves a diverse range of sounds including sanding and planing of wood to the more harsh sounds of machinery such as wood lathes and saws. All of these sounds have an independent existence and are usually thought of (if at all) as mere by products of the finished instrument. The proposed piece will prompt people to listen to all sounds for what there is to hear and erase the hierarchy between intentional and unintentional sound, demonstrating their compatibility and co-existence, as in nature.

Greg Malcolm and Peter Stephen
Greg Malcolm with Luthier Peter Stephen


September 5, 2004: Greg Malcolm and Chris O'Connor

MP3 Sample: Trambience (1:09, 336 KB)

Greg Malcolm and Chris O'Connor played a trio with the rumbling tram, creating a lovely meandering accompaniment to a late-winter evening tramride, with darkened streets and a cosy interior. Christchurch based guitarist Greg Malcolm builds hypnotic evolving melodies upon layered drones, created by mini fans, e-bows and floor guitars, utilising a variety of tones and sounds created on his unique adapted electric guitar created by New Zealand Luthier Peter Stephens. Drummer Chris O'Connor transformed the tram into a traveling drum set, physically exploring the space and its acoustic properties. Chris is an accomplished drummer who has played with a variety of famous experimental musicians, but this was the first time he has played a tram.

More information and audio samples can be found at:

Greg Malcolm

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