Annotations for Each Track by Motohiko Hamase

1. Invisible city
Based on the drum pattern of a rather cheap sound that I took from a sampling CD, and the irregular and grotesque bass pattern in a wave sequence. I tried to create a image of Pop and Jazz music for a fictional futuristic city. My bass solo is not included.

2. Technodrome
The repetitions of bass pattern combined with a snare drum in a wave sequence and numerous claps from the basic structure of this track. This made it possible to give something completely innovative to the bass register. I perform a solo on a fretted bass using a distortion effect. The solo isn't intended to provide a narrative, but to add colors to reiterated rhythm; which itself forms the narrative.

3. Imagery
In this piece four wave sequences runs simultaneously to create a pattern slightly resembling that of a distorted guitar. A sharp, rhythmic attack and collage of noise also form the frame of this track. My solo is the most clearly tonal of all the solos in the collection, using a new system of tonality that is based on my own definition. There may be some people who find the bass sound indistinct, but it appeals to me. In order to provide that sound, I deliberately used strings that had been on the instrument for 10 months.
The title "Imagery" means an aggregate of image.

4. Opaque
Suppose on extremely evolved city reflects the image of extreme retrogression a the same time. This piece is based on this supposition. The bass solo can be said eloquent in a way, however it still remains underneath a mainstream of the image and is intended to make us feel the existence of consciousness.

5. End of legal fiction
This piece was actually the first to be completed and got a position that helped established the principle of this album. So all of other piece were to be composed using the influence of this one. I wonder how people who are concerned with jazz will respond to this piece and my improvisaion? "End of legal fiction" is my message to those who still believe in the myth of jazz. I would especially like young people to listen to this piece as an example of hard rock music while driving a car at full speed on a highway.

6. Chirico
This is named after the painter de Chirico, because when the piece was completed, it reminded me exactly of the space of his work. Perceptive listeners, I believe, will recognize this piece as house music.

7. Moriana
Since I found a log drum pattern in the sampling CD data so fantastic, I decided to make a loop out of it and composed this whole piece. The variations of the bass solo appears while the cloud- or mist-like sound keeps its continuous repeat. In spite of that, the solo presents a rather stable tonality, I will be happy if you find this solo as a factor that provides all sorts of psychological reflections to the rapid repeated scenery. "Moriana" is the name of the imaginated city which appeared in "Le citta invisibli" written by Italo Calvino. "The city looks like it's multiplying its figures one after another; like a picture drawn in perspective. However, in fact, "Moriana" has no depthe; it's like a sheet of paper which only has two faces of the front and reverse side. Furthermore the figures drawn on either side of the paper will never separate or overlap."(Quoted from the "Dictionary of Imaginary Places")

8. Lattice fo saxophone quartet
This piece was originally composed in 1988. It then go a chance to be arranged for a saxphone quartet in 1990 when I was asked for a piece by Kinichi Nakamaura, who is a leader of the Harmo Saxophone Quartet. The world premiere of this composition was performed on March 8, 1991 ast ther fourth regular recital of the Harmo Saxophone Quartet given at the Ishibashi Memorial Hall. This collection features a recording of that live performance, since it seemed to me "Technodrome" would be well organized if this piece was positioned as the last track. The performers are: Kinich Nakamura(ss), Akemi Endo(sa), Shinichi Iwamoto(ts) and Katsuki Tochio(bs). The performace they gave that day, and reproduced here, was among those chosen for the "Best Concert of 1991" by the magazine "Ongaku No Tomo." The following is an excerpt from the concert program I wrote back then.

The Story Behind "Lattice"
When I first wrote "Lattice," it was originally intended as music for piano and percussion. Although the world premiere of this piece was performed in 1988 by Yasunori Yamguchi (percussion), Satsuki Shibano (piano) and Motohiko Hamase (bass), the live recording has not been included in any of my own solo album yet. This is the very first piece where I consciously tried to give it the idea of polytonality. A short phrase is repeated while the rhythm is kept homegeized, and the phrase goes into a subtle transformation; the flatted ninth has a percussive effect. I came to call this piece "Lattice", because the music has a visual image of some semi-transparent plates with a checked pattern which are overlapped first in the same position and then gradually shifted. For today's performance, I have re-arranded this piece, for a saxphone quartet, but what I did was only to write a score but the way of expression, dynamics, and the tonal quality are not directed at all. So the interpretation of this piece in the live performance is credited entirely to the Harmo Saxophone Quartet.

Performances of the Harmo Saxophone Quartet can be heard on the collection, "The Days of Quartet". (Orange Note Production. CD ON2003. Fax inquiries to 045-562-8158)