Category Archives: Music

Ludovic B.A & Yoko Takeda Tour Schedule in Kansai

live
Thanks to violinist Yoko Takeda for sending along her tour schedule with French singer-songwriter Ludovic B. A. Yoko writes: “These three will be interesting places to taste the marriage of Japanese and European cultures, Nihonshu bar, winery-restaurant, and an ancient cinema.
You can view a video of a performance by Ludovic & Yoko here.
The details of the upcoming shows are posted below. Any queries should be sent directly to Yoko Takeda at yokowv[at]hotmail.com

FRI – Dec. 09 : @ Izakaya Mahoroba, Mototanaka-Kyoto open at 18:00/ 1st live : “Ludovic B.A & Yoko Takeda” from 19:30/pause/2nd live : “Karikirin” no charge (thanks for supporting musicians !) Info/reservations : yokowv[at]hotmail.com Karikirin : Local duo of Yoko Shimomura (Vo.) and Azumi Miyata (Cb./Vo.). “Kirin”,collection of school children’s poems published 60 years ago.

SAT – Dec. 10 : Dinner-concert @ Winery and French Restaurant “Du Tamba” http://www.tambawine.co.jp/ Concert 16:00~, wine-tasting 17:00~, dinner 17h15~ Charge : ¥5000 Info/reservations : 0771-82-2003

SUN – Dec 11 : @ Toyooka Gekijo,Toyooka-Hyôgo http://toyogeki.jp/ Open at 16:00/ 1st live : 《letras.》 16h30~/pause/2nd live : Ludovic B.A & Yoko Takeda Charge (1 drink included) : ¥2500 resa, ¥3000 at door, ¥1500 student 《letras.》:Yuki Nakajima(Vo,Pf), Yasuyuki Hoshiba(Gt,Fl,concertina). This local duo will give the opening live with their various repertory of bossanova, pop and classical music. www.facebook.com/letras.toyooka
Info/reservations : info[at]toyogeki.jp / 0796-34-6256 / yokowv[at]hotmail.com

Ensō Watt‎ Perform Clonologic Horizone® at Urbanguild Tomorrow!

Our favorite experimental multi-media performance group will be blowing minds again at Kyoto’s Urbanguild tomorrow night. Don’t miss this if you are free and in town.

clonologic

Date: 5 November 2016
Time: 19:30–1:00
Venue: UrBANGUILD Kyoto
http://www.urbanguild.net/
map : https://goo.gl/maps/wHTfPYvzDEN2
door 2800 yen
adv 2000 yen
student 1500 yen
+1 drink

ensō watt (http://ensowatt.org/)
is
{electronics, spatialization}
Samuel André ( aka ieva ) http://ieva.free.fr/e

{scenario, poetry }
Chris Mosdell http://chrismosdell.com/

{composer, conductor, percussionist}
Yannick Paget http://www.yannickpaget.com/

{piano }
江南泰佐 Taisuke Enami http://otodamaradio.blog16.fc2.com/

{accordeon synth}
ryotaro http://www.ryotaro.info/

{contrabass}
岡田康孝 Okada Yasutaka  

{trumpet}
Christopher Fryman

{live video mapping}
Andy Couzens & Masato Tokumaru

{translation}
吉村哲幸
noriyuki yoshimura

Clarinet Recital by István Kohán at Baroque Saal, Kyoto; November 5th 2016

Up-and-coming Hungarian clarinetist István Kohán will play a concert of classical music with Chika Murata on piano at Baroque Saal, Kyoto on November 5th 2016. The musicians will play a selection from Prokofiev, Poulenc, Brahms, and Tchaikovsky as well as István Kohán’s own original compositions.

classical-concertHere are the details:

Date: November 5th 2016
Doors Open: 16.30
Show Starts: 17:00
Advanced tickets Fee: 3,500 yen for adults and 2,500 yen for students
Tickets sold on the day will cost an added 500 yen
You can buy advanced tickets from Ticket Pia or call Aoyama Music Memorial Hall on 075-393-0011

Location:
Aoyama Music Memorial Hall – Baroque Saal is 5 minutes walk from Kami-Katsura Station on the Hankyu Arashiyama Line.
Address: 9-1 Matsuodairichō, Nishikyō-ku, Kyōto-shi, Kyōto-fu 615-8282
Map

