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The phone line buzzes, the electric heater drones and the pitter-patter of rain can be heard in the background. Not the perfect sonic environment for a phone interview, but for Yuko Kitamura, it is perfect.

“It’s beautiful. I wish I could record it!” she says with unfeigned delight from her home in Shiga Prefecture.

Kitamura has used stranger raw material for her work. As Yuko Nexus6, she salvages the cacophony of daily life and sculpts it into evocative “sound experiences.”

“When people take a photo, the framing and trimming are important,” she says. “When we shoot the photo, the ordinary thing becomes a framed fact. That is almost like my music. The ordinary sound is framed and trimmed.”

“In my style [of music], people can make very beautiful things from noise. And from this experience, my ear has become open to all sounds. Good, bad, noisy, calm become equal.

“People think that birds singing are beautiful, but that the exhaust noise of a bosozoku [motorbike gangs] is bad. But to my ear, everything is beautiful.”

Born in 1964, Kitamura is a member of the so-called Osaka Universal Expo generation. Her parents took her to the 1970 exposition of technological wonders and futuristic design five times. But the perfect tomorrow never materialized. Kitamura, like other artists of this generation, has grappled with an ambivalence toward technology. Sure, she can use the latest digital gadgets, but she’s often going for the roughest of results. Call it “high-tech lo-fi.”

“I want things to sound simple, amateur,” she says.

Her third album, “Journal de Tokyo,” on France’s Sonore label, uses the text of early 20th century author Hyakken Uchida’s novel “Tokyo Nikki (Tokyo Diary).”

“I wanted to make a piece about reading, reading texts and then cutting up my reading voice by machine,” she says. “When I cut up other books [using this method], they became only sound fragments, but with Uchida, it was still beautiful.”

On the record, her recitations (in French and Japanese) from the book are looped, recorded then recorded again, and edited with a variety of sounds. In one cut, she uses the voice of the Japanese announcer from the 1936 Olympics urging a Japanese athlete on to gold. In another, one can hear the squeal of a cassette recorder rewinding.

Backing up the entire CD is a playful 45-minute recording that ebbs in and out of the other tracks, like the traces of sound on a cassette tape that has been recorded over. The result is what she calls “a time machine” melding Berlin of 1936, early 20th-century Tokyo, and Tokyo in 2002.

It is a technique that she had already experimented with live. During her European tour last year, she began her performances with readings, simultaneously recording herself with a hand-held cassette player, then using a sampler to manipulate the sounds.

“Ordinary speaking is just ordinary speaking,” she says, “but when I put it into a computer and cut it up, it becomes beautiful.”

Cassette players and books would seem strangely analog for an artist who teaches university classes in digital sound processing and has been nominated for the Prix Ars Electronica, one of world’s most prestigious awards in cyberarts.

However, Kitamura admits she doesn’t actually like technology so much. “As technological development sped up, I couldn’t keep up, so I looked back to old technology. Now the cassette recorder is my buddy. Though I’ve tried to use a lot of gear — a PowerBook, samplers and synthesizers — the cassette tape really suits me. It is low-quality, very handy and easy to use.”

She has dubbed her work “kotatsu music,” referring to the low heated tables found in many Japanese homes.

“Most computer musicians have nice studios, with many computers, and fancy speakers, but in my house. . . . I just put my computer on the kotatsu,” she says.

“I want my music to reflect my daily life. Sometimes I compose my music with kitchen noise — washing dishes, washing rice. They make such nice sounds.”

Her democratic music-making philosophy has been amplified in her writing. “Cyber Kitchen Music” (1995) was a guide to digitally remixing old LPs in the comfort of one’s own home. She has also commented on how the younger generation is choosing the laptop over the guitar as a conduit for their musical rebellion.

It is unlikely, however, that an amped-up teenager would come up with a work like “Journal de Tokyo.” Though Kitamura poses as an amateur, the record reflects a distinctly intellectual sensibility. For most people, it will be a novel, if not challenging, listening experience.

Yuko has one important piece of advice: “Don’t listen to it as a CD, but think of it as a book. In a book there are many events — love, catastrophes . . . Many situations pop up, so please read it rather than listen to it.”

In line with COVID-19 guidelines, the government is strongly requesting that residents and visitors exercise caution if they choose to visit bars, restaurants, music venues and other public spaces.

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