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JAPAN! Culture + Hyperculture

Music

Japanese musicians have shown a remarkable ability to incorporate Western influences with traditional Eastern rhythms and melodies. They've also invented new methods—and even instruments—to create exciting sounds that seem to come from the future.

Image for Aki Takahashi

Aki Takahashi

Since her first public recital in 1970, pianist Aki Takahashi has been active in the field of new music and is known for her interpretations of many composers, including John Cage, Morton Feldman, and even the Beatles. The New York Times says Takahashi “plays with wonderful delicacy and concentration.” 

  • Wed., Feb. 6, 2008, 6:00 PM
  • Free Millennium Stage Performance
  • Artist Page
Image for OKI Dub Ainu Band and Marewrew

OKI Dub Ainu Band and Marewrew

OKI, the most prominent tonkori performer in the world, brings his Dub Ainu Band and female singers of Marewrew for a concert that fuses reggae, African music, and electronica with Ainu folk melodies. The tonkori, a long, flat instrument, produces its own distinct sound. OKI’s contemporary approach has won him praise in Japan and around the world. 

  • Fri., Feb. 8, 2008, 6:00 PM
  • Free Millennium Stage Performance
  • Artist Page
Image for Hakata Kinjishi Taiko and Hakata Koma

Hakata Kinjishi Taiko and Hakata Koma

Led by siblings Jyuraku and Syouraku Chikushi, Hakata Kinjishi Dance and Drums presents a style derived from music for the Lion Dance, performed to bring good luck. Along with their traditional taiko drums, they collaborate with congas, djembe, and other musical genres. The performance also features their mother Shuraku Chikushi, the only female traditional topspinning (Hakata Koma) artist in Japan. 

  • Sat., Feb. 9, 2008, 6:00 PM
  • Free Millennium Stage Performance
  • Artist Page
Image for A Tribute to Toru Takemitsu

A Tribute to Toru Takemitsu

Celebrating the groundbreaking Japanese composer, this concert curated by daughter Maki Takemitsu features Kazumi Watanabe and Daisuke Suzuki (guitar), Yasuhiro "Coba" Kobayashi (accordion), and Tomohiro Yahiro (percussion).

Image for YMCK

YMCK

Acclaimed pop trio YMCK is renowned for its 8bit sound and pixel animation in live performance that reminds people of old video game consoles. 

  • Sun., Feb. 10, 2008, 6:00 PM
  • Free Millennium Stage Performance
  • Artist Page
Image for Laptop Orchestra

Laptop Orchestra

Interactive computer music meets Japanese traditional music as this Tokyo-based collaborative digitally experiments with the sound of sho, a traditional Japanese instrument (mouth organ).

Image for Maywa Denki

Maywa Denki

The unique performance art troupe's robotic instruments will be on display and demonstrations will be held twice daily.

  • Feb. 13 - 15, 2008
  • Millennium Stage
  • Read More | Free Event
Image for Takagi Masakatsu

Takagi Masakatsu

Takagi Masakatsu is a visual artist and musician whose work knows no aesthetic borders, from video installations and music videos to composing music for commercials and film. For the festival, Takagi will present a multimedia performance with live music and digitally altered video projections.

  • Wed., Feb. 13, 2008, 6:00 PM
  • Free Millennium Stage Performance
  • Artist Page
Image for Midori, violin, with Miró Quartet

Midori, violin, with Miró Quartet

In a rare, intimate performance, the world-renowned violinist is joined by the up-and-coming quartet, whose youthful intensity has made them one of America's brightest chamber groups.

Image for Maywa Denki Performance

Maywa Denki Performance

Founded in 1993 by two brothers, Maywa Denki is a performance art troupe with a unique style. Each piece of their work is called “a product,” and a live performance is considered “a product demonstration.” With their robotic instruments, they perform a number of their masterpieces.

  • Sat., Feb. 16, 2008, 6:00 PM
  • Free Millennium Stage Performance
  • Artist Page
Image for A Harajuku Evening

A Harajuku Evening

Celebrate the finale of the festival with an evening devoted to Harajuku, the Tokyo neighborhood internationally renowned for its youth style and fashion. Immerse yourself in the latest trends in global street culture and music: hip-hop, punk, robot DJs, Ura-Hara, Goth-Lolitas, and more. Be sure to dress up in your favorite Harajuku-inspired fashion!

  • Sun., Feb. 17, 2008, 6:00 PM
  • Free Millennium Stage Performance
  • Artist Page