Born in Kyoto, 1971, and currently lives and works in Kyoto. She was selected in solo exhibitions: “new garden” at Taka Ishii Gallery, Tokyo in 2003, “untitled puzzle” at Kodama Gallery, Tokyo in 2005, and “FORGETTING RANGE” at Taka Ishii Gallery in 2007. Shee took part in group exhibitions: “6th International Istanbul Biennial” at Istanbul in 1999, “ROPPONGI CROSSING” at Mori Art Museum, Tokyo in 2004, and “Rapt!” at Monash University Museum of Art, Melbourne in 2006.
Benedict Drew is an Artist who works in performance, sound and video. Current projects include a collaboration with artist Emma Hart and the electronic music trio Portable with Rhodri Davies and Louisa Martin. He has travelled widely performing in New York, Tokyo and across the UK and Europe.
Born in Shimane Prefecture, 1982. In 2007, he completed the master course of Tama Art University. He won an Excellence Award at the 8th Japan Media Arts Festival for his GLOBAL BEARING. He took part in group exhibitions: “Re: search” at sendai mediatheque in 2006, “OPEN SPACE 2007” at NTT InterCommunication Center [ICC], Tokyo in 2007 and “transmediale.08” in Germany in January this year. His other works include those commissioned by corporations.
Born in Tokyo 1963. He studied Japanese traditional ‘Gagaku’ music under his masters Mayumi Miyata, Hideaki Bunno and Sukeyasu Shiba. He has been playing Sho, small bamboo organ, not only in Gagaku music but also in contemporary and experimental music. He has participated in many international music festivals; ‘Maerzmusik’ in Berlin 2006, Opera ‘Murmullos del Paramo’ composed by Julio Estrada in Madrid, Stuttgart, Mexico and Venice 2006, Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival in 2007, and Japan/Culture + Hyper Culture in Washington D.C. 2008.
Born in 1959, and currently lives in the city of Yamaguchi. At the beginning of the 1990s, he was creating his original music and scarcely involved in the music scene in Japan. Since 1993, he started to perform with Motoharu Yoshizawa, and his presence came to be widely known. After performing with Kim DaeHwan and Otomo Yoshihide, he played an active part as a member of Korea’s CHOI SONG BAE Trio in 1996. In 1997, he released “VUOY”as “Omoide Hatoba,” and afterwards, he has collaborated with many musicians: participated in Kazuhisa Uchihashi’s “Phantasmagoria,” HACO’s “Happiness Proof,” and Makoto Kawabata’s “Acid Mothers Temple.” In 1998, he organized “I.S.O.” with Otomo Yoshihide and Sachiko Matsubara. He is currently working at home and abroad focusing on “DORAVIDEO,” an image control system with drums. In 2005, he won an honorary mention in the Digital Music division of ARS Electronica. He was invited to Venice Biennale in 2007, and Zaragoza World Expo, Spain in 2008.
Born in 1969. He is an American musician and producer. Known for his idiosyncratic tastes, and regarded as something of an expert on modern experimental music, he has released albums of jazz, electronica, noise and guitar rock music. O’Rourke has collaborated with the likes of Derek Bailey, Stereolab, Loren Mazzacane Connors, Fennesz, Henry Kaiser, Flying Saucer Attack, and most recently produced Beth Orton’s new album Comfort of Strangers. He has produced albums by artists as varied as John Fahey, Smog, Faust and Tony Conrad. He mixed Wilco’s very successful Yankee Hotel Foxtrot album, which made many reviewers’ top ten lists for 2002, and produced their 2004 album, A Ghost is Born, for which he won a Grammy for “Best Alternative Album”. During the recording of Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, O’Rourke collaborated with Wilco member Jeff Tweedy and pre-Wilco Glenn Kotche, a veteran of the Chicago scene and O’Rourke’s own solo albums. O’Rourke has released a large number of albums and was once a member of Gastr Del Sol with songwriter David Grubbs and The Red Crayola. From 2000 he played bass guitar and guitar with New York City band Sonic Youth; he quit as a full member in 2005 to pursue his interest in filmmaking, but continues to play with them in their side projects.
