TUESDAY, MAY 7, 2024




Japanese organ-builder and inventor Fuji|||||||||||ta revisits UPEND on May 7th in the Theater at 2220 Arts + Archives. Los Angeles-based composer and instrument creator Stephanie Cheng Smith opens the show.

Japanese sound artist Yosuke Fujita wanted to hear sounds yet-unheard and devised a way to make them – by building an organ from scratch, with no previous experience, and following no lead but his imagination. With no keyboard, and using only eleven pipes, his invention features a bellow-like air pump called a “fuigo” – similar to those used by Japanese blacksmiths – to push air into sound. Over more than a decade, Fujita has used the instrument to create evocative landscapes out of tone clusters, beat frequencies, and deft minimalist melodies, all whilst hovering above the quiet clicking of his airpump. After years of honing, his idiosyncratic sound palette became more familiar to ears worldwide via releases on Hallow Ground, Boomkat Editions, and 33-33.

Fuji|||||||||||ta has collaborated with key figures of different generations of the Japanese avant-garde – Akio Suzuki, Keiji Haino, and EYヨ – and performed widely in Europe on bills with artists such as Kali Malone, Stephen O'Malley, and Rashad Becker.

Stephanie Cheng Smith is an L.A.-based composer, performer and programmer who creates interactive pieces, installations, improvisation, and through-composed works. Often using electronics, violin and light elements, Smith’s work stretches from ensemble performances and the realization of others’ scores to a solo practice that has included several projects that each utilize a novel technology-driven instrument of her own devise. Coding software and designing circuitry to control motorized elements, she has imagined a unique hybrid form where physical materials such jingle-bells, plastic cups, or pieces of paper can be deliberately – or aleatorically – controlled to “perform” expressive and organic sound events. A recent work, Life Cycles, uses such apparati to vibrate vellum, evoking the sound of cicadas. Smith's 2021 album Forms was released on A Wave Press.