Now as it happens, this poor chap is coming all the way from Tokyo for this show, but due to some promotional mishaps has been unable to sell many tickets. Even if you don’t plan to attend this concert yourself, why not help him out by passing the information on to someone else who might? Here are the details in Japanese in case you want to pass this on to Japanese friends:

11月5日(土京都バロックザールでリサイタルがあります。クラリネットの名曲から私の作曲・編曲作品、絶対にお楽しみいただけると思います。関西地区の方是非お越しください。
2016/11/5(土)
17:00 開演 ( 16:30 開場 )
会場:青山音楽記念館(バロックザール) (京都府)
全売一般:3,500円
全売学生:2,500円
シューマン(幻想小曲集)/他 [共演]村田千佳(p)
公演などに関するお問い合わせ先: 淡海:03-6902-2678
チケットは: http://bit.ly/2cYfwIb

Kyoto Soundscapes Vol. 1: The Kyoto Connection – Free Album Download

A message from Facundo Arena…

In August, 2016 Roberto Gluck wandered through the streets of Kyoto recording urban sounds with his smartphone. On the other side of the world in Argentina, Facundo Arena has used those sounds to create a unique musical soundscape.

kyoto-soundscapes-vol1

The result is an album of ambient music, made with urban sounds of Kyoto city which is free to download here: http://www.cultofd50.org/kyotosoundscapes/

Vent & Eau – A Concert by Yannick Paget

Yannick Paget will conduct an original concert “Voice of 風水” for La Nuit Blanche at Kyoto Art Center on October 1st from 16.00 – 17.30.

yannick-paget

Here’s Yannick with some background to the piece:

“It was an exciting challenge to start the new KAC’s cycle “listening to the voice of Feng shui”, especially in a town like Kyoto that had a minister of Feng Sui for so many years and that incarnate the rules of Feng Sui. I tried in my piece “Vent et Eau” to catch the spirit of this science. Feng shui regulates our environment to produce balance and harmony; it allies poetry and science, spirituality and rationality, using many different tools.

I didn’t explore in this piece all of them but I choose to highlight the feng shui compass Which organize elements, direction and seasons and the magic square that forms the foundation of many feng shui tools and calculations.

The 5th elements:
“Vent et eau” is the French translation of the kanjis風and 水, the two main element of the feng shui. They appear first in this piece introduction because the wind and the water disperse and stop all energies on earth. Then, I worked with the 5th elements as such dissimilar musical substances that have to find a unity and an harmony.
Each element is associated to a group of instruments and succeeds in the cycle of birth order, each one giving birth and nourishing the following one: Earth (strings), Metal (brass), Water (harp, piano), Wood (clarinet, flute), Fire (percussions)
The final evokes, the « shi » or the « ki », with fusion and harmony

Direction:
To associate each element to a direction, all instruments are spatialized;
Earth (strings): CENTER, Metal (brass): WEST, Water (harp, piano): NORTH Wood (clarinet, flute): EST, Fire (percussions): SOUTH

Seasons
Seasons are interposed as a link connecting each element.
That way, ruff non-human & mineral material also alternates with human life and the rhythms of seasons. The singers, to express the season and this human life sing text extract from the timelessness haikus from Basho.

The magic square in which all numbers add to 15 in all directions
I used It for the rhythms with cycle of 15 bits and combination like 7 /5 /3: (3/2/2) (3/2) (3).
I worked with Modes of limited transposition compiled by the French composer Olivier Messiaen. They are musical modes or scales that fulfill specific criteria relating to their symmetry and the repetition of their interval groups.
In the final, I choose the Mode of limited transposition number 3. It includes 9 notes each of them being assigned to a number. Then I could generate chords of 3 notes using the magic square.”

– Yannick Paget September 2016

For more information please visit the Kyoto Art Center website at http://www.kac.or.jp/events/19346/.

