S. Fujii & Otomo Y. - Perpetual Motion

Bob Pomeroy, Ink 19


It’s surprising that it’s taken this long for Satoko Fujii and Otomo Yoshihide to record together. They are two of the most influential players on the new music scene in Japan, and they both broke out way back in the 1990s. Otomo first gained attention as part of the Hong Kong-based rock group Ground Zero before getting involved with improvised music. Otomo produces music for film and television as well.

Perpetual Motion was recorded as one long improvisation. The titles to segments were added later. The piece has an organic ebb and flow that starts with a quiet meditation, which slowly builds. The music has several peaks and valleys along the way. During “Perpetual Motion II”, Otomo does some almost-metal shredding that howls and screams. For almost 47 minutes, the duo follow each other through an array of textures, tempos, and emotions. Fujii matches the feedback and distortion arrayed by Otomo by reaching inside her piano and using all manner of things on the strings to create equally manic sounds.