Biography All Music Guide
All Music Guide:
Japanese composer Yasunao Tone became involved in the Fluxus movement in the early '60s and has since been active as an organizer of events, an improviser, a performer in a number of groups, and, more recently, he creates pieces with manipulated CDs. His work as a composer ranges from environmental art to computer-oriented, also including pieces for theatre, radio, film, and dance, including Merce Cunningham scores.
Although he graduated with a degree in Japanese literature in 1957, three years later he encountered Group Ongaku, who improvised and put on "event music" and began participating himself in 1962, starting with a solo concert. He has also participated in the groups Hi-Red Center and Team Random, purportedly the first Japanese computer art group. In 1966, Team Random hosted a process music festival, which included Tone's "Theater Piece for Computer."
After relocating to the U.S. in the early '70s, Tone continued to perform (at New York's Roulette and the Kitchen, among others), participate in Fluxus concerts, and compose for the Merce Cunningham Dance Company. One of his works for a Cunningham dance, "Geography and Music," was also played at several new music festivals, including the John Cage Festival in San Juan. He has received numerous grants and commissions for his work. Some of his compositions have been recorded for independent labels such as Lovely Music and Tzadik.