Born in 1968. After she made her debut as a vocalist in 1991, she released many works in and outside Japan. She released the best album in the United States in 1998 and 99. She became a member of ONJO, Otomo Yoshihide’s orchestra, and took part in its tour in Europe. She released DVD “kochab” in 2006, and album “NUNKI” that she jointly produced with Otomo Yoshihide, Jim O’Rourke and Yann Tomita. Her other activities include working as FM radio personality and writing serial columns and movie reviews.
Sachiko M has been active as a sampler player since 1994. In 1998, in a drastic departure from those approaches, she originated the revolutionary method she uses to this day–manipulating the sampler’s internal test tones. With the 2000 release of Sine Wave Solo, her extreme solo recording consisting entirely of sine waves, Sachiko M suddenly became the focus of intense interest on the international scene. Sachiko M was awarded the Ars Electronica 2003 Golden Nica prize in the digital music category.
latest solo CD “salon de sachiko” [hitorri-111], sound installation “I’m Here”
Born in Cologne, 1964. Trumpet, electronics, composition.Studied piano and trumpet (with Malte Burba) at the Musikhochschule, Cologne. Moved to Berlin in 1994. He has worked together with numerous internationally respected figures in the fields of “Improvised Music”, “Composed Contemporary Music”, “Jazz” and “Electronic Music”. He has developed a unique style of trumpet playing based in part on unusual, often self-invented techniques. He has toured in Europe, North and South America, Australia, Japan and Asia (Hongkong) and appeared on numerous CD and record releases.
Born in Bad Ischl, Austria in 1971. He studied classical percussion at University of Art and Performing Arts in Vienna. He played drums in many groups such as “Radian,” “Trapist,” “Kapital Band 1,” “Mapstation,” “Polwechsel” and “Autistic Daughters.” He also performed collaborations with artists such as John Butcher, Tony Buck, Christian Fennesz, Andrea Neumann, Toshimaru Nakamura, John Tilbury and David Sylvian.
installation 2: orchestras
Born in 1968. Artist. He has presented different kinds of works including performance, installation, video and even craft methods since the beginning of the 1990s. He played an active part in international exhibitions such as Venice Biennale 2003, Busan Biennale 2004 and Yokohama Triennial 2005. He also collaborated many times for stage, and directed some works as well. Currently he teaches at Kyoto University of Art and Design as a visiting professor.
installation 3: without records
Born in Hokkaido, and currently lives in Sendai, Miyagi Prefecture. While making artworks in Sendai, he is involved in music such as giving live performances and DJ. He was in charge of an installation when collaborating with Otomo Yoshihide in “we insist?” project that was held in Sendai in 1995. Later he participated in “MUSIC MERGE FESTIVAL ’97″ with Otomo as their unit “DJ TRANQUILIZER.” He also performed a long-hour live session inviting Masami Akita (MERZBOW) and others as guests. In 2007, he was responsible for visual composition of Otomo’s exhibition “without records” held at sendai mediatheque. Currently he runs record shop “STORE15NOV” in Sendai.
installation 4: filaments
(Otomo Yoshihide + Sachiko M)
Filament was formed in 1997. This unit was a product of the endless and thorough analyses and examinations of listening and pronunciation as a testing ground of post-electronics music. With Sachiko M’s original composition method as a core, it brings about sound experience that is totally different from music made by conventional “composition” or “improvisation,” going beyond the auditory limits ranging from faint to roaring sound. So far, it performed in more than ten countries in the world and often stirred argument.
Born in 1964. Since her school days, she has worked singing to her own piano accompaniment in a bar, nightclub, and hotel lounge. At the end of 1998, she released her first album “mariko.” After repressed, it became a longtime hit on the free-listening menu at foreign-affiliated CD shops in Tokyo.In 2002, “Beyond” was founded as her management office and label. “Jun-ai,” her CD single, was released in June, and her second album “Anata-e” in October. She has started live concerts at a pace of several times a year. In December 2003, two pieces of her music were used in “Vibrator,” a movie starring Shinobu Terashima and directed by Ryuichi Hiroki, which became the topic of a conversation.In November 2006, she released “Yoru mo Hiru mo,” a studio recording for the first time in four years.She was in charge of music (theme music: Andante, and insertion music: Kaze no oto) in “Un-Nan?” a movie set in Shimane Prefecture, her hometown, directed by Yoshinari Nishikori. (movie release: May 2008) In 2008, to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the sale of her first album, she performed seven public performances across the country on “mariko plays [mariko] tour.”
