Artists Space

POSTPONED: Yasunao Tone Concert #2

March 3, 2023, 8pm

Due to unforeseen circumstances, Yasunao Tone's concert will be postponed. We will have more information and a new date soon.

11 Cortlandt Alley
Free with RSVP
Due to limited capacity, one RSVP per attendee

As part of our retrospective Yasunao Tone: Region of Paramedia, Artists Space is pleased to present our second concert with legendary sound artist Yasunao Tone. For this special evening, he will perform Music for Reed Organ, 1962, A Radio Music, 1963, and Molecular Music, 1982.

Black-and-white photograph of a figure, in profile, sitting behind a reed organ that is covered in plastic.
Yasunao Tone performing Music for Reed Organ (1962), Repetition and Structures, Mills College, Oakland, California, 1972 [Black-and-white photograph of a figure, in profile, sitting behind a reed organ that is covered in plastic.]

This concert will begin with two seminal chance-based and notational performance works from the 1960s: Music for Reed Organ (1962) and A Radio Piece (1963). In the Fluxus-inspired A Radio Piece, Tone rummages through a briefcase filled with transistor radios and tunes them until all have reached the same station. The resulting sound creates a melody that moves freely with the tuning process, foregrounding the radio as an instrument. Music for Reed Organ employs activity generated by chance: an ice cube is placed on the keyboard of a pedal organ, while the wind produced from pumping the organ’s pedals creates tone clusters and is documented in a graphic score. Tone will end the concert with a reperformance of his foundational work Molecular Music (1982), a piece that famously converts text to image to sound wherein Tone employs light sensors on the surface of a projection screen to actively interpret 16mm images—characters from Chinese poetic texts—and sends that information to sound-producing instruments.

Yasunao Tone is a multidisciplinary artist working in New York City. Tone graduated from Chiba University in 1957 with a major in Japanese literature and became an important figure in postwar Japanese art during the 1960s. He was a key member of Group Ongaku, Team Random, and the Japanese branch of Fluxus, and was involved with several other collectives and artists such as the Neo-Dada Organizers, Hi-Red Center, and Butoh founder Tatsumi Hijikata. Relocating to the United States in 1972, he has since been a crucial force in the philosophical and material advancement of durational art across myriad live forms, gaining a legendary reputation as a musician, performer, and writer. He has collaborated with a prolific range of dancers, visual artists, and musicians including Merce Cunningham, Blondell Cummings, Allan Kaprow, Senga Nengudi, Butch Morris, and George Maciunas.

Major support for Yasunao Tone: Region of Paramedia is provided by The Agency for Cultural Affairs Government of Japan (Bunka-cho Art Platform Japan), Taka Ishii Gallery and Joe & Nancy Walker. Exhibition support is provided by James Cahn & Jeremiah Collatz, Gretchen Gonzales Davidson, Fridman Gallery, Stephanie LaCava, and the Japan Foundation, New York.

Support for Artists Space’s exhibitions and programs is provided by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Lambent Foundation Fund of Tides Foundation, The Andy Warhol Foundation, The Cowles Charitable Trust, The Cy Twombly Foundation, The Teiger Foundation, The Helen Frankenthaler Foundation, The Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation, The New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, The New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Kathy Hochul and the New York State Legislature, Imperfect Family Foundation, Robert Rauschenberg Foundation, The Stavros Niarchos Foundation, The Willem de Kooning Foundation, The Fox Aarons Foundation, Herman Goldman Foundation, The Destina Foundation, The Luce Foundation, May and Samuel Rudin Family Foundation, The Milton and Sally Avery Arts Foundation, Arison Arts Foundation, The David Rockefeller Fund, The Jacques and Natasha Gelman Foundation, The Jill and Peter Kraus Foundation, The Richard Pousette-Dart Foundation.