347 by Frans de Waard in Vital Weekly 732
The last release is also by two people but here playing together. "Tim uses several boxes of speakers and Seijiro uses a snare drum as a resonance box, with microphones". How that looks is not entirely clear - at least I don't envisage this, but the music deals improvisation in which the space in which this is played gets an important role. This is the most 'improvised' disc of the three, as opposed to the other two which are composed. Most of the time the work is indeed sparsely orchestrated with sound, flying low over the surface. When it breaks out it does in a great acoustic noise way. This one is quite different from the other three releases, since its not to be found in the microworld, but in the world of improvisation. Blechmann and Murayama play some excellent music, taking the listener on a great acoustic trip

347 by philip clark in the wire # 319
Going fishing for primary sound cources, Tim Blechmann (using „several boxes of speakers”) and Seijiro Murayama (deploying “a snare drum as a resonance box, with microphones”) catch classic-period AMM in their net. As the cauldron is continually stirred, metallic scrapings sing arias of resonant overtones during the closing stages of a sequence that was instigated 40 minutes ealier by hovering speaker ambience and Murayama mashing his metal snare into the skin of his drum. The musicians cite as their aim “different levels of universe within the space. From micro to macro”, and Blechmann pulls an impressively nuanced range of quiets and wide-aperture hisses from his rig, before refocusing the lens around increasingly elaborate and intentioned figurations on Murayama´s snare. Jobe done.

347 by guillaume belhomme in le son du grisli
Quelque part en exergue sur le crème de la pochette, une phrase de John Cage sur le bruit qu'il faut écouter pour vivre une expérience qui lui retirera toute faculté de désagrément. Et la collaboration de Tim Blechmann (enceintes) et Seijiro Murayama (caisse claire) peut commencer à se faire entendre.

Obliquement, l’ouvrage percussif est ici déployé ; son esthétique bientôt revendiquée par un autre ouvrage, d’électroacoustique celui-ci : craquements, grincements, frottements, et un souffle qui parcourt tout l’espace (Comète 347, Paris). Une fois levées les illusions, Murayama manie une baguette : avec elle se débat, accuse le coup d’une pluie artificielle à laquelle le contraint Blechmann. L’exercice de frappe interrompu, l’exhalaison du quotidien et des choses qui le composent reprend ses droits : là-bas, on croit entendre le bruit du trafic même si rien ne nous assure ici d’aucune réalité. Seule l’expérience plaisante aura été palpable : trois quarts d’heure de seconde en seconde.

347 by rdb in bad alchemy
TIM BLECHMANN & SEIJIRO MURAYAMA haben für ihr 347 (nv° 021) eine Weisheit von John Cage gewählt: Wherever we are, what we hear is mostly noise. When we ignore it, it disturbs us. When we listen to it, we find it fascinating. Der Bielefelder operiert mit delikatem bis brausendem Gedröhn aus Lautsprecherboxen und sein Partner mit verstärkter Snaredrum, die er knarzen, sirren und dröhnen lässt und nur auf dem Höhepunkt einer aufgewölbten Soundkurve auch manisch berappelt. So verschachteln sie Störung und Faszination derart ununterscheidbar, dass ich auch nach 42 Min. nicht sagen kann, ob ich mich gestört oder fasziniert fühle.

347 by felix in freistil
Drei elektronische bzw. elektroakustische Neuerscheinungen, jeweils auf 300 Stück limitiert, kredenzen Heribert Friedl & Raphael Moser auf ihrem Label nv° (nonvisualobjects): Lautsprecherboxen und das Innenleben einer snare drum sind die unorthodoxen Instrumentarien von Tim Blechmann & Seijiro Murayama. Auf ihrer CD mit dem Titel 347 (nv°21) lotet das Duo diverse Räume aus, sowohl mikro- als auch makroskopisch, und kommt dabei zu recht heftigen Ergebnissen, nicht gerade symptomatisch für die Soundpolitik von nv°.

347 by Richard Pinnell in The Watchful Ear
Its been a funny weekend. I woke Saturday morning in the hotel from hell, travelled home from London, went to work at an unusual hour late in the afternoon, wrote last night’s post later in the evening when really tired and not thinking straight, don’t even remember going to bed, I just passed out. Then this morning while drying my hair I wrenched my back again, really painfully this time and have since spent the rest of the day in assorted degrees of agony. It has been really hot and muggy today as well, resulting in thunderstorms and really uncomfortable humidity tonight. I have tried to write a couple of Wire reviews, without a whole lot of success, and have also picked up a paintbrush and palette for the first time in about a decade, something that has frightened the life out of me. At the same time I have been able to spend quite a bit of time with a CD to review tonight as well, a disc on the NonVisual Objects label by the duo of Tim Blechmann (laptop) and Seijiro Murayama (snare drum).

