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Australian Frogs 2

by Felix Hess

  • Compact Disc (CD)

    Mini LP sleeve with back spine. Comes with English and Japanese liner notes by Akio Suzuki and Masafumi Matsui.

    ships out within 3 days

      ¥1,500 JPY or more 



Samples: soundcloud.com/user-479672174/sets/australian-frogs-2

A collection of the best recordings selected by the Dutch sound artist Felix Hess from his "Frogs" series featuring frog calls from around the world, released on cassette tapes, vinyl, and CD-Rs from the early 1980s to the early 2000s. A limited-edition pressed CD of this long-discontinued series, with new artwork by Sakura Kondo.
It is a series that inspired the artist, who was a physicist studying the trajectory of boomerangs, to create sound works later in life.
Australian Frogs 2 includes the calls of six Australian native species.

オランダ人サウンドアーティスト・Felix Hess(フェリックス・ヘス)が80年代初頭から2000年代初頭にかけてカセットテープ、レコード、CD-R等でリリースした世界中のカエルの鳴き声を収録した「Frogs」シリーズから作家本人がセレクトしたベストの3編。長らく入手困難だったタイトルを近藤さくらのアートワークで新装した限定プレスCD。
こちらはオーストラリア在来の6種を収録したAustralian Frogs 2。


Makoto Oshiro asked me to comment on Felix Hess's collection of frog call recordings. One of the CDs I received for reference was of frogs in Australia. The other was of the cane toad (Bufo marinus) call, an invasive species in Japan, in its native habitat. However, in Mr. Hess's professional hands, the continuous sounds of this notorious frog become perfect for background music. The other one was of frogs in a rice field in Kyotango City. In fact, Mr. Hess visited my office 30 years ago and asked about the callers on this recording. Male frogs croak to call females, and the sound differs from species to species. The reason is that when males and females of different species get together, they cannot produce offspring. In this CD, the clear voice of the Schlegel's green tree frog (Rhacophorus schlegelii) contrasts with the muffled voice of the Tonosama frog (Rana nigromaculata) against the background of the constantly croaking Japanese tree frog (Hyla japonica). Many people may know the names Ama (Japanese tree frog) and Tonosama, but not the name Schlegel. The name comes from a zoologist that was studying in the Netherlands who Siebold commissioned to investigate his collections from Japan, and it is interesting to associate him with the Dutchman Mr. Hess.

(Professor Emeritus, Kyoto University, Masafumi Matsui)

I first met Felix Hess at the "ressource kunst" event held in Berlin in 1989. Since then, I have visited him in Haren in the north of the Netherlands, where he lives, and also welcomed him in Tango in the north of Kyoto several times. I counted the number of the ceramic liqueur bottles of
"BOLS" that Felix gave me as souvenirs, which added up to eight.
In his office at the University of Groningen, it was interesting to see the postcards and other pieces of paper related to frogs pinned up here and there on the walls.
As a physicist, he was recording the trajectory of a boomerang flight in South Australia. When he stepped into a plain filled with some interesting sounds, they suddenly stopped. As he listened to the wonder for a while, he was surprised to find that the sounds he had heard before gradually
reappeared. When he learned that this was a habit of frogs, he began to collect the sounds of frogs that he had grown to love so much.
Based on that experience, he created "Sound Creatures," a sound installation consisting of several boxes with built-in sensors hung in a room. It is a masterpiece that encourages people to listen quietly.
Later, cassette tapes of the "Frogs of Tango" and other works were self-released.
During the heyday of the frog ensemble, he stayed at my house for a long period of time and went out to record in the mornings and evenings. He even once surprised me by telling me that a snake had coiled itself in front of his nose while he was lying down on the grass with his special
microphone set up.
Then, as if in a hurry, he accumulated so many cassette tapes, and found it impossible to match them with his notes. Through a friend, we were introduced to Professor Masafumi Matsui at Kyoto University. We visited him, and he made the match possible. Professor Matsui was able to
identify what frog it was with the sound at the beginning of each tape. For example, he would say, "Oh, this one is mating."
Felix became an instant fan and bought a large, thick book on frogs compiled by Professor Matsui. I still also remember that Professor Matsui looked like a toad (excuse the pun).
When I stayed at Felix's house in the Netherlands, I remember that there was a pile of Australian aboriginal paintings on the stairway landing with dot patterns painted on bark of trees. Later, Felix started collecting Zen paintings, and this eventually became the Felix Collection, which is a
large catalog of which I was surprised to receive as a gift in recent years. I felt responsible for inadvertently praising Felix's taste in Zen painting when he first got interested in it, but now I bow to his extraordinary aesthetic collecting habits. It is now a valuable catalog for the world.
I was deeply moved by the fact that the "Kaeru-an (かえる庵)" stamp, which Felix made with me when we worked together on a sound pocket event in Hong Kong, after we selected stones together at an engraving store in the city, was stamped on the catalog.
I am now looking forward to the day when Felix's "Frogs of Tango" will be released and make its home in Tango.

(Akio Suzuki 17/09/2020)


(京都大学名誉教授 松井正文)

フェリックス・ヘスに出会ったのは、1989年にベルリンで開催された “ressource kunst” という催しの時だった。その後、彼の住むオランダ北部のHarenに訪ねたり、京都北部の丹後に迎えたりと、交友を重ねて来た。フェリックスからの手土産 “BOLS”という陶器製のリキュール瓶を数えると、8本にもなる。
Groningen 大学にあった彼の研究室には、カエルにまつわるポストカードなどの紙片があちこち壁にピンナップされていて面白かった。

その発想で制作したセンサー内蔵の幾つもの箱を部屋に吊るす形のサウンド・インスタレーション “Sound Creatures” は、静かに聴き入ることを人に即す傑作だ。
以前、香港における sound pocket の催しで彼と行動を共にした際、街中の印刻店で共に石選びをして作った花押「かえる庵」が、カタログに押印されていることに深い感慨を覚える。

鈴木昭男 17/09/2020


released May 19, 2021

Recorded by Felix Hess
Mastered by Makoto Oshiro
Artwork by Sakura Kondo
Designed by Hirozumi Takeda



BasicFunction Tokyo, Japan

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