Born in Hyogo prefecture, 1958. Guitar, vocals. In the second half of the ’80s, Yamamoto played guitar in Boredoms and formed the groups “Omoide Hatoba” and “Rashimban”. Since then he has been involved in a large number of projects and bands. From solo performances to collaborations with musicians from Japan and other countries, to film music, all the way to design, illustration, and writing, Yamamoto’s activities are truly diverse.
Born in Yamaguchi Prefecture in 1987. She started improvising on the glockenspiel and electronics around 2004. Also about the same time, she performed together with various musicians and artists. In 2007, she participated in “RISKA,” HACO’s solo album, as a guest musician. Around 2006, she began programming MAX/MSP, Jitter, and performed real-time live processing on the glockenspiel. Around 2007, she started producing moving images independently, and developed performances in varied forms using sensors, etc. Recently, she participated in Venice Biennale with her programming of MAX/MSP, Jitter.
DJ-Tranquilizer was formed by artist Yasutomo Aoyama and musician Otomo Yoshihide in 1996. The group performed minimal music, which was close to noise, and it was quite exceptional at that time. They gave a 5-hour continuous live show at La.mama in Shibuya, performed during the intermission between shows at Music Merge Festival, and played with the group “Omoide Hatoba.” For Otomo, the DJ-Tranquilizer laid the groundwork for his next group I.S.O., and the DJ ceased its activities in 1998 without much public recognition. This time, the group performs for the first time in ten years.
Photo: Koh Okabe
ONJO (Otomo Yoshihide New Jazz Orchestra)
This jazz orchestra is one of Otomo’s main projects that has developed from ONJQ (Otomo Yoshihide New Jazz Quintet), which he formed in 1999 in order to pursue jazz music, one of his roots. At present, it is a large group with 11 people +α in all, and it has been boldly challenging a new approach to the manners of free jazz, trying improvisations after the “onkyo” movement, and innovatively fuse them with elements of “song.” In 2005, ONJO released two albums, “ONJO” featuring Kahimi Karie and Mariko Hamada as vocalists, and “Out To Lunch” that covers all pieces in Eric Dolphy’s fine album. Later, the group toured different parts in the world with various guest members. The tour is recorded in “LIVE Vol.1 series circuit” and “Vol.2 parallel circuit,” a set of two live albums released in summer 2007. The group is now on the second stage in pursuit of possibilities of a new band ensemble.
photo : Yoshiyuki Suzuki
- Masahiko Okura
Alto saxophone and bass clarinet player. Born in 1966. Currently lives in Tokyo. He started to perform in public after participating in “Dub Sonic Warrior” in 1994. From the early stage of his activities, he tried to improvise with various players. In 1997, he organized his band “Gnu” as a leader. His musical-liking has changed from an ad-lib-oriented style at the early stage to a style with more emphasis on composition and ensemble. So far he has released four albums. Since 2006, he has mapped out “Chamber Music Concert” series with Taku Sugimoto and Taku Unami to present their composed works.
- Taisei Aoki
In the 1990s, Taisei Aoki participated in “Orquesta de La Luz” (Japanese salsa band) as a trombone player. He has performed many times overseas. He currently works in diverse domains of activity from horn section to improvisation as a wizard of composition, arrangement, trombone, keyboards, and electric bass (in Tropical Jazz Big Band, Vincent Atmicus, DCPRG, etc.). In June 2004, he released his solo album “primero” from East Works Entertainment. In June 2008, he started up his new project “Brassticks.”
- Taku Unami
Born in Tokyo in 1976. Since the second half of the 1990s, he has focused on improvisation using string instruments such as guitar and material vibration. His major projects include a laptop noise unit “Shirei no Computer” with Mattin, pop music band “HOSE” with Toshihiro Koike and Masafumi Ezaki, and “Kaeru-moku” with Hiromichi Hosoma. His co-performers include Radu Malfatti, Jean-Luc Guionnet, Rhodri Davies, and Kanji Nakao. From 2006, he has presented monthly project “Chamber Music Concert” with Taku Sugimoto and Masahiko Okura, and he came to focus more on composition. He also runs CD label “hibari music.” His film music includes “Lost★My Way” by Takeshi Furusawa and “In 10,000 years” by Isao Okishima.
