Sunday, October 23 2016


Japanese sound artist to perform in HN

Update: July, 08/2016 - 08:00
Handmade orchestra: Vietnamese youths show their musical instruments, handmade from household items, at the first Hà Nội Collective Orchestra event last September. — Photo courtesy of Japan Foundation
Viet Nam News

HÀ NỘI — Akio Suzuki, one of the pioneering sound artists of Japan, will perforrm in Hà Nội on July 17.

Suzuki has been performing, making instruments and presenting sound installations for nearly 40 years.

Suzuki will perform with about 30 Vietnamese youths, who do not have a background in music, at the event entitled Hà Nội Collective Orchestra.

The event is being held by the Japan Foundation to create a free-form orchestra for non-professional musicians. This is the second time the event will be held in Hà Nội.

A two-week-long workshop is being held from July 2 to train Vietnamese participants in creating musical instruments from objects and materials used in daily life.

 “A rolling stone, a bunch of bamboo, a piece of metal or plastic