Listen to Standtype “ANALAPOS -b” from Japanese sound artist Akio Suzuki


This strange sonic gestural world comes from a 1984 cassette, originally released on German label Edition Giannozzo. It stems from a tour of West Berlin by the conceptual sound artist, in which he performed on instruments he constructed himself. The instruments, one of which is pictured above are truly unique.

This is what Suzuki has to say about it:

“On “Zeitstudie von A.S.” I used an ANALAPOS, the echo instrument I invented in 1970, and the Suzu- ki-Type glass harmonica that I created in 1975. The ANALAPOS resembles the tin-can telephone that children used to play with: two metal cans, open at one end and connected by a coil spring. You play it by stretching out the spring horizonally and then projecting your voice into the open end of one of the cylinders. The second piece features a variation, where I would suspend several ANALAPOS vertically and play them like a percussion instrument.

The Suzuki-type glass harmonica is in a simpler form than the pre-existing glass harmonica, and consists of five long glass tubes of varying diameters suspended horizontally in a metal frame. As well as rubbing the tubes with wet hands, I developed my own style of playing it using sticks. Once when I was practicing with it in the Netherlands, outside the window I was surprised to hear a bird imitating my sounds. However, later I discovered that the bird always sang that way, and as a token of my regret for having ever doubted it, I borrowed the bird’s Dutch name, De Koolmees, and I still use it for my instrument.”

It comes from a reissue of Zeitstudie on Australian label Room40. Room40 honcho Lawrence English has also recently released a collaborative work with Suzuki, Boombana Echoes, from a recording in 2005, which saw the duo operating in similar terrain, at least spirituality, where English’s sine wave generators, custom speakers, pedals, cymbals and a drum head interacted with Suzuki on the aforementioned Analapos. You can, and should check out a demonstration of the Analapos here.

Zeitstudie is out on the 23rd of October 2020 via Room40. You can find it here.


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Bob is the features editor of Cyclic Defrost. He is also evil. You should not trust the opinions of evil people.