Arabesk Return to Kyoto

IMG_9923

“One of the most rewarding aspects of living in a multicultural society like Australia is the remarkable diversity of music heard – African, European, Arabic, Asian, Latin. Sydney-based quartet Arabesk take these disparate international sounds, spice them with their musical experience and mould them into their own unique style. Theirs is a journey of constant discovery that defies genres. The label Gypsy Jazz is only a hint at the musical language this powerhouse of innovation speaks. Having won local awards, they play extensively throughout Australia at festivals and venues large and small.”

The brilliant Australian Gypsy Jazz band Arabesk will be playing with singer Akou at Modern Times, Kyoto on August 16th. Catch them if you can!

Details:
open 17:30 / start 18:00
*18:00 – 19:50 Live and Jam Session
*20:00 – 20:50 Okuribi Bonfire – Free Time
*:21:00 – 23:00 Live and Jam Session
charge 2500yen (+1Drink)

Location: Modern Times is in the basement of the Empire Building on the east side of Kiyamachi a short walk south of Oike. Here is a map.

Here’s a clip of them playing last year at Kyoto’s famous Blue Note venue.

Pictures from Enso Watt & Instant Eternity!

2016-01-24 21.47.59

Enso Watt performed Sanka’s 5th Season Ritual at Urbanguild on Sunday night and as always it was a fantastic show. If you are not familiar with what they do, it is a choreographed multi-media extravaganza, of experimental music, pre-recorded soundscapes, live video, art, poetry, heaps of talent, color, and a whole lot of enthusiasm. All of it conducted by classical composer/conductor Yannick Paget, and inspired by the poetry of Chris Mosdell. Sometimes when they are all playing and the lyrics are bubbling from Chris Mosdell’s mouth, I feel like they are just happily playing, that I don’t need to take it so seriously, just go along for the ride. But by the time we got to the 3rd act on Sunday night, I was thoroughly sucked in by the poet’s words, swept up by the music, and Yannick’s pounding drums… enthralled, enthused, moved and inspired.

2016-01-24 21.48.28
“We are elementary,” said the poet, “awakening from a phantasmagorical sleep… We have lived everywhere…”

2016-01-24 20.55.47
Words and music, light and sound were bringing us back to our first beginnings, and to our essential unity: “We have learnt to dissolve in all directions, to transfer identities.”

2016-01-24 20.55.55
“We are an ancient race with an essential innocence, with virginity in our veins–”

2016-01-24 21.48.08

Imagine that; a creed underlying culture that celebrated our essential innocence, rather than the dead weight of original sin.

2016-01-24 22.29.54
I was intoxicated by the energy of this performance. My mind was taking the poet’s lyrics and spinning new mythologies, new litanies of healing, multiplying through “dimensions, strata, levels, layers…”  I imagined the Sanka Rites poured into the common consciousness, overwhelming  terror and trauma, washing away tired philosophies of division and denial! How splendid to be “charged with renegade magic”, to celebrate and build rather than fight and destroy!

2016-01-24 22.32.34

Thoughts like these went through my mind at Sanka’s 5th Ritual.

Many thanks to all the participants in Sunday night’s show. There really is nothing else like the raw mix of talent and adventurous spirit that makes up the Enso Watt collective.

2016-01-24 23.11.34
But will they play again, I wonder? After Eternity, what next?

ensō watt are
{soundscape, spatialization}
Samuel André (aka ieva)

{composer, conductor, percussionist}
Yannick Paget

{poetry}
Chris Mosdell

{piano }
江南泰佐 Taisuke Enami

{accordeon synth}
ryotaro

{contrabass}
岡田康孝 Okada Yasutaka

{guest : trumpet}
Christopher Fryman

{live video mapping}
Andy Couzens & Masato Tokumaru

{drawing}
Hirisha Metha

{translation}
吉村哲幸
noriyuki yoshimura

See also: Images from Sanka’s Winter Ritual

Ensō Watt Return to UrbanGuild for Sanka’s Fifth Ritual!

Oh boy! They are back! This is going to be great!

enso

From Marguerite Paget:

Dear Friends
Ensō Watt is coming back for the Sanka’s Fifth season Ritual !
After completing the “seasonal cycle” (the rites of summer, autumn, winter and spring), honoring the 100th anniversary of Igor Stravinsky’s revolutionary Rite of Spring, the musical/visual ensemble Ensō Watt will add a fifth season: INSTANT ETERNITY – a journey through the Great Void on “reincarnation runs,” in their mind-feathers and abyss oil, in search of the Lost City of Abstract Hours.
Come along for the ride!

