Ist up – Nobuo Kubota

By Randy Gledhill

Nobuo Kubota, untitled PHOTO Henry Chan
Nobuo Kubota, untitled 7a*11d 2012 PHOTO Henry Chan

Nobuo Kubota has accomplished an oeuvre of experimental avant-garde exploration spanning over 50 years. That is older than some of this packed audience’s parents. Nobuo has educated, mentored and inspired three generations of students and artists, including myself, 40 years ago. He was my favorite teacher simply because, rather than tell me what to do, he would enquire what I was doing.

Kubota sits before the microphone, an assortment of electronic gizmos before him. There is an unfortunate faint buzz lost somewhere in the speaker system. Princess is a bit distracted. Then Kubota begins…

spekker pasat to ta for la bide dingda repeat dilupe a tungggg depa wha zingo zing lart hoi baaa wha pa to pic go la wing bah whoo langa tips a lay probema mumm dida un peta hon how etza frata lada da day what cha tic siga la date folunc to fading dadu dadu newba ooohn ata wim baa nan a non da fatung ming lo ling ding ling q ne do do lat fut bong

lalala baaa lu nan a non da du la punta beta da dat fatung ming lo long ling long a ni do do leat un fut song tu ateng dong dung don dink tu at atung lota fera lo lo lo lo aaaaaaa deau put putu che be law keating chub c ca bue bet ding bong dong dod ketute

the singing voice begins looping with itself

du ba tanh cha waa aaaaah eeeeh put at duba dula

then very quietly

fa waaa che ka se se leong do bong da jinga da aon kedada da rabat indoon letula tape cylebic conser sation ions deng betu fata doan pa pop boly but da da do dit kaduk don kot wk belop don do do don decet lom ‘clic, clic, clic’

syllabic taped conversations drift in and out

un mad a dada hum duda fade beda bady ketchun no no de dung waaaaa ‘clic, clic, clic, clic’ un mada a dada fad barty kithcun whi di dung waaaa no no dada hit jeka wooo wooo serba da do du dit ko kat ciz uba langa tif tic tic tic angu tu twa to tung

then just mouth clicks, smacks, noises
the over-dubbed loops become increasingly dense and layered

I think of a hailstorm on a tin roof. The storm becomes intense. Cacaphonic.
Are we safe in here?

Like me, the audience is mesmerized, enthralled, transported.
Sustained, heartfelt applause for a playful, curious genius.

An optimistic beginning to what is promising to be an interesting festival.


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