TAKEHISA KOSUGI creates mixed-media sound performances and installations, making use of daily materials and electronic technology, realizing the multiplicity of sounds in space.
Born in Tokyo in 1938, he studied musicology at the Tokyo University of Arts, graduating in 1962. During this period he began multi-instrumental improvisation. In 1960 he co-founded the "Group Ongaku" in Tokyo, a group to play anti-musical DADA-istic performances against conventional creativities. His event pieces, introduced by Fluxus in the early 60s, received recognition in Europe with Fluxus members in New York. In 1969 he co-founded "Taj Mahal Travellers," a group of collective improvisation, playing in various locations with intermedia presentations. In 1970 he participated in Expo '70 in Osaka, with commissioned works for environmental sound events for the Festival Plaza. From 1971 to 1972, he made a travelling event with the Taj Mahal Travellers, voyaging via England, Europe and the Near East to the Taj Mahal in India. The event included participation in Utopia and Visions in Stockholm, ICES '72 in London, recordings for Radio Bremen and BBC TV, and many other performances.
Kosugi has been a resident composer/performer with the Merce Cunningham Dance Company since 1977. Commissioned works for the Company include S.E. Wave/E.W. Song (1976), Interspersion (1979), Cycles (1981), Spacings (1984), Assemblage (1986), Rhapsody (1987), and Spectra (1989). He has been music director of the company since 1995.
Kosugi has received grants from The JDR 3rd Fund in 1966 and 1977, a DAAD fellowship grant to reside in Berlin in 1981, and John Cage Award for Music from Foundation for Contemporary Performance Arts in 1994.
He has performed in many international festivals including the Festival d'Automne in Paris (1978/79); the Festival at La Sainte-Baume (1978/79/80); the Holland Festival (1979); Opening Concert in Rome (1980); Workshop Freie Musik in Berlin (1984); Pro Musica Nova in Bremen (1984); Almeida International Festival of Contemporary Music in London (1986); Welt Musik Tage `87 in Cologne (1987); Experimentelle Musik in München (1986/88); Inventionen in Berlin (1986/89/92) and Biennale d'art contemporain in Lyon (1993).
Kosugi's sound installations have been presented in various exhibitions and festivals including Für Augen und Ohren in Berlin (1980); Ecouter par les yeux in Paris (1980); Soundings at Purchase, New York (1981); New Music America Festival in Washington (1983); Im Toten Winken in Hamburg (1984); Klanginstallationen in Bremen (1987); Kunst als Grenzbeschreitung: John Cage und die Moderne in München (1991); Iventionen in Berlin (1992); and Musik Tage in Donaueschingen (1993).