Tokyo 1972 album cover
Tokyo 1972



Teletopa were an Australian quartet formed by composer David Ahern, who’d spent some time studying with, and performing alongside, Cornelius Cardew in the late sixties. Though they only lasted for a few years, Teletopa are notable for being perhaps Australia’s first assay into collective, electro-acoustic improvisation (alongside the contemporaneous Sunday Ensemble). The two near-hour-long pieces on Tokyo 1972 are stunning in their range and resolve, with Ahern clear-sighted about what he wanted to achieve with Teletopa, though also open-minded enough to let the members articulate their own voices, even as they repeatedly were subsumed under the variegated thickets of foliage that make for the music here. It’s often quite spare, with bowed drones arcing out into the NHK Studios, where the sets were recorded, and rustling, striated tones edging nervily around the parameters of the space. Bracing, inspiring stuff.

Jon Dale

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