- Kumiko Takara
After graduating from the Department of Instrumental Music, Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music, Kumiko Takara started to perform in chamber music, wind-instrument music, orchestra, musical, and studio work. She took part in recording and tour of musicians in different genres, such as Akira Sakata, Hoppy Kamiyama, Taeko Ohnuki, UA and Jadranka. She also performed at music festivals at home and abroad as a member of a band such as “Warehouse” and “Bondage Fruit.”In addition, she has the experience of participating in making film music of Otomo Yoshihide as well as composing music for theatrical performances by Yukio Ninagawa and Bungaku-za.
- Hiroaki Mizutani
Hiroaki Mizutani started his music performances around the age of twenty. He studied acoustic bass under Hiroshi Yoshino. He plays the electric bass and acoustic bass in his original style, and he has a reputation for his broad musical taste and performance. He released “Low Blow / Mr. Cafe” (1997), “phonolite / while i’m sleeping” (2003), and “phonolite trio and ensemble / My Heart Belongs to Daddy” (2006) as his leading works. Currently he is working actively for his own group “phonolite” (anomalous jazz orchestra of 12 musicians), and as a regular member of different bands, composer, arranger, and producer.
- Yasuhiro Yoshigaki
Yasuhiro Yoshigaki started his career in jazz in Kansai district. After participating in “Shibusa Shirazu,” he moved to Tokyo. He co-performed with various musicians, such as Takeshi Shibuya, Yosuke Yamashita, Akira Sakata, Fumio Itabashi, Kazutoki Umezu, Hiroaki Katayama, Naruyoshi Kikuchi, Hoppy Kamiyama, Yusuke Oya, Jadranka, Shun Sakai, Kahimi Karie, UA, Ren Takada, John Zorn and Bill Laswell. Besides giving live performances with “ROVO,” “Minami Hiroshi Go There,” “Altered States” and his band “Vincent Atmicus” and “Orquesta Nudge! Nudge!”, he works for theater and film music. He has participated in many festivals in Europe and America. His overseas reputation as an improvising musician is high.
- Yoshiaki Kondoh
As a first grader of an elementary school in 1963, his grade in music was “2″ (5 is the highest). When he listened to Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin in 1971, he thought engineers were part of the bands. He believes that he can participate in music as he is an engineer, and has continued to work on. He is a representative of GOK SOUND (recording studio and stage acoustics).
Born in 1961. Director of drama. After working on acoustics for “Jokyo Gekijo (Situation Theater),” a leading group in the underground theater, he formed “Tokyo Grand Guignol” in 1984, which attracted maniac fans. In 1987, he organized “M.M.M.” and presented “SKIN” series with a motif of blending mechanical equipment and the body, which has established cyberpunk expression on the stage. While gradually switching over to contemporary art after 1990, he still stuck to his way of dealing with the body and presented “Dutch Life” series taking up themes such as blood transfusion, artificial insemination, infectious disease, species improvement, chemical food, and sexual discrimination. In 1995, he exhibited his work “Public Semen” in Venice Biennale, but he stopped making works after that. In the same year, he opened “Dobutsu-do (Animal Shop),” in which he traded living beings. In 2005, he resumed his art activities at “ba ng nt” exhibition (music by Otomo Yoshihide). In 2007, he directed the theatrical play “Tenkosei (new student)” by Oriza Hirata, and his full-fledged activities of expression were expected. He also took part in recording the sound track of “Yuheisha (confined prisoner)” by Otomo Yoshihide as well as his live performance.
photo: Yoshiro Kaneko
“Oto-asobi-no-kai” was formed in September 2005 by musicians who are expert at improvising, people who are intellectually challenged, and music therapists. Using Kobe University Music Building as their base of activities, they practice improvisations. They have conducted stage performances and open workshops eleven times, including “Oto no Shiro” and “Oto no Umi.” “Oto-asobi-no-kai” has been drawing attention from all quarters as a group that is questioning the essence of music and the form of theater/stage. For instance, they improvised at the same time in different places in an old European-style building, or they set up several stages in the hall and presented ensembles playing twenty-seven programs as in a festival. They also released CD “Oto no Shiro, Oto no Umi” based on their live recording of a concert.
photo: Ai Nakagawa
“rewall” was formed in Kyoto in 2000. It started as a performance project, re-considering public spaces of a city by projecting videos onto building walls and tree-lined streets. Focusing on boundaries and balance/imbalance found in everyday life, rewall, a group of artists, produces artworks through deconstruction and construction and processes in-between. They use images and sound as major elements for their expression. rewall’s past work includes “Meeting in the Forest” (2007), a DVD product with incense made in collaboration with “lisn,” an incense shop in Kyoto. The members of rewall are Shingo Yamasaki, Fumitaka Kato, Masashi Nakagawa, Atsushi Hasegawa, Shunsuke Kato, Chihiro Banno, and Junpei Kono.
