Tia Rungray (Tialer.Mimulus) signed up for Second Life for the first time on June 20, 2008.
Tia’s works are instrumental music with ambient noise, piano, and even noise. This unique style includes ambient, post-classical, noise music, etc. Tia expresses people’s inner world with refined piano and wild noise.
His live performance can drive the audience insane too.
Tia is actively involved as a sound engineer and producer and offers music art exhibitions.
Tia’s sound is entirely his own … his dedication to deep emotions is extraordinary. The sweetness with which this composer plays on the piano cannot be compared with others, whom he ennobles his music with originality, distinction, grace and lightness that cannot be imitated by anyone.
Tia is one of those pianists who are at home no matter what “feeling” and he has the true, lively tone that comes from the deep feeling of his heart.
He always plays with great passion and dedication. In his creative hands, even the most ordinary passage takes on meaningful meaning.
For me it is an honor and a privilege to promote a unique pianist and composer as Tia.
Your life without art would be …
Tia: It might be correct to say that a life without art would have been a boring life for me, but I think that is because I am currently immersed in a sea of art.
Where do you get your inspiration from?
Tia: Before 2020, I often found inspiration in purely personal matters, such as the difficulties of relationships I experienced in urban life in Japan. Furthermore, I admit that the Great East Japan Earthquake of 2011 had a huge impact on me. I was a student at the time and wondered if there was anything I could do within the framework of art to help the Japanese society that had suffered so much.
Recently, I have gone one step further and focused on how music can be my medium of expression for the social problems that still plague Japanese society like a disease a decade later.
What is your work about?
Tia: My work is a fusion of piano and noise, but I try not to be necessarily confined to that style. This is because there is a big gap between what I choose to do and what I adhere to.
My use of noise is also influenced by the ideas of traditional Japanese music. In traditional Japanese music, mainly shakuhachi and shamisen, performance noise, which is discarded as noise in classical European music, is deliberately incorporated into the expression.
How is the artistic process like there? Do you see an object / person / landscape first and then the idea comes up? Or is it upside down?
Tia: It varies. Sometimes the idea comes to me when I’m playing with the piano, other times it’s based on environmental sounds or news I heard.
Tia: “One sound becomes a Buddha.”
This is a phrase that is part of the philosophy of the shakuhachi, a traditional Japanese musical instrument. It means that within a single sound there is a complexity like that of the universe. This is what I want to create in the sound I play.
Currently, the best place for you in SL?
Tia: I can’t narrow it down to one place. I go to places listed in the Destination Guide and to places recommended by friends.
A question that moves you right now…
Tia: Where do I keep going?
Is there a work of art in your life that particularly impressed you?
Tia: Vladimir Horowitz’s 1986 recording of Alexander Scriabin’s 12 Etudes, Op.8 No.12, is the piece that left the greatest impression on me.
I didn’t get to see it live, but its subtlety and boldness of expression were enough to influence my style of playing.
What is art for you – now completely independent of the usual definitions?
Tia: For me, “art” is neither sacred nor noble. It is an “extension of every day”, a way of expanding values and perceptions, both for me and society. But it is not “every day” itself. It is not necessarily something that the viewer “understands”.
I believe that the value and role of art are to make the viewer think.
Was there a key experience or has the artist profession always been your dearest wish?
Tia: The sounds and vibrations I felt when I first touched the piano were probably the most important experiences for me.
I started learning to play the piano in my early teens. At that time I was being taught by a piano teacher in a flat and we were using an electronic piano.
One day, the teacher took me to her parent’s house and told me to play the grand piano. My fingers were not yet ready to play the piano fluently, but it was a chance to put the piano at the centre of my expression until now.
I have since parted company with her as I have taken up a place with another teacher who has a grand piano in her classroom, but I am grateful to her for allowing me to get into the piano.
What drives you?
Tia: Passion and love, but also sadness and anger, drive me. I think it is necessary to express them carefully.
I was once asked by you (Violet Boa) why I give negative and shocking titles. Probably because of “Soft Strings Kill Me”, “Cremation” and so on.
I don’t think that being ‘cheerful’ is the only role of music and art. It is also necessary to absorb and express negative emotions. The result can be empathy and healing for those who appreciate it. But that is not the whole of the role of music and art.
Do you feel understood with your art?
