Phew was a founding member of the legendary punk band Aunt Sally. After the band’s breakup in 1979 she continued her career as a solo artist, releasing a collaborative single with Ryuichi Sakamoto in 1980 and her first solo album Phew with Conny Plank, Holger Czukay of CAN, and Jaki Liebezeit in 1981. In 1992, her third album, Our Likeness, was released on Mute, again at Conny’s studio, with Jaki Liebezeit of CAN, Alexander Hacke of Einstürzende Neubauten and Chrislo Haas of DAF.
Since 2010 she has released a series of works that combine voice and electronic music and has gained international recognition as an electronic artist. Pitchfork has described her as “Japan’s underground legend”. She has also released collaborative works with Ana da Silva (The Raincoats), Seiichi Yamamoto (ex-Boredoms) and others. Her latest solo album New Decade was released on Mute in October 2021.
When I was invited to participate in Longform Editions, I thought about how to express the time of the piece itself—20 minutes—rather than a long piece of music. In other words, I wanted to make a piece that would allow the listener to freely choose the focus of the sound on a time axis, as if appreciating a painting, rather than a musical time that is formed by a one-dimensional flow of time with a single acoustic change that never returns.
Please experience the empty waiting room—the stains on the wall, the plastic chairs, and that unattended 20 minutes.