“Lyota Yagi Exhibition”

by Aneta Glinkowska

Mujinto Production
Closes in 21 days

Mujinto Production, a new gallery tucked away in an old building near Koenji Station, opened its doors for the first time with a show by a 26-year-old artist Lyota Yagi. In the age of the i-Pod, Yagi experiments with disappearing analogue music formats: vinyl records, magnetic tapes and the physical principles behind them.

In the middle of the gallery is a freezer topped with a portable record player. The freezer contains ice frozen in custom-made plastic molds that produce perfect records. On the hot opening night, the rapidly melting ice discs were being placed on the turntable at frequent intervals. Each time a perfectly sounding Chopin or Debussy piece filled the room for about a minute before the sound would become distorted as the warm air and the weight of the needle melted the record’s grooves.

Yagi’s melting ice and evaporating water is a simile for the disappearing sound and ephemerality of music. Somewhere between the lines there is also a pun on electronic music heard in the static noises and distortions emitted from the melting classics.

Though it is tempting to guess that Yagi is an inventor or a musician, he is neither. He was inspired to learn about and work with sound by a former roommate’s experimentations with electronic music. Besides the ice records (which are being played daily every other hour from 1 p.m.-7 p.m.), there are several other interactive installations at Mujinto, which make you rethink your relationship with music and sound.