Small Cruel Party was formed in Japan in 1985 as a project for undertaking experimental work in organized sound. Initial projects focused mainly on work with synthesized sound sources and other uses of conventional instrumentation.
After moving to the Pacific Northwest in 1990 work has become more focused on the inherent mysterious and beautiful qualities of sound itself, with the emphasis on noninstrumental sound sources, the source itself not being readily apparent. Work generally involves manipulation of physical objects in acoustic space and a great deal of concentrated activity. Even in pieces involving dense sound at high volume the resultant effect is one of intense calm. More recent work has incorporated various influences related to studies in Buddhism (zen and Tibetan) but without including or perhaps suggesting any obvious references.
Recorded work and performances have been realized in the United States, Canada, Japan, and Europe, and installations have been presented at the Seattle Art Museum and at the AVE Festival for Experimental Art in Arnhem, Holland. Work also has included collaborations with other musicians (Gamelan Pacifica) as well as with other artists (Dappin´ Butoh; Stillwater Butoh). "A Tangible Bridge," for symphony orchestra and four vocalists, was recently premiered by the Seattle Creative Orchestra.