JP Tower Museum INTERMEDIATHEQUE


Gramophone Concert “Jazz Summit (39) – Birth of a Duke”

2017.05.26
ACADEMIA

[Date] Friday, May 26 2017 18:00 (expected to end at 18:45)
[Venue] Intermediatheque 2F Lecture Theatre ACADEMIA
[Admission] Free
The number of seats is limited to 48. We request your comprehension.
[Organization] The University Museum, the University of Tokyo
[Cooperation] Hideki Umeda + Mac Sugisaki
[Program Conception] Intermediatheque Department, The University Museum, the University of Tokyo (UMUT)

A cycle of gramophone concerts is regularly held within the lecture theatre ACADEMIA of the Intermediatheque. This concert series focuses on the Satoshi Yuze record collection, from which we select famous 1920-1940s jazz recordings. We play them on the illustrious Victrola Credenza gramophone, in order to share a quality of sound which has now vanished from public spaces.
March 1923: 23-year old Edward Ellington, who had just moved from Washington to New York, was pursuing his own style while accompanying commonplace singers. Except his aristocratic nickname, nothing could presage that he would eventually lead the jazz world. However, during his four-year engagement at the Club Kentucky in Broadway until 1927, along with trumpeter Bubber Miley, he developed an original East Coast jazz style, and laid the foundations for the first Ellington jazz orchestra. Here, we will reconsider Ellington’s initial experimentations, from his first orchestra recording to his famous tune East St. Louis Toodle-O.


■ On the Cycle of Gramophone Concerts
"Gramophone”, "Phonograph”, "Graphophone”, "Zonophone”… After the invention and diffusion of a mechanical system capable of recording and playing back sound, it took several decades before the terminology designating this device took root. It is said that meanwhile, the perplexity of people discovering this enigmatic piece of furniture emitting wonderful sounds was beyond imagination, ranging from curiosity to fear. However, with the generalization of LPs, CDs and digital audio files, gramophones have fallen out of use, and those remaining in museums simply exist as exhibition items. This concert series aims at activating the gramophone again as a playback device, in order to appreciate its possibilities anew.
The University Museum, the University of Tokyo holds two gramophones. One is the famous Credenza VV8-30, produced in Canada in 1925-1928 by Victrola. The other one is a unique device based on the Credenza with an original amplification system, made in 1931-1932 by instrument designer Isamu Hirabayashi (1904-1938).
These two gramophones will play a wide range of music, and various types of records. Among them, a most precious source of music is the Satoshi Yuze collection, donated to the University Museum in 2012. This private record collection, focusing on jazz music and amounting to over ten thousand items, also contains numerous SP records. By playing on the luxurious Victrola Credenza the collection constituted by Satoshi Yuze, which is the work of a lifetime, we will not only introduce rare recordings, but we will also share the quality and deepness of a sound lost with the advent of the digital era. In the age of the iPod, by getting together within the Intermediatheque lecture theatre and experiencing musical gatherings from another era, we intend to develop the museum space into a site for synaesthesia.

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