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Koji Asano and friend backstage at INSTAL 02

Eclipse of the Moon from the Backyard

Eclipse of the Moon from the Backyard

Koji Asano is a young, exciting and increasingly renowned Japanese composer and sound-artist. With a score of releases across many genre he’s difficult to pin down: if anything you detect a predilection and beautiful ear for the willfully naive and brutally complex. This work, written for cello, percussion, contra bassoon and cherbulum has been commissioned specifically for Instal in collaboration with Paragon, one of the most consistently interesting and championing ensembles working in the UK.


Koji is one of the world’s most imaginative composers, defies simple categorisation and is highly regarded in the experimental music community. A native of Japan who now resides in Barcelona, Spain, Koji is an artist who puts very few limits on the genres he works in. Subsequently he has produced, in the last few years, a slew of albums, all of them excellent, that range in style from computer noise and meditative piano improvisation to guitar noise rock and electronic soundscapes. He has also composed pieces for dance performances, film soundtracks, and video art exhibitions. Solo pianists, guitar bands, computers, string quartets, and his own Tokyo-based group the Koji Asano Ensemble have all performed his compositions. According to the San Francisco Weekly, Asano “eschews the well-worn path of familiar music making contexts for a less travelled route involving feedback, computers, and electronics.” His collaborative work is diverse, covering a range of musical and visual artists.

The Paragon Ensemble was formed in Glasgow in 1980 to champion contemporary music, to bring it to the attention of the widest audience, and to promote the practice and development of musical creativity as an indispensable component of contemporary life. In the years since its formation the ensemble has gained an international profile as Scotland’s leading contemporary music ensemble, with an enviable reputation for innovation and artistic excellence and wide recognition of its community education and outreach work.

This collaboration was instigated after the success of the performances at Instal 2001, and was intended to give a very direct example of how these two genre’s of music relate to and cross fertilise each other. Koji worked on and prepared an initial score that was then workshoped and devised with the Paragon Ensemble in Glasgow during November for presentation at the festival.

We started documenting our events in 2003 so unfortunately there is no video or audio documentation of this performance. If you have a bootleg or any photos you’d like to share with us, we would love to see them: get in touch with us here.

Photo credit: Marceline Smith at


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In yellow light a blurry seated conductor gestures towards a couple of musicians

▴ Credit: Marline Smith

In yellow light a blurry seated conductor gestures towards a couple of musicians

▴ Credit: Marline Smith