Ensō Watt is an artist collective born in Kyoto from the encounter of artists coming from different countries and raised in entirely different artistic universe, from classical music to electro, improvisation and sound-design.
http://www.ensowatt.org

2016 January 24th (Sunday)
Venue: UrBANGUILD Kyoto

http://www.urbanguild.net/
map : https://goo.gl/maps/wHTfPYvzDEN2

On the door: 2800 yen / In advance: 2100 yen
Students: 1600 yen
+1 drink

ensō watt is
{soundscape, spatialization}
Samuel André (aka ieva)

{composer, conductor, percussionist}
Yannick Paget

{poetry}
Chris Mosdell

{piano }
江南泰佐 Taisuke Enami

{accordeon synth}
ryotaro

{contrabass}
岡田康孝 Okada Yasutaka  

{guest : trumpet}
Christopher Fryman

{live video mapping}
Andy Couzens & Masato Tokumaru

{drawing}
Hirisha Metha

{translation}
吉村哲幸
noriyuki yoshimura

See also: Sanka’s Winter Ritual

Exotico De Lago – Live @ Kinse Ryokan, Kyoto; 11th December 2015

Some event news from our old friend Shinpei Noda of Paraíso Records…

exotica

2015.12.11(Friday) Paraíso Records Presents Exotico De Lago LIVE!!! @ Kinse Ryokan, Kyoto
Open: 19:00 / Start: 20:00
Advance tickets: 2500 yen (+ one drink order)

Live: Exotico De Lago
DJs: Paraíso Records / Cherii (Calibnoutagoe)

Exotica De Lago are a “Oriental & Exotica Lounge Sextet” from Tokyo who play unconventional, moody music with a vintage feel. Check out their music in the video below or at this link: EXOTICO DE LAGO “Live at FOGGY”.

Paraíso Records by Shinpei Noda is a movable feast of music chosen without regard for country, age, or genre but simply for its ability to evoke a feeling of Paraíso – or paradise! The Paraiso Records stall has appeared at various locations around town including the Kyoto Record Fair.

Cherii will be playing vintage Jamaican reggae, and ska records for a truly exotic celebration.

Kinse Ryokan is a 250 year old traditional Kyoto building with a wonderful atmosphere. The location is east of Senbon Doori and a little south of Hanayacho Doori. Here is a Google map and there are more details on the Kinse Ryokan access page. Check the Kinse Ryokan events page on Facebook for more events at this venue: https://www.facebook.com/kinseryokan/events

For advance tickets and other queries please contact Kinse Ryokan
Tel: 075-351-4781
Contact mail form: http://bit.ly/rue2BU

exotica flyer

Deep Kyoto on CNN Travel

In case you missed it, my recommendations for what to see, do, buy, & eat when in “Japan’s most photogenic city” are now up on the CNN Travel site.

Inside Guide Best of Kyoto

Everyone should visit Kyoto at least once.

It’s Japan’s best preserved ancient city.

Shrines, temples, palaces, gardens … the city is home to thousands of architectural wonders, including 17 UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

Geisha and locals wearing traditional kimonos aren’t unusual sights.

But Kyoto is a modern city with a dynamic music and arts scene, lively markets and restaurants serving the best Japanese cuisine.

There’s too much to see on a single visit — so we have whittled down the best of Kyoto.

Click to read the rest of: Inside Guide: Best of Kyoto

I had to put this piece together in a bit of a hurry last July, so it was a HUGE help that Jeffrey Friedl, Travis Seifman, and Mario Cacciottolo let me use some of their photos. By way of thanks, I encourage you all to visit their websites:

Jeffrey Friedl’s blog: http://regex.info/blog/
Mario Cacciottolo’s photography: http://travellinglensman.com/
Travis Seifman’s “musings on the arts of Japan and beyond”: https://chaari.wordpress.com/

Thanks also are due to Chris Rowthorn who put CNN in touch with me in the first place.