I heard this recording a good few months ago, and so it feels familiar listening to it again now it has a full CD release. That I have also listened to quite a bit of Blechmann’s music and even more of Murayama’s in the intervening months has only enhanced this feeling. The disc is named 347, a reference to La Cométe 347, the Paris venue in which the music was recorded. The brief liner notes to the disc mention the musicians desire to “improvise listening and organise sonic space together in a delicate way”. There is also a quote from Cage on the back-

“Wherever we are, what we hear is mostly noise When we ignore it, it disturbs us. When we listen to it, we find it fascinating”

This quote suggests that maybe there is a lot of external noise to be heard on this recording. There isn’t really anything that sounds obtrusive, and I can’t actually tell if the music was recorded in front of an audience or not, but there is certainly a sense of space in the recording, a kind of distance between the two musicians that comes through not from the way they respond to each other, but in the spatial arrangement of the musicians. It feels like they recorded in a big, empty space with a high ceiling and long unadorned walls, such is the resonance of the sounds here, not really echoing, just a sensation of a lot of heavy air in the room between the two musicians.

The two do what you might expect if you know their music. I really enjoy Blechmann’s minimalist roars and rumbles. I’m not sure how his sounds originate, whether they are processed from field recordings or entirely computer generated, but I suspect (and I’m guessing having never seen him live) that a fair degree of additional grit and filter is added to his elongated sounds after they have left the computer, perhaps through some manipulation of the speaker cones that play the sounds back. His contributions are as subtle and patient as ever then, sometimes existing when you don’t notice them, building up and growing out of the dense air in the room into huge clouds of fuzzy abstraction.

In many ways Blechmann’s contributions are the perfect foil for Murayama, who sets about his incredibly focussed, concentrated rubbing and scraping sounds, folding them into the sheets of grey, rough textures scattered across softer backgrounds. The obvious criticism to make about Murayama’s many recent CDs is that he essentially works with the same, or very similar sounds on each of them. I suspect that this isn’t important to him however, as it feels as if what matters to him is how he interacts with different playing partners, in different spaces. The intensity of his playing, the meditative qualities of his sustained sounds, only altering in pitch and texture very slightly as and when he chooses means that his music probably wouldn’t just “work” with anyone, but in Blechmann he has found an excellent partner here.

I’m not sure what else to say about this one. The recording feels charged, a thoroughly intense affair, but its also a very slowly unfolding piece of music that only really alters abruptly on one occasion, when a dense period of scraping from Murayama ends suddenly, and after just the briefest of pauses Blechmann restarts the music with a heavy industrial roar, maintaining the general feel of the music but still shifting the tone slightly to one side. I guess this is an album that will either appeal to you a lot, as it does me, or will maybe do the opposite. There isn’t any great display of instrumental pyrotechnics on show, the extended sounds used still don’t really become a drone as you might expect, and there is enough room interference to annoy those that demand crystal clear recording. 347 really is what it is, a very specific, unusual meeting of two musicians with very individual modus operandi that could only be made by these two people at this place and time. For me it works very well indeed, setting up mental images of that place and time, pulling me into the tension in the room as if I were there. Its intense, rather austere stuff though, keep away if not your cup of tea, otherwise don’t miss out.

347 by massimo ricci in temporary fault
Recorded in Paris at La Comète 347, this CD presents an episode of the activities of Blechmann and Murayama intent in capturing different types of resonance in a large room, aiding themselves by various boxes of speakers and a snare drum. This is a classic case of document that exists just as a testimony of a live event, for getting tangible aural satisfaction from these successions of charged silences, diminutive noises and percussive patterns at home is not warranted (unless you’re a member of the “anything goes” reductionist party). What I did welcome instead was the hushed echo of the urban and inside environment caught by the microphones (including the alarm of an ambulance that, at one point, keeps company for a while until it dies – the alarm, not the transported person, hopefully). Nothing much to say in addition, except that we’re convinced by the seriousness of the intentions, but not overly enthusiastic due to the scarce depth of the acoustic messages.