Modern-day noise music, however, has escaped the preserve of academics and avant-garde thinkers, uniting conservatory-trained and untutored participants from the worlds of punk, jazz, metal, contemporary classical, electronic music, and sound art in an exuberant and egalitarian collision. While noise conjures up the image of a cacophonous maelstrom of sound, contemporary improvisers utilize a much broader tonal palate, often offsetting abrasive textures with environmental sound, field recordings, and even silence. This is especially true in Japan, which has become a global center for the genre. Artists including Haino Keiji, Merzbow, Otomo Yoshihide, and Hijōkaidan rank among the scene’s most respected and influential names—little known at home, but able to command hefty sums for overseas performances before large, reverent audiences. So synonymous, in fact, is the country with this style of music that the term “Japanoise” was coined to provide a convenient catch-all.