Susumu Yokota
The Boy and the Tree

susumu gave. He drifted gifts from across the pond of still waters. This was dangerous. Hollowed ancient cedars reflected shadows across the sequins where the gifts were pulled under by the projections of a thousand corpses aching for the eternal return and the promise of life. Susumu knew this and that it needed his soul, echoed in shards of beauty across the waters. And this he sang through repetitions of traditional Japanese instruments, each in her space. This space was given. It was given in the manner of modern music: through machines that spatialised, that took a sly glance and unfolded a new form of water and tree music. Instrumental became the instruments in allowing the boy to play with his sinking gifts. The ancient hollowed cedar sheltered the boy and the boy gave his drowning.

The Boy gives many sounds. Sometimes, he builds house music. Other times, he creates gifts for the eyes. He performs with Philip Glass. He sung a Grinning Cat.

The boy of The Boy and the Tree is me, and this is my dream story.
I can hear my heartbeat
There is an island called Yakushima in the south of Japan...

scenario : nature itself, is the living thing, sharp
Animal sensibilities

the air in the woods makes my mind clear
The smell of grass and trees

the sound of the earth echo.
Walking among the big trees,

(Do you remember that scene in Nosferatu? I mean Herzog's. Where, in escaping the castle, he has fallen from his rope made of knotted bedding. He lies on the stone of the howling and deserted castle—save for the gypsy boy playing above his head. Playing violin where the sky rushes past to reach the dead.)

We can speak now only in hushed whispers. That is as much as I can say. At the strike in the rhythm I nod my head. A nod is a yes. It is the singular repetition of embrace—arms open to a world. And a void. There is too much to hear and be heard here. There is enough for a ten thousand, for a hundred thousand worlds today to speak in worlding of words. There are currents that bring me through the ancient cedar which has planted its cones in the heart of the mobile city, the growing metropolis of cemented levels of skyscraper that rise into a stratosphere. (How beautiful the city!) Akira, they are here, Aguirre, here to storm Mexico, the heart; the jungle and the city, they are here in the rough grain of this cedar tree.

It takes a boy to play with the spell and under the spell of such a tree. It takes a boy with a generous heart that splits not from the rational mind not from the soul no splitting only an ache to travel his heart which is his body that entire existence that fractals at the edge of a multitude of beings each a different copy of himselves.

Each song it fractals through musicalities to the next in a succession that leads ears from pond to cedar. Detour to corpse. In actuality: the corpse is always there in the outline under the water, lying in wait. It is there in all the rotting bits of the forest. It comes through in the off peaks of a rhythm and the dance that embraces it. A dance of the divine trampled.

Have I said enough? I have not begun for we have not yet begun to hear this album together to smile into each others eyes and speak through our thick tongues the worlds that embrace us dragging us down drowning.

Genre contextualities: ambient-world-recordings-emotional-soul-travelling

Reviewed by: tobias c. van Veen
Reviewed on: 2003-09-01
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