Vatican Analog

Japanese iPhone mania in Seoul

Almost four months ago I swapped Tilburg for Seoul, South-Korea. It’s not number one noise city, but for those who think nothing is happening here: you couldn’t be more wrong. Two weeks after my arrival for the first time I was playing in Yogiga, a underground (literally) expressionist gallery which is THE place for experimental music. Every last sunday of the month there’s a night (afternoon actually) called Bulgasari. Locals as the Japanese Seoul-resident Sato Yukie (you might have seen him around Europe last year) are playing every time among lot’s of Americans, Japanese and so now and then other foreign artists. The whole thing actually feels like being at a Vatican Analog night.

Yesterday there were some good artists, but especially the Japanese media-artist Masayuki Akamatsu was a pleasant surprise. He showed up with twenty (20) iPhones and a laptop. He made two circles of the iPhones, connected them on a wi-fi network and controlled the settings of the devices from his laptop. The sound is generated by his application at his laptop and/or touching the screens of the iPhones. From beautiful melody’s to cacophonic noise; everything is possible. Akamatsu – professor at the university of media arts in Japan specialized in iPhone applications – didn’t really turn out to be a great musician nor noiseartist though. It all sounded pretty random,but well, impress people by showing off (wheter that’s stuff or appearance) most of the time will to the job . So for those with a better sense for music or noise: save some money and buy 20 iPhones (hint: Akamatsu made a rental deal). And in case you are in Seoul too: this week he will give lectures in Soongsil University.