Jump to main content

About Mu:Arts

Connecting the new and the traditional

伝統と現代、日本と西洋の文化を繋ぐ

Mu:Arts is an international producer and curator specialising in music and the performing arts.         

Based in London and Tokyo, Mu:Arts delivers imaginative cross-cultural and interdisciplinary projects inspired by cultural elements and aesthetics primarily of Japan.

Founded in 2004 by Akiko Yanagisawa, Mu:Arts has a highly successful track record in curating, producing and coordinating cultural productions and events. In the past 15 years Mu:Arts has brought established and emerging musicians and artists to major festivals and venues in over 40 countries.

The successful projects we have produced include the series of “Noh Reimagined” festivals which explore the art of Noh, the iconic theatrical tradition that originated in fourteenth-century Japan. 

We aim to offer open and creative platform that encourages genre-defying, cross-cultural collaborations, connecting tradition with contemporary life, arts and culture.

In November 2023, Mu Arts Japan was founded to further promote the artistic collaborations and events in Japan and the UK. 

We are enthusiastic to develop and communicate with new audiences offering them inspirational experiences through various events and workshops.

 

Mu:Arts(ムー・アーツ ジャパン)は日本の音楽と舞台芸術の国際的なプロデューサー・キュレーターです。

ロンドンと東京に拠点を置き、日本の文化芸術と美学が文化・分野を超えた時に生まれる創造的な国際プロジェクトをプロデュースし欧州と日本で展開しています。Mu Arts Japanのプロジェクトは文化や社会の様々な分断に挑戦しながら常に芸術上のチャレンジを続け、日本で何世紀にもわたり受け継がれた伝統芸術の真髄と価値観を、現代に生きる海外のアーティストに伝えます。イベントやワークショップを通じ、新しい聴衆との出会いと関係を築き、感動のある体験を提供することに情熱を傾けています。

2016年から継続している能リ・イマジンド(Noh Reimagined)では、14世紀に日本で生まれた象徴的な芸術「能」を国際的なプラットフォームで、一流の能楽師による協力のもと、様々な分野のアーティストとの革新的なコラボレーションを促進しています。これらのコラボレーションを通じて制作された多くの作品は、Noh Reimaginedフェスティバルで世界初演されています。詳しくは能リ・イマジンド特設サイトをご覧ください。

 


Past projects and events produced and managed by Mu:Arts

2019

October:  French baroque meets Noh. A R&D session with Noh performers and Lyon based baroque orchestra Le Concert de l’Hostel Dieu

June- August:  “THE鍵KEY” UK premier. A series of events and performances of a sight specific opera, as part of Tête à Tête Opera Festival and London Festival of Architecture.

Mu: Arts involved as the executive producer to lead the project to a great success.

3 June: Kimura Shunsuke x Kit Downes Yokobue and Jazz Piano Performance, at Japan House London

details on the Japan House website

2018

29- 30 June: Noh Reimagined 2018– The sublime Illusion: Two days festival encountering the best of Noh tradition and collaborations with British artists, at Kings Place London. details on the Noh Reimagined website

3 -4 July: Noh Reimagined participating The Clásicos en Alcalá Festival at Teatro Salón Cervantes.

2017

5-8 July: Kentaro Kobayashi (comedian/actor) “Mr Potsunen’s Peculiar Slice of Life “at Print Room the Colonet.

2016

30th May- 5th June: “Tohoku Remix” R&D tour with a French DJ, Etsuro Ono (Tsugaru- shamisen), Bunta Sato(tsugaru-fue), Kagura groups in Miyagi pref. and Tsugaru-hayahsi group. (Supported by Kigyo Mécénat Kyogikai (Association for Corporate Support of the Arts), Regional Culture Award Tax Accountant’s Fund) 

