The 1st of May was a fine day to bring out a record.…
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What if beauty suddenly sprang from the superposition of the video of black American singer Minnie Riperton singing ‘Loving You’ with a scene from the film of Hitchcock’s The Birds? What could possibly come out of mixing some old 45s of a child playing an analogue synthesizer with a video showing a Sumatran vegetable seller accompanying his pitch on a small plastic piano? Sensory discoveries, collisions of meaning, these are the moments of miraculous chance that the video-artist Dai Soma (better known under the name Yudaza Jazz) searches for.
Yudaya Jazz mixes and synchronises images and sounds on a set of turntables equipped to mix DVDs, also using a camera and microphone to capture performers in real time, as well as a few audiovisual effects for enhancement. This set-up means he has a palette of images and an infinite variety of sounds and textures at the tips of his fingers. The compositional work is always carried out on stage, live, with nothing repeated or prepared, because the exquisite instants Yudaya Jazz looks for can only be the product of the fragile and the momentary.
Dai Soma remembers being fascinated as a child by an old Kamishibai (paper theatre) storyteller, who improvised stories by showing a procession of his drawings to astonished spectators. Later, Dai Soma began making his own films and showing them in a cinema that he hired in Tokyo. Finding the repetition of the same projection extremely boring, he started to play with the sound effects of the films, upsetting spectators and the owner alike. He obstinately continued in this direction and sought out his audience in Tokyo clubs.
Dai Soma is a front-row spectator at his own audiovisual performances, always looking for the unexpected moment, the subtle variation that turns everything on its head. He is excited by the risk of manipulating images live, the random nature of the editing. In love with all types of audiovisual devices, audio cassettes, VHS, 45s, DVDs or MPEG files, Dai Soma is not however an obsessive collector. He’s not interested in conceptualising his art and cares little whether the results are pop or avant-garde. What counts is to bring about the aesthetic moment capable of surprising him himself.
© 2008 text: Franck Stofer, translation: Jack Sims, photo: Eric Bossick