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Parallel Traces of the Jewel Voice

by dj sniff

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    Multi-sided disc with two parallel grooves cut on one side, which in effect plays a different composition depending on where the stylus is cued. The other side has no audio but features two silkscreened lines that refer to how Haruna played the original lathe-cut discs. For the digital release, each composition is independently assigned to the left and right channel and is heard simultaneously.

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1.

about

Parallel Traces of the Jewel Voice by dj sniff is a project that takes inspiration from historical narratives and personal memories constructed around The Jewel Voice Broadcast (Gyokuon Hoso) that took place on August 15 of 1945. Contrary to common belief, Emperor Hirohito did not speak live on air to announce the surrender of Japan on this day. Instead, two lathe-cut discs with his recorded voice were skillfully mixed and played by NHK engineer Shizuto Haruna. Haruna’s proto-DJ/turntablist performance was heard not only in Japan but also throughout the colonized territories in Asia, marking the end of World War II and Japanese rule.

Interested in these aspects which often have been overlooked within the Japanese narratives of this historical event, dj sniff conducted research in both Taiwan and Japan. Over the course of 3 years he collected various materials that include; interviews and field recordings, audio samples extracted from phonograph discs and recordings sessions with improvising musicians, and a re-reading of the Imperial Rescript on Surrender in Chinese. These were used to compose two compositions that are paired differently depending on their distribution format.

The vinyl release is a multi-sided disc with two parallel grooves cut on one side, which in effect plays a different composition depending on where the stylus is cued. The other side has no audio but features two silkscreened lines that refer to how Haruna played the original lathe-cut discs. For the digital release, each composition is independently assigned to the left and right channel and is heard simultaneously.

Additionally, an extensive text written by dj sniff accompanies this release. Sniff uncovers technical details of the recording and broadcasting of the emperor’s voice that took place over 75 years ago. He also reflects on his encounters with the elderly community in Taiwan who spoke fluent Japanese and shared their personal stories after listening together to records from their childhood.

credits

released March 11, 2022

dj sniff (Takuro Mizuta Lippit) is a musician, curator, and educator. His work builds upon a distinct practice that combines DJing, instrument design, and free improvisation. His collaborations include Evan Parker, Otomo Yoshihide, Paul Hubweber, Tarek Atoui, Senyawa, and Ken Ueno. He was the Artistic Director of STEIM in Amsterdam between 2007 to 2012 and a Visiting Assistant Professor at the School of Creative Media, City University Hong Kong between 2012 to 2017. He is now based in Tokyo where he is the Co-Director of AMF (Asian Meeting Festival) and teaches at Kyoto Seika University.

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Discrepant London, UK

Discrepant: inconsistent; conflicting; at variance [from Latin discrepāns, from discrepāre to differ in sound, from dis-1 + crepāre to be noisy]

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