16 May: Noh performances and lecture at Instituto Giappone di Cultura, Rome.(Supported by Japan Foundation.)

13-14 May: “Noh Reimagined 2016– the contemporary art of classical Japanese theatre” at Kings Place featuring Noh performers including Yoshimasa Kanze(shite), Yukihiro Isso (nohkan), and British artists including Evan Parker(sax) and David Toop.  (Supported by Arts Council England, Japan Foundation, Arts Council Tokyo, Sound and Music, Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation (GBSF), Anglo-Japan Daiwa Foundation, and Sponsorship from Yakult UK.)

details on the Noh Reimgined website

4 Feb: Yukihiro Isso with Roger Turner & Takinojo Mochizuki & John Edwards concert at Cafe OTO.

5-6 Feb: Workshop with Noh musicians for British composers in collaboration with Sound and Music. (Secured funding from GBSF and Sound and Music.)

2015

3-4 Feb: Kentaro Kobayashi (actor)UK premier “Mr Potsunen’s Peculiar Slice of Life “ at Leicester Square Theatre (Secured funding from GBSF.).

31 May-1 June: -Shibusa Shirazu Orchestra – Torino Jazz Festival 

2014

30 Oct~7 Nov: Aki& Kuniko Swiss Tour in collaboration with Culturescapes Festival, official programme of Swiss-Japan 2014 (Supported by Japan Foundation.)

Schedule:

30 Oct Bird’s Eye Club (Basel)/1 Nov Im Rathaus um 4 (Thun)/4 Nov Teatro Sociale (Bellinzona)/6 Nov Kulturpunkt (Flawil)/ 7 Nov ADEM (Genève).

6-7 Feb: Shunsuke Kimura & Etsuro Ono concerts at Musée d’ethnographie, as part of the official opening of Swiss-Japan 2014.

2013

15 Sept: “Letter to Theo, Encounter Van Gogh” by Shunsuke Kimura & Etsuro Ono in collaboration with a French actor, as part of the Festival Il de France (Supported by La Fondation Franco-Japonaise Sasakawa). 

22-23 July: “Japan Music Festival 2nd Edition” at Auditorium Parco della Musica, Rome, featuring Shibusa Shirazu Orchestra, and Aki & Kuniko. (Supported by JT.)

8 -28 May: Shunsuke Kimura & Etsuro Ono tour/ Germany, Belgium, Holland and Morocco in collaboration with Alba Kulture(Germany) and Festival Mawazane( Morocco).  (Supported by Japan Foundation.)

Schedule: 8 May  Köln/10 May  Detmold /11 May   Brüssel /13 May  Bergkamen /14 May   Hamm, WDR radio recording/ 15 May  Düsseldorf/ 16 May   Wuppertal / 18 May   Leiden/(NL) /19 May  Nijmegen / 21 May  Hagen /22 May  Herne/ 23 May  Remscheid / 24 May   Gelsenkirchen / 25 May  Bonn/ 26 May   Sankt Augustin.

28 May   Festival Mawazine, Morocco Rabat -dedicated to Silk Road theme

31 May: Mieko Miyazaki (koto) Concert with Orchestra of the Swan premiering new piece.

13 April~ 27 April: Alnwick Garden, Sakura Festival (Secured funding from GBSF.)

8-17 March: Shunsuke Kimura & Etsuro Ono performances and workshops at WOMADelaide and WOMAD New Zealand. 

2012

29-30 July: Marewrew and OKI at WOMAD Charlton Park 2012 (Supported by GBSF.)

25 July: London Bon Dancers at Japan Festival 2012 

5-13 July: Shunsuke Kimura & Etsuro Ono Europe tour:

Schedule: 5-6th July:  Forde Traditional and World Music Festival (Norway)/8 July: Zurich (Switzerland) Museum Rietberg/11 July: Rome (Italy) Auditorium Parco della Musica /12 July: Hannover (Germany) Masala World Music Festival / 13 July: Arles (France) Les Suds à Arles (Supported by Japan Foundation).

11- 12 July: “Japanese Music Festival 1st Edition” at Auditorium Parco della Musica, Rome, featuring Shunsuke Kimura & Etsuro Ono, Tsugu-Kaji KOTO ( Supported by JT)

7-8 July: Japanese Music Festival at Museum Rietberg, featuring Flying Zoo: Sizzle Ohtaka (vocal), Miwazo (chindon), Yoshiaki Sato (accordion), and Yuji Tsunemi (oud), Kumiko Suzuki Taiko group.    (Supported by Japan Foundation).