Tia: If I feel that my work is not understood, it probably shouldn’t be a problem for me. I don’t think I should impose a ‘right’ answer on what each listener feels.
However, I do improvise with the help of “keywords”, the titles of which I publish after the performance. So it would be good if listeners could use them as a hint to expand their imagination.
Do you think that you can make a difference with your art?
Tia: If my music makes the listener feel that, then I think it’s the right thing to do.
I don’t think that what I make will bring any change to people or society. But I shouldn’t cut corners when I create or perform my work. I have to show my work as a result of my best efforts.
Do you think that everyone is an artist?
Tia: It’s not up to me to judge. But I think that “art” must contain strong feelings and thoughts of people.
Accordingly, my friends describe me as eccentric, but I would not call natural creatures and landscapes “art”.
Do you have any role models? If yes, which?
Tia: I don’t have role models, but some people have influenced the way I live my life. Of course, they also include Erik Satie and John Cage.
What does the term art mean to you?
Tia: Art is communication.
Are there any topics that you are particularly interested in implementing?
Tia: I am interested in the effective integration of ‘words’ within my musical work.
I’m also interested in creating installations in SecondLife, using one sim with enough processing power. For various reasons, this is not yet possible, but I hope it will be in the future.
What is your strength?
Tia: What I have experienced has not been all happiness. That is why I have the means and the motivation to express it.
What was the best advice you have ever received in SL?
Tia: “You should take care of those who take care of you and your work.”
Your next projects, exhibitions. Where your art can be seen?
Tia: Spiralo Gallery
“Spiralo” since Feb. 2021 “Spiralo” is a virtual cultural complex produced by the noise-classical music project ‘Tia Rungray’. The space includes a sound installation hall, a gallery, a café and a shopping floor.
The name “Spiralo” means “spiral” in Esperanto, and the name comes from the fact that the floors are arranged in a spiral pattern, inspired by the image of everyday life and art blending together in virtual life.
The idea is to make it easier to enjoy high quality art activities in Second Life and to make visitors more aware of their close relationship to life.
It functions to make everyday activities such as watching, listening, dressing, talking and photography more artistic.
We offer you a way to enjoy the time and space in which you can relax in everyday life. As a cultural hub for contemporary art in Second Life, “Spiralo” hopes to continue to create a cultural scene.
Produce: Tia Rungray
Art Direction: Takayuki Noami (Non-REM Studio)
Architectural CG Modelling: Hazama
2 May 2021 – 11 AM SLT – Tia Rungray´s Concert at Dixmix Gallery
Takayuki Noami’s self-produced electroacoustic music project, which advocates noise classical music.
After releasing his first album ‘Foresta’ in 2013, he has been working mainly in the Tokyo metropolitan area and the virtual space ‘Second Life’.
Since 2015, he has produced the sound installation ‘STRUKTURO’ in Second Life.
In 2016, he participated in Senju LAB #1, a screening of his video works organized by composer Akira Senju, with video director Kenji Agata.
In March 2019, the music video ‘Dancing Fly in My Head’ (directed by Kenji Agata) was released with the cooperation of Akira Senju’s office, Tokyo University of the Arts COI and YAMAHA.
In October 2020, his music video “Soft Strings” (directed by Takayuki Noami) won the Best Music Video Director Award at the International Film Festival “1st Monthly Film Festival” (Serbia).
Influenced by the ideas of Eric Satie and John Cage, Tia Rungray’s music is primarily instrumental, using ambient sounds, piano, and even noise. He creates his worldview with a unique style that incorporates ambient, post-classical and noise music. The fusion of sophisticated piano and violent and ferocious noise depicts the inner world of human beings, and the rough and raw live performance where stillness and motion coexist is not only soothing to the audience but also makes them feel even madness.
His first nationally distributed album ‘MindgEsso’ was released on 29 April 2018 on the independent label Cat&Bonito. It has led composer Akira Senju to say “I’ve heard the air of the future”.
On 27 July 2020, he released an album with Yorihisa Taura titled ‘Juvenile’ on the independent label ‘Tannukineiri Records’.
The new album “STRUKTURO” was released on 12 February 2021.
Cast: Sakiko Takizawa
Direction & Cinematograph: Kenji Agata
Script: Daichi Misaki
For the release of Tia Rungray’s latest album “STRUKTURO”, we are having collaborative goods with Cinoe, an interior design brand in SecondLife.
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