USING EMPTY OIL cans,Tomo Yamaguchi created tap shoes.He attached a thick spring to another pair of cans,and the resulting "Space Spring" produce sounds like the special effects of an SF movie.Percussionist Yamaguchi(43) also createde the Kusunoki("Camphor Tree")Drum that produces the sound of a xylophone just by striking pieces of wood placed on styrene foam.Yamaguchi takes the junk that people throw out and transforms it into wonderful musical instruments.This is not alchemy,but something that anyone with a bit of humor and ingenuity can do.

Yamaguchi's inspiration came in 1995 when he played percussion in the musical Night on the Galactic Railroad.He was called on to make spacey sounds,which he did by manufacturing his own instruments from waste materiarls.Ever since then,Yamaguchi has been exploring the possibilities of musical instruments created from discareded materials and objects.

As a professional percussionist,Yamaguchi has also been on tour with a number of artists and participated in their recordind sessions."Percussion doesn't have set rules of what you can and can't do in a performance,"he says."I can make the sort of sound that provides the backdrop forlisteners."

In 1999,Yamaguchi was invited to become a member of Pulse,a worldclass percussion group.He also formed the percussion unit Ticobo with two of his own students.Their instruments are all made from objects that have been thrown away."My aim is to enjoy music,"says Yamaguchi."I make music by hitting things,but by so doing I manage to convey something to people."

(Shin'ichi Okada)

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