Ichi go ichi e (一期一会)

In a world saturated with technology and digital culture, this project offers a stop, a breath, and a unique meeting of ancient customs with contemporary artistic practices and artists’ visions of the future. It takes inspiration from the past in a search for raw energy, cultural roots, and unique sound material. This compilation contains sonic metaphors and ways of preserving, reflecting upon, and using culture as a sound source. Buddhist chants and ancient instruments from Japan serve here as a case study, highlighting the relationships between technology, tradition, and culture.

The artists involved were presented with a challenge to create new works by engaging with specially recorded sound material. Sounds of traditional instruments were integrated into modern digital workflows, electronic instruments and tools. The artists contrasted, morphed, mixed and collided the material via fragmented pieces of space and time in the form of audio variously sampled, electronically generated, and processed. This way the album serves as a timbral tool kit, showcasing diverse types of artistic interactions and experiments with the timbres of traditional instruments. The presented works are thus metaphorical digital artefacts of today, demonstrating different ways of reflecting upon culture.

I-go-i-e acknowledges ancient instruments and artforms, embracing the limitations, idiosyncrasies, and rawness of the sound sources. The title of the album stems from an ancient Japanese word game, an idiom coming from the tea ceremony philosophy. Ichi-go-ichi-e (一期一会) means
treasuring the unique nature of a moment, each moment being different, distinctive, a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

As part of the challenge artists were given the same sample material to work with and get inspired by. The use of the material was left entirely up to their imagination and interpretation. This systematic approach was an attempt to facilitate collective and collaborative work, focused on the creative use of culture and tradition today. The sound material was comprised of buddhist chants and instruments recorded in Kyoto, performed by monks of three different sects (Jōdo-shū, Tendai-shū and Shingon-shū). Recordings of the SHO instrument were performed by Tamami Tono, and provided by Professor Yoichi Nagashima who kindly allowed us to use them for this release.

As a listener enjoy this album as a digital relic of today. The release consists of recorded samples and software tools developed by some of the artists, as well as audio works. Please engage with it creatively as the artists did. The whole experience will take you into the journey of truly a once-in-a-lifetime encounter.

Track list:

  1. DJ Synthesizer – Echo feat. Shouei Mitsmizo
  2. Hiroshi Hasegawa – Chaotic Mandala
  3. Scanner – A Path Where this is None
  4. HATAKEN – 151A
  5. Jessica Kert – Nobody really knows
  6. Dave Skipper – (D/R)CnSTRXn [i. deep breathing]
  7. Dave Skipper – (D/R)CnSTRXn [ii. time fracture]
  8. Naoki Nomoto – kyoto 1
  9. Naoki Nomoto – kyoto 2
  10. scanner darkly – imprint
  11. Renick Bell – Completion of One is the Beginning of the Next
  12. Tom Hall – Point of Failure
  13. Shell Child – Echoes Of Kyoto
  14. jprecursor – zk.19-111101
  15. Mr Winter – IMM_190921_MrW_03_Shoei
  16. Tatata5 – Kantan no yume
  17. Ambrose Field – 桜 | Sakura | 樱花 | Cherry Blossom
  18. Ipnoteca – drift away
  19. Radek Rudnicki – Ichi-go-ichi-e
  20. Hanaka – … of flow


Ekouji temple / Shinga Kishino, Ryojun Kishino
浄土宗 / Jōdo-shū sect
Gongs, wooden blocks, percussive instruments, two male voice ritual.
三溝 昭英 / Shouei Mitsmizo / 地蔵寺 住職 / Jizoji Temple Abbot
天台宗 / Tendai-shū sect
Bells, gongs, female voice, chants (shōmyō), ritual and pieces sang include:
三禮 如来唄 開経偈 般若心経 四智梵語讃 九条錫杖
駒村 奈津子さん / Natsuko Komamura – shinobue flute
Kyokuyo Okada (biwa master) – Biwa, female voice. Piece is telling a story of a deamon that invaded Kyoto.

Samples from all three locations recorded by Radek Rudnicki, July 2018.
SHO performed by Tamami Tono, recorded and provided by Yoichi Nagashima.
Cover design by Miya Kaneko.
Photos by Radek Rudnicki, Maho Cwejman, Ambrose Field and Tatata5.
Album is not mastered, all the works are sent by the artists and are pristine.

Release contains booklet with links to artists works, artist creative approaches and pictures taken during the recording sessions.

All the proceedings from this release go towards Kidsdoor a Japanese charity helping kids in education.

Release on 20/02/2020 – digital and as 8GB limited edition microSD card.