Choi Joonyong started making noise with Hong Chulki as Astronoise from 1996. He plays electronic instruments such as opened cdplayers, reel tape player and speakers. He is participating in harsh noise band called Master Musik as well as playing solo, and made 3 solo albums with error sounds from cdplayers, He is running a record label called Balloon & Needle introducing experimental music from Korea.
Since 1996, Hong Chulki from Seoul, Korea has been the founder and the member of the first Korean noise music group Astronoise (with Choi Joonyong). As a noise improviser, he has been playing mainly with feedback, amplifying the audio signal that passes through the audio devices, such as turntable, MD player, and laptop computer, and etc. In 2007, he has released two turntable solo discs, “Surface & Feedback”and “Without Cartridge/With Cartridge.”He has also been active as an experimental film music composer.
Born in 1975 in Seoul. He was started music with electronica project, ‘popmusic25′ in 1999 and had several live concerts. When he met improvised music since 2004, He changed a musical direction. He developed his instrument with AM Radio, Laptop and hard disk drive and concentrate improvised music and related sound works. Jin Sangtae is regularly participated in ‘RELAY’ the media improvised concert, and Bulgasari concert series. In 2008 He made ‘DOTOLIM’ – a name of small space and first venue in korea for electro-acoustic music. He has organize ‘DOTOLIM concert series’ every second month.
FEN（Far East Network）
FEN is a totally new project by Otomo Yoshihide. Musicians of the similar kind who live in big cities in East Asia such as Tokyo, Beijing, Singapore, and Seoul have had few opportunities to come together so far. These several years in the Internet age, however, they have got to know each other for the first time and now they realize that they are able to play together, though there is not always a place where they can meet together. “MIMI Festival,” an experimental music festival held annually in Marseille has provided them with an unexpected opportunity. In July this year, they will perform there after spending several days for rehearsals in Marseille. They themselves have no idea about what will be produced. What FEN aims to do is not to produce such and such music but what such a network can produce. Then you will see, with the start of this project, how musicians who have seldom met together living in different cities will develop their network, what they will produce, and what you will find out through their performance of the day staged for the first time in Japan.
- Yuen Chee Wai
Yuen Chee Wai’s work explores how image, sound and text can occur spontaneously as symbiotic mental productions. Informed by philosophical interests, his explorations with noise is process-oriented as much as it sculpts both personal and public experiential terrains. Known for his drone/ambient/field recording approaches and live performances, the photographic elements in his installations reflect also on the theme of sound and silence as a visual lens. In encountering a surrounding soundscape, its objects and architecture, imprints of images recur on the mind’s eye, almost as if in stasis. Visual/verbal patterns or perimeters, their time sequences and frequencies become collapsible around memory, even the very attempt to recall a lost, unnamed, undeterminable subject. This thematic of speech and silence is often communicated through the conceptual structure and time-based orientation of his performances, where sound as medium offers up a shifting vacancy, a fleeting space of invisibility in which images, along with resistive moments of distortion and clarity, dense signals and thinning messages clash and collide – then quieten down, decayed and are gone.
- Ryu Hankil
Born in 1975 in Seoul, South Korea. He was a keyboard player in two famous Korean indie pop groups, but eventually left the groups because he was tired of typical music making and sounds. At that time, he saw a concert by Otomo Yoshihide, Sachiko M, Axel Dörner, and Taku Unami in Seoul. He changed his musical instrument and concentrated more and more on improvised music and sound related works. Hankil has organised a monthly concert series called RELAY since 2005. He established his own publishing office called Manual, and releases improvised music and magazines.
- Yan Jun
Yan Jun, Beijing based sound artist and poet. as well as a music critic and organizer. Yan’s live performance engages space feedback, loop and voice/language to make hypnotic noise. He also use concepts of recycling, feedback and reduction to creates sound art work, which related to field recording, installation, image, video, publishing and multiple forms. He had performed and participated exhibitions internationally.