English notes  AIRWAY / Live at LACE

Here are

Airway is a pathway.
Airway is a throat that air passes between our mouth and lung.
Keeping airway to open is an essential way for recovering humans under unconscious.
Airway is a way to conscious.

a brainchild of Joe Potts.

Here are commandments of AIRWAY
(constructed as a modification of Joe Potts’ commandment of sound; see below).


AIRWAY is a hole through which our conscious passes.

Sound of AIRWAY is not an object.

Sound of AIRWAY has no fixed location.

Sound of AIRWAY has no fixed location.

Sound of AIRWAY has no fixed meaning.

Sound of AIRWAY has no dimensions.

Meaning and dimensions of AIRWAY sound constantly change
in relation to the universe inside and outside listeners.

Sound of AIRWAY has no fixed time.

The “flow of time” in AIRWAY sound is psychological not physical.

Sound of AIRWAY is a representation of the “whole” of sound
existing inside and outside us.

Because all sound of AIRWAY is interrelated,
there is no such thing as innovative sound at AIRWAY performance.

Sound of AIRWAY is an unfolded manifestation of hidden (enfolded) universe,
consisting of all sound which will ever exist and has ever consisted inside and outside us.


I met Joe Potts for the first time in summer of 1979 at Pasadena, California.
He gave me an LP record entitled “AIRWAY live at LACE”, then.

AIRWAY was a noise orchestra.
Members varied at performance by performance.
Joe, Chip Chapman, Vetza McGill, Tom Recchion, Juan Gomez
and Joe’s younger brother Rick were involved in a performance recorded in the LP.

Vetza was a singer.
She has collaborated with Joe in a 7-inch vinyl records entitled “AIRWAY”.
It included two tracks consisting of loop sound generated from Vetza’s voice
and excerpts from Patti Smith Group’s ‘Ask the Angeles’ on “Radio Ethiopia” album.

The music was so hypnotic.
The vinyl was accepted in Japan.
Because it was sold at Joe’s first exhibition held in Tokyo in 1977.

Joe extended the idea in “AIRWAY” 7-inch to a noise orchestra AIRWAY.
They performed in summer of 1978 at Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions (LACE).
LACE was located at Downtown LA on Broadway at the moment
and moved to Hollywood later.
They sang and played mandolin, bass, saxophone and drums.
Sounds generated from them were once gathered in an electric circuit that Chip built.

Chip worked as a technician to build super computer at Cal Tech.
The circuit worked as a test tube for alchemical reaction.
Sounds were mixed and acted and reacted each other
prior projection to air through gigantic amplification.
Joe was a conductor for the alchemy.

Sound of AIRWAY was absolutely gigantic.
Walls of a room where AIRWAY performed tended to vibrate during their show.
The room worked as speaker.
Listeners have consequently chosen their listening point not inside
but outside the room.

Why did AIRWAY use such a high volume of sound?
Joe described two concepts of AIRWAY.
First, AIRWAY was an embodiment of his “human synthesizer” concept.
Sounds came from living orgasm (human).
Way of electrical mixing of sounds was based on Joe’s view
for interrelation between sounds from different source.
Sounds were conducted to create common conscious from different conscious.

Second concept was that AIRWAY was a way of “sonic fascism”.
Joe wanted to hypnotize listeners.
The hypnosis was a physiological step for conducting listeners to a common conscious.
Common conscious should exist beyond individual conscious.
Then conscious can be equivalent to sound.

Resulted sounds from these concepts were of course noisy.
And they were simultaneously rather romantic.
Introductory parts of the recording reminded me of vibratory sounds
generated by Terry Riley
around which smoke arising from some hallucinogenic plants was floating.

It was so nice introduction of alchemic chain reaction connecting sound and conscious.
The way in AIRWAY for construction of sound is rather usual at present.
Numerous musicians use sampling and live-remix technology.
But resulted sounds through the “human synthesizer” locate
at still unique position in sound world.

Joe addressed a question “What is sound?”
The straightforward question works even at 28 years after the performance.

Answer to the question should be born through alchemic reaction
in your central nervous system.
Do react and enjoy.


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