Takehisa Kosugi (March 1938 – October 2018)
Takehisa Kosugi was a Japanese composer, musician – a pioneer of experimental music – and performer. Kosugi co-founded Group Ongaku in 1960 with Mieko Shiomi and Yasunao Tone, which was “famously the first ensemble in Japan to explore collective group improvisation and multi-media Happenings”.
Kosugi is also well known for his work with the peripatetic/itinerant octet Taj Mahal Travellers (1969-1975), which he co-founded in 1969. He toured performances with the improvisation troupe between 1971-1972 throughout Europe, the Middle East and at the Taj Mahal in India.
In 1964, George Maciunas published Kosugi’s Events, a set of 18 cards consisting of text-based instruction works.
“The incidental or indeterminate nature of sounds has been one of the major characteristics of my music through improvisational performances and sound installations. In an attempt to transcend conventional musical concepts, I have been introducing electronic territory to my music including both audio frequency waves and non-audio frequency ones such as infrasonic, radio frequency, and light waves.”– Takehisa Kosugi (2014)
Foundation for Contemporary Arts biography: https://www.foundationforcontemporaryarts.org/recipients/takehisa-kosugi/
MoMA biography & works: https://www.moma.org/artists/3227
Short biography: https://roulette.org/event/takehisa-kosugi-simone-forti-2/
Short biography: https://chicagoreader.com/arts-culture/takehisa-kosugi/
Untitled (1988) & commentary (German): http://forschung-kuenstlerpublikationen.de/Untitled-1988.html
Organic Music (1963), performed live by Kosugi: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WYRmDky1xUI&ab_channel=GettyResearchInstitute
Mano-Dharma ‘74: https://boomkat.com/artists/takehisa-kosugi
Wave Code E-1: https://boomkat.com/artists/takehisa-kosugi
Cycles II (1981/2007): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZmC0gqsLmVk&ab_channel=GettyResearchInstitute
Recording of ‘Mano Dharma ‘74’: https://www.glass-bead.org/audio-research/takehisa-kosugi/?lang=enview
Artforum article on Kosugi: https://www.artforum.com/passages/takehisa-kosugi-1938-8211-2018-77672
SPACINGS exhibition & biography: https://www.ikon-gallery.org/event/takehisa-kosugi/
‘Adventures in Sound’ exhibition & commentary: https://artscape.jp/artscape/eng/focus/1802_02.html
Short obituary: https://www.thewire.co.uk/news/52752/takehisa-kosugi-1938-2018
Obituary, New York Times: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/18/obituaries/takehisa-kosugi-dead.html
Images of Kosugi during performance: https://www.gettyimages.de/fotos/takehisa-kosugi