Yugenism: Animated Soundscapes of the Japanese Sublime

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February 26, 2017 @ 7:30 pm
Cafe Oto
18-22 Ashwin Street
Dalston E8 3DL
Yugenism: Animated Soundscapes of the Japanese Sublime @ Cafe Oto

A Blend of Classical and the Avant-garde

Yugenism: Animated Soundscapes of the Japanese Sublime is the new experimental music and animation project fronted by British producer and sound artist Verity Lane. Lane has collaborated with three animators and one traditional Japanese dancer to create four sonic installations thatpresent an alternative take on classical Japanese music. With a mix of world-class British and Japanese traditional instrumentalists, this project boasts intimate live performances as well as visual artwork and spoken word.

Embrace the dark and mysterious

Experience an original interpretation of yugen, and immerse yourself within the mysterious sonic landscape.

Creative Participants:

Etsuko Takezawa (koto/Tokyo-based*), Ko Ishikawa (sho)/Tokyo-based*), Kaho Aso (traditional Japanese dance), Liam Noble (piano),Tomoko Komura (Narration), Clive Bell (shakuhachi)

Rowan O’Brien, Barry O’Brien, Etienne Eve

Tottenham Soundscapes resident artist, Christopher Lane.

Yugenism: An introduction


• Derived from the Japanese term yugen.

• Yugen: a traditional Japanese aesthetic often referred to as the ‘dark and mysterious’, or simply Japanese sublime (Verity Lane’s choice of phrase). An aesthetic synonymous with Noh theatre.

• After extensive research into the term yugenism, Lane discoveredthat the late Japanese artist Kenzo Okada coined the phrase in the 20th century (after originally believing she conceived the idea first).

Yugenism: The movement as led by Verity Lane

• A progressive movement that explores new interpretations of the Japanese sublime.
• Faithful to its original roots, but updating the notion with radical creative elements.

Creative Result

• Melancholic, mysterious, dark, sublime, transcendental, programmatic (based on poems and stories), refined, impermanence.

Alternative Interpretations of the Japanese Sublime

You will be presented with 4 brand new pieces written for a combination of Japanese and Western instruments. The resulting soundscapes will be accompanied with bespoke animations and traditional Japanese dance. Instruments will include the koto (Japanese harp), sho (mouthorgan), shakuhachi (bamboo flute), piano and organ. Each piece is programmatic in nature, and aims to depict poems and famous Japanese stories.

Creativity and innovation is at the helm of this collaborative project –expressing the magic of the Japanese sublime.