Group Ongaku


1. Automatism, 1960
2. Metaplasm 9-15, 1961
3. Object, 1960

Personnel: Takehisa Kosugi, Syuko Mizuno, Mieko Shiomi, Yasunao Tone and others

Recorded: 1960 and 1961 at Sogetsu Art Center, Tokyo

Group Ongaku (グループ音楽, Grūpu Ongaku) was a collective exploring musical improvisation, composed of six composers, including Takeshisa Kosugi, Mieko Shiomi (Chieko Shiomi), Yasunao Tone. Ongaku in their group name means "music." The group began their activities in Tokyo in 1958, mainly as a students group at the Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music. In 1960, they formalized the group by naming it Group Ongaku and continued until 1962. Their music freely crossed from orchestral to ethnic instruments, technology, and daily objects, melting sound production from devices associated with vastly different forms of sonic practices. In addition, they strategized to expand the musical experience in an attempt to merge the act of composition and that of performance. They shifted their focus from just creating sounds to deploying actions as music. From 1961 onwards, they came into contact with Fluxus coordinator George Maciunas and some members (including Tone, Kosugi, and Shiomi) became affiliated with Fluxus. The Japanese Fluxus contingency, centering on them, expanded and Tone called this loose collection of people "Tokyo Fluxus."