The Gem of Folk music culture from Tohoku encounters European Electronics Pulse
The sound of the bamboo flute echoing round the local forests and mountains, the mask dance dedicated to Shinto gods, the passionate beat of the Tsugaru-shamisen roaring in a blizzard. The music of Tohoku, North East Japan, has accompanied the lives of the local people for more than a millennium. For the first time in history the sound of Tohoku now encounters 21-century electronic beats and rhythms.
Tohoku Remix is an imaginative project, powered by an innovative collaboration between Paris based DJ Click and outstanding Tohoku musicians- Tsugaru- shamisen player Etsuro Ono, and the Tsugaru-flute player Bunta Sato as the guest musician. They visited the towns and villages around Tohoku where they encountered traditional kagura (神楽, かぐら, “god-entertainment”) and other folk music groups. They recorded and edited the subtle and unique sounds unique to each village and continued with studio works in Tohoku and Europe.
Tohoku, the North East region of the Japan archipelago, is referred to as a “treasure chest” of folk arts. People from Tohoku celebrate seasonal festivals in honour of divine spirits by dancing and playing music. Tohoku Remix explores these authentic arts combining them with the 21st century electronic pulse and rhythms to bring the energy and essence of these regional arts to the ears and eyes of contemporary audiences. This exciting encounter between the traditional folk and contemporary arts of Japan and Europe is brought to the world through live performances and digital streaming.
Profile of Tohoku Remix artists
DJ Click is an adventurous alchemist who can infuses rural sound with urban and extracts living music from electronic mechanics. He delivers electro & bass culture on another mode, and in another time zone. He has produced numerous CDs in his studio, and numerous remixes like the ones for Manu Chao, Watcha Clan, René Lacaille, Warsaw Village Band, Nicolette, Mahala Raï Banda, Dhoad Gypsies of Rajasthan, Va Fan fahre, Burhan Öçal, La Caravane Passe, High Tone, Issa Bagayogo, Boogie Balagan, Estelle Goldfarb, Dj Dolorès ou Rachid Taha, and more
His No Visa music without borders has paved the way for a truly international league of cultural diversification. He has appeared in main festivals, clubs and international music fairs around the world.
Etsuro Ono: Tsugaru-jamisen (Traditional three string-banjo from Tsugaru)
Etsuro Ono is regarded as one of the most prominent performers of Tsugaru-jamisen (Traditional three string-banjo) in the world. He is also a composer and arranger, which enable him to explore new aspects of the unique powerful rhythm and sound. He was born and raised in Akita, Tohoku (North East Japan), a gem of folklore and folk music. Later he moved to Tsugaru, just north of Akita, to study with the famed Tsugaru-jamisen master Chisato Yamada. Following his studies, he was a prize-winner at the renowned national Tsugaru-jamisen competition in Hirosaki. Ono has also been a core member of the acclaimed folklore theatre company Warabiza which won many critical accolades on their worldwide tours. In June 2014 Ono released his first album “Nine Stories” comprising original pieces together with traditional offerings.
BUNTA SATOH, Tsugaru-bue (Japanese bamboo flute from Tsugaru) master / Composer
The passionate Tsugaru-bue player Bunta Satoh introduces to the world the history and culture of Tsugaru-bue, a Japanese bamboo flute (fue) from the Tsugaru region of Aomori prefecture. Tsugaru-bue is often played in the local festivals and seasonal ceremonies. One in every six people learns to play it in Tsugaru. Mr. Satoh won First Place as the second youngest winner in the history of the Hayashi (festival music) Contest in Japan. In 2011, he organized a challenge for Guinness World Records with Tsugaru-bue players and set a world record of performing together with 3,742 players.
Mr. Satoh lives in Hirosaki, Aomori prefecture, and performs throughout the country and internationally. He plays both traditional Japanese music and world music. He performed at the Festival des Cultures du Monde de Gémenos in France in 2013, was featured in a concert in Singapore with the local taiko/Japanese folk dance group Hibikiya in 2014, and was invited to perform with the MuSE Chorus in New York, USA and at the International Council of Organizations of Folklore Festivals and Folklore Arts in Mexico in 2016.
He also composes for the instrument and organizes workshops to inspire new generation of Tsugaru-bue players. In January 2017 he released his third album, ‘The Wind of Tsugaru’.