Mamoru Fujieda – Patterns of Plants II

I see Mamoru Fujieda has been in NYC recently. He was visiting with Kyle Gann and Downtown Music Gallery. He even has a picture of the store on his web page. So I’ve been a fan for years, here’s copy I wrote for DMG a few days ago.

Mamoru Fujieda – Patterns of Plants II
(Tzadik TZ 8061)

One of my CD collecting obsessions pre-Y2K was microtonal music. I got everything I could get my hands on. In 1996, Tzadik introduced me to a composer named Mamoru Fujieda with a release titled Patterns of Plants. Various tuning systems using extended Just Intonation, Pythagorean and well temperaments, unique instrumentation and somehow composed using numbers from the subtle changes of electrical activity on the leaves of plants, this album was a revelation to me. Now we have a second volume of this music, this time with violin joining a free reed mouth organ, the sho and the transparent harp like sonorities of the koto. Five more chamber music suites – here called collections – use combinations of these instruments including one (the Fourteenth Collection) for solo violin. Fujieda studied composition with Morton Feldman and Gordon Mumma, these two albums remind me a lot of Lou Harrison. I’m already looking forward to volume III. Also on Tzadik is another CD to check out by this composer, the Night Chant.

David Beardsley
November 2008

Originally published in the Downtown Music Gallery Newsletter.

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