Friday, February 2nd at 8pm, AvanTokyo and ISSUE Project Room are pleased to present the solo US debut of Japanese cellist Hiromichi Sakamoto. The evening will also feature a duo presentation from musicians Kato Hideki & Zeena Parkins, which will take place at Brooklyn Music School in Fort Greene, Brooklyn.
Hiromichi Sakamoto’s cello is a free-for-all zone where anything can happen. The warm strings of classical music give way to the whine of power tools. Sparks erupt as Sakamoto applies an electric sander to the metal pin of his instrument. Thousands of years of music tradition come to a full stop–supplanted by the clicks and whirs of 21st century industry. Sometimes called “the cello shamanist,” Sakamoto’s performance will unfold with a mixture of original music and improvisation that he says will “transcend axes of space, time, and borders to evoke a sense of ‘nostalgia that all humans hold.” Tender themes will give way to a gruesome chaos as he pushes his instrument beyond its limits. Sakamoto’s continually evolving practice will see him expand on the vocabulary of the cello to produce a series of sounds–and sights–that one would be hard pressed to believe come from a cello. sakamotohiromichi.com
Drawing audiences into a similar musical terrain, Kato Hideki & Zeena Parkins will premiere their new composition Into the Periphery, where they expose displacement and the blurred lines between what we hear and what we think we hear. Using a wide range of sounds–foley, mundane objects, synthesis and string instruments–they create an interplay between materials and awareness as they toggle between the touch/sound of objects and the manipulation of sounds mediated through microphones and electronic processes. Their collaboration began in 1994 when Kato joined Parkins’ band No Safety’s for their European tour. Parkins later recorded for Kato’s album “Hope & Despair” in 1995. In 2010, they performed at the Whitney Museum of American Art as a part of Christian Marclay: Festival.
Coming to wider acclaim with his 1999 solo CD Zero-shiki, Hiromichi Sakamoto has devoted his practice to expanding the possibilities of the cello with an uncompromisingly experimental approach to the instrument. Meanwhile, Sakamoto’s diverse compositions for stage inform his theatrical approach to performances. He has composed scores for numerous stage, film, and underground contemporary dance performances, including a 20-year relationship with Taiwan’s innovative Assignment Theater. Sakamoto was also featured in the pioneering music documentary about Japan’s noise music scene, We Don’t Care About Music Anyway (directed by Cedric Dupil and Gaspard Quentz). The cellist is a member of acclaimed toy-pop orchestra Pascals, and, along with voice artist Koichi Makigami and bassist Kiyoto Fujiwara, a producer of the festival Jazz Art SENGAWA, a lynchpin for Japan’s avant-garde music community that takes place each fall on Tokyo’s outskirts.
Kato Hideki is a Japanese-born bassist, multi-instrumentalist, composer, producer and educator. His work is truly diverse, with a wide range of forms, subjects and sounds from experimental, ambient, improvisation, soundtrack and sound design. His work includes three albums with Death Ambient (with Ikue Mori and Fred Frith) on Tzadik Records; the solo bass work “Turbulent Zone” using a prime number tuning system; the photography- inspired “Hope & Despair” on Joyful Noise Recordings; and “Tremolo of Joy” based on magical realism. His collaborations include the soundtrack for a documentary film, “The Journey of Monalisa (El viaje de Monalisa)” directed by Nicole Costa; music and sound design for TAKE Dance, Dallas Black Dance Theatre and Ballet X; and performances for Christian Marclay: Festival at Whitney Museum of American Art. As a producer, he has worked with Eszter Balint, Chris Cochrane, James Fei, Karen Mantler and Stew. An album, “THE WALK” (a collaboration with Kramer) will be released on Shimmy-Disc in fall 2024. Kato teaches at NYU Tandon School of Engineering / Integrated Media & Design.
Electro-acoustic composer/improviser and educator, Zeena Parkins is a pioneer of contemporary harp practices. Using expanded techniques, object preparations, and electronic processing she has redefined the instrument’s capacities. Concurrently, Parkins self-designed a series of one-of-a-kind electric instruments. She leans into the harp’s physical limitations pushing its boundaries and impossibilities. In her compositions, Parkins utilizes collections, historic proximities, tactility, spatial configurations and movement. Sonic presence and personality is revealed in explorations of timbral shifts, feedback, gestural configurations, and perceptual residues. Parkins has been awarded three Bessies: NY Dance and Performance Awards, for her groundbreaking work with dance. She has been devoted to her ongoing investigation and collaborative work with dance since the mid-80’s in NYC. Recent collaborations include: a dance film by Eleanor Bauer, NORA the Many (2022) a 2-part program which included a durational installation and a theatrical performance, premiered at the Walker Art Center (2022) with choreographer/dancer, Heather Kravas and visual artist Victoria Haven, Solid Objects/VOIDS, and Neil Greenberg’s Besty, which premiered at La Mama last fall. Last summer Parkins released her long-term project LACE on Chaikin, to critical acclaim. Parkins taught at Mills College from 2011 and until May/2023, when Mills was abruptly purchased by Northeastern University. She held the endowed chair, Darius Milhaud Professor of Composition, in the Music Department.
2月2日金曜日午後8時、ISSUE と AvanTokyo は、日本のチェリスト、坂本弘道のアメリカでの初のソロデビューをお届けできることを大変嬉しく思っています。この特別な夜には、ミュージシャン加藤秀樹とジーナ・パーキンスによるデュオパフォーマンスも行われます。イベントはブルックリンのフォートグリーンにあるブルックリン・ミュージックスクールで開催されます。
同様の音楽的領域に観客を引き込むために、加藤秀樹とジーナ・パーキンスは新作「Into the Periphery」を初演します。彼らは、聞こえるものと聞こえると思われるもののあいまいな境界をさらけ出すこの作品で、フラリティ、日常の物、シンセサイザー、弦楽器など、さまざまなサウンドを使用して、オブジェクトの触感/音とマイクロフォンと電子プロセスを介して、音を操作する意識の間でトグルしながら、素材と意識の間の相互作用を生み出します。彼らのコラボレーションは、1994年に加藤がパーキンスのバンド「No Safety」のヨーロッパツアーに参加したときに始まりました。パーキンスは後に1995年に加藤のアルバム「Hope & Despair」のためにレコーディングしました。2010年には、彼らはクリスチャン・マークレー: フェスティバルの一環としてホイットニー美術館でパフォーマンスを行いました。
AvanTokyo looks beyond anime and idols, probing Japan’s ‘live houses’ and experimental venues, where creators push new forms of expression unreached by mainstream media. Offering Japanese artists performance and residency opportunities in New York, AvanTokyo facilitates cultural interactions between Japan and the United States.
Founded in 2003, ISSUE Project Room is a pioneering nonprofit performance center, presenting projects by interdisciplinary artists that expand the boundaries of artistic practice and stimulate critical dialogue in the broader community. ISSUE serves as a leading cultural incubator, facilitating the commission and premiere of innovative new works.
This program is supported by the Japan Foundation through the grant program for dispatching artists and cultural specialists.