Please note that I was unable to fix the formatting errors on this. I’ve no idea what the problem was. So please forgive that.
Just as all forms of music and art transcend the boundaries of language and culture, so does the art of noise (music). We revert again back to the reasons we listen to ti; its dynamics, unpredictability and a host of other reasons. Today we cross cultures and collect the thoughts of Mr. Yasuhito Fujinami.
Yasuhito Fujinami is a brilliant and prolific Japanese noise artist who releases his work predominantly via bandcamp and soundcloud. He is humble and diverse exploring other areas of music such as dark ambient and drone. His recent release is a split tape release with K2. This is a mind-blowing combination of harsh noise and dark ambiance.
Mr. Fujinami was kind enough to answer a few questions for us. We’d like to thank him for the opportunity.
TNBtS: So if you could please, give the readers some background about your work, any side-projects, what got you interested in noise in the early days?
YF: I used to work as a guitarist for Drone Metal or Dark Ambient before and when I went to a live band in Japan called Boris, I was shocked by Merzbow co-starring. Then I got interested in noise.
TNBtS: Earlier this year you did a split tape with K2. Honestly, this tape hit me in such a way that it changed the way I listened to noise. I’d never heard noise played against a dark ambient background like that. How did you meet with K2 and how did you contribute to the tape?
YF: Since I was doing dark ambient and drone from before, it was a natural flow for me.Recently I am interested in the musical expression of noise, so in the next work I will become more expressive steps. I was in contact with K2 through Facebook’s noise community about three years ago. I am honored this time because I am his fans.
TNBtS: What equipment is included to generate noise? Do you use almost analog devices? Are you using digital equipment?
YF: Previously I used a lot of equipment, but now I am the only sampler and synthesizer. The pedal almost no longer used. Synthesizer uses two analog and one digital.
TNBtS: It seemed on this release (the split tape with K2) that there was a lot of found objects (not synths or normal equipment). Were there and what kind if this is true?
YF: All the noise part of this release is output from the sampler. We sampled and processed the sounds of factories’ mechanical sounds,metal, glass, electronic sound effect etc, which I feel as noise.
TNBtS: People have obviously looked to Japan for much of the noise culture. Other than of course, Merzbow why do you think this is? Do you feel that culture plays a part in the existence of noise musicians in particular areas? Also, do you see any difference in styles of noise across different areas?
YF: Japanese people are basically non religious. I think that it was possible to express limitlessly different from the West without spiritual restrictions. I do not think noisy musicians are cultural. Because it is caused by destruction. Of course there are differences. Like other music genres are diverse.
TNBtS: It seems that the noise style has played a huge part in keeping the cassette tape format alive. Why do you think that is?
YF: It is a unique compression when recording on a cassette tape, the point that the noise becomes mild, and noise music is the point that the lo – fi sound does not become minus.
TNBtS: What’s next for Yasuhito Fujinami in 2017? Any upcoming collaborations?
YF: Next is a collaboration album from Austria’s Trap door tapes. Various releases such as album release from Moral defeat of Denmark are in 2017.
TNBtS: What work are you most proud of?
YF: I do not have any work that I am proud of. I have not even been satisfied with my sound.
TNBtS: Why not?
YF: To be honest I am still a rookie noise musician, I think that I can not grasp something ahead if I feel proud and satisfaction at this time.
TNBtS: I’ve seen that you are also involved in other styles of music. Please tell us about any side projects you might have and the styles.
YF: There is no side project.
TNBtS: One thing I like to ask all noise artists is this… I’ve argued that people listen to noise for very different reasons than “normal” music; dynamics-abrasive vs. delicate, loud vs. soft, layered vs. minimal, walls vs. cut up etc. Do you agree with this and what reasons do you think people listen to this art.
YF: I think that noise reason is the noise music that leads to such primitive urge, such as potential violence and eroticism, which are in the deeper part of human beings.
TNBtS: What noise artists inspired you? Also… what non-musical artists have inspired your work?
YF: I found the beauty hidden behind the noise pleasure and violence, that part was most affected. It was influenced by works by Georges Bataille in the early days.
TNBtS: What else do you want to achieve as a noise artist?
YF: Collaboration with artists other than noise.
TNBtS: Some noise artists seem to create work based on specific inspirations but the end result might be difficult to figure this out without knowing first. Example; Merzbow had projects revolving around animal themes… but they don’t really sound like the animal sound always. So my questions to you are… have you done this or is your work created mostly out of simple spontaneity? Do noise artists even NEED to translate their inspiration so the audience sees it too?
YF: All my works are based on inspiration. I think that abstract expression should have specific inspiration. My listeners are watching them, and some listeners will give the work new value with a different interpretation.
TNBtS: Do you think that reasons for creating noise are more specific or abstract for the artist?Likewise, do you think people listen for specific or abstract reasons?
In extreme saying, noise may be established even if playing properly.
The same thing can be said to general contemporary art as well. That is why it is important for an artist to have concrete reasons. However, artists who have acquired skilled improvisation skills are better for abstract reasons.