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Projects

Tohoku Remix

Tohoku Remix is an astonishing new collaboration of  Paris based international artists DJ Click, Etsuro Ono(Tsugaru shamisen) , Kagura groups in Miyagi prefecture, and Bunta Sato( Tsugaru Fue) in Aomori prefecture. 

The challenge

Create an innovative expression of Tōhoku folk music to make it accessible to new audiences.Japanese music’s character is formed by the diverse climates, culture and life of its various regions. Tōhoku is known for its folk music. In particular for the unique rhythm, melodies and earthy beat of the Tsugaru Shamisen, the pastoral like Akita folk music, and for the Kagura dance dedicated to the Gods.

This project will be the first Franco-Japan musical collaboration to use original folkloric sources from Tōhoku to create an occidental electronic pulse and modern rhythms. It will be an innovative musical encounter, bridging the past and present, folk and contemporary music, France and Japan and reach out to people around the world through live performances and digital streaming.

About Tsugaru-shamisen

Tsugaru-shamisen was originally played by wandering blind artists who performed for their livingat people’s houses.  They are especially associated with the Tsugaru region in Tōhoku. By the middle of the 19th century, Tsugaru-shamisen was used simply to provide background music for folk singers. It later  gradually came to be appreciated as a solo or ensemble instrument. As a solo instrument, the Tsugaru-shamisen requires a very accomplished technique for speedy playing and a refined sense of dynamic rhythm.  If the player is sufficiently creative it can be used, like jazz,  for improvisation. Nowadays, the dynamic, powerful but soulful and sensitive sound of Tsugaru-shamisen fascinates many people in Japan, and it has become popular with the younger generation.

Dj Click : Electro wanderlust

He drives crazy the customs officers. One day, he’s exploring Indian rhythms with tablas players from the fringes of Rajasthan. Next day, he’s hitting the road around Bucharest with gypsy musicians. He can vanish in Essaouira during a Gnawa lila’s night and reappear in Sevilla as part of a fiesta gitana. DJ without borders, Click is a nightmare for “stay at home” supporters. As a restless explorer of cultures and sounds, he keeps meeting incredible people over his halts. Equipped with his turntables and his mobile studio, he digs into tempos, mixes, records, creates and performs unthinkable weddings – such as electrOriental, Gnawa dub, Balkan beat or Tropikal bass. On his own label No Fridge, he has produced over 50 remix and 20 albums (Click Here, Gnawa Njoum Experience, Hamadcha de Fès, RFI Instrumental, Rona Hartner, UHT°).  www.djclick.fr,

Etsuro Ono : The sound of the Tsugaru-Shamisen

He is regarded as one of the most prominent performer of Tsugaru-Shamisen (Traditional three string-banjo) in the world. He is also a composer and arranger which enable Ono to explore new aspects of the unique powerful rhythm and sound. Etsuro was raised in Akita, North East Japan, a region famous for folk music. Later he moved to Tsugaru, just north of Akita, to study with the famed Tsugaru-shamisen master Chisato Yamada.  Following his studies he was a prize-winner at the renowned national Tsugaru-Shamisen 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 “9 STORIES” comprising innovative original pieces together with more traditional offerings.

 

 

 


 Noh Reimagined 2018: Sublime Illusions

Following the highly successful 2016 edition, Noh Reimagined returned with an imaginative theme and line-up. The two-day festival explored the art of Noh, the most iconic theatrical traditions originated in the 14-century Japan.  The festival shed light on the unique dramaturgy of Mugen (‘phantasmal’) Noh, in which the (shite) appears as a ghost in the dream of a travelling monk performed by the supporting actor (waki), telling the tragic story in the former life, expressing the deep regrets and lamentations, asking for repose to the monk. 

Top-level Noh performers from Japan collaborated with the most imaginative British artists including Clod Ensemble, Leon Michener, David Toop and Weibek Leister, defying genre and neuroscientists to explore these surreal artistic elements of Noh, along with its concept over time, space and symbolism, through interdisciplinary performances, workshops and insightful talks.