18 May – 15 June: London Bon Dancers at BIG DANCE 2012 as part of Cultural Olympic. (Supported by Big Dance grand through Arts Council England.)

27 May: Bu U, Big Dance Bus on the White Lion Street, Islington 

2011

26-30 October: WOMEX 2011 in Copenhagen, Official Showcase, 

29 July: Shunsuke Kimura & Etsuro Ono WOMAD Charlton Park, UK

27 July: Shunsuke Kimura & Etsuro Ono FMM Festival, Portugal. (Supported by Japan Foundation and GBSF)

18 May: Geoffrey Museum, Japanese home cooking event with Atsuko Ikeda as part of the Japanese House exhibition.

3-5 March “HIBIKI: Resonances from Japan” – Japanese Music Festival at Kings Place featuring Mayumi Miyata(sho), Michiyo Yagi(koto), Evan Parker(sax) and others. (Secured funding from Arts Council England, Japan Foundation and GBSF.)

2 March: “Japanese Music -Tradition Toward the Future”, at Japanese Embassy in London

3~5 Feb: Kumiko Shuto (Satsuma Biwa) Europe Tour as part of Asian Festival in Uhtreht, Antwarp, and Amsterdam.


Partners Mu:Arts worked with:

Festivals in UK: Brighton Festival, Edinburgh Fringe Festival, WOMAD Charlton Park, Little Chili Festival, Bath International Music Festival, City of London Festival, Canterbury Festival, International Aberdeen Youth Festival, Music Port Festival (Whitby,UK), Chelsea Festival (London), Liverpool Biennial, Peterborough Festival, Brighton Children’s Book Festival

Festivals in Europe: Paleo festival/Culturescapes (Switzerland), FMM Festival (Portugal), Imago Dei Festival (Krems, Austria), Osterfestival (Tirol, Austria), Istraetono Jazz Festival /Zagreb World Music Festival (Croatia), WOMEX (Europe) , Forde World Music Festival (Norway), Masala Festival (Germany), Music Meeting( Holland),Warsaw Cross Culture Festival (Poland), Les Suds a Arles/Festival Ile de France ( France), Torino Jazz Festival ( Italy), The Clásicos en Alcalá ( Spain).

Festivals beyond Europe: Istanbul International Music Festival (Turkey), Rain Forest Music Festival (Malaysia), WOMADelaide (Australia), WOMAD New Zealand,  Mazawane Festival (Morocco) The International Folk Performing Arts Festival (Japan), Oct Jazz Festival( China).

Venues in UK: Southbank Centre, Barbican Centre, Kings Place, Cadogan Hall, St Johns Smith Square, Wigrmore Hall, LSO St. Lukes, ICA, Spitz, Ritzy Cinema, Banqueting House, St. James Church, Asia House, Brunei Theatre,Leicester Square Theatre, Japanese Embassy, Japan Foundation ,(Geffrye Museum,  Print Room the Coronet.London), Royal Pavilion Theatre (Llangollen, Wales), Urbis (Manchester), St Cecilia’s Hall (University of Edinburgh), 

Venues in Europe: Auditorium Parco della Musica (Rome),Tropentheare (Amsterdam), Rasa (Utrecht), Chester Beatty Library,Dublin(Ireland), Zuiderpershuis (Antwerp), Maison de la Culture du Japon, Jardin de la Maison-Atelier de Daubigny, Cafe de la Dance (Paris), Auditori Pau Casals (El Vendrell, Spain), Casa Armatei (Brasov, Romania), Museum Reitberg/ Musée d’ethnographie, Neuchâtel, ADEM, Birdseye Jazz Club, Teatro Sociale Bellinzona (Switzerland), Domforum, Teo Otto Theater, Jazzschmiede ( Germany) and others.