Pianist Sarah Cahill has been trying to get me together with Japanese composer Mamoru Fujieda, and Saturday he and I managed to have lunch in New York. Among other points of commonality, he’s written a book on microtonality (I should say, I am currently writing a book on microtonality; I will always be writing a book on microtonality; I am so wary of the thousands of picayune errors of fact and number that my fellow microtonalists will hit me with, that I am planning to time its publication to occur mere moments before my death, so that their objections will come too late; but anyway, Mamoru has already completed one). It’s titled The Archeology of Sound, only in Japanese, and here’s his discussion of La Monte Young’s Well-Tuned Piano:
Patterns of Plants is a series of compositions based on the melodic patterns that are extracted from the data of slight changes of electric potential found in living plants. Such a procedure was made possible by “Plantron,” an apparatus conceived by bio-media artist Yuji Dogane… The compositional process… starts from finding out “musical values” in the changes of electric potential. By finding out “musical value,” I mean an attitude to regard the changes as “voices of plants” and to gather melodic patterns while listening to their voices.