Yasunao Tone | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Yasunao Tone 

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For years Yasunao Tone--a key member of Japan's branch of the 60s Fluxus movement but a New York resident since 1972--had been looking for ways to keep his compositions unpredictable. In 1985 he struck gold: Long before the glitchwerks innovations of folks like Frank Bretschneider and Oval's Markus Popp, he figured out how to override the hardware that translates binary information on CDs so he could play discs "wounded" with Scotch tape and straight pins. This let him turn ordinary CD players into uncontrollable monsters that spray harsh, glitchy noise with no resemblance to his source material (which ranges from classical music to his own experimental work). For his latest album, 2003's Yasunao Tone (Asphodel), he uses software to translate the shapes of kanji characters from the eighth-century poetic text Man'yoshu into binary sound waves. In this rare local appearance, he'll perform "Wounded Kanji Dictionary," which demonstrates the translation technique, as well as a new eight-channel piece called "Paramedia Mix" that involves quick blasts of sounds taken from TV and radio. a 9 PM, 6Odum, 2116 W. Chicago, 312-282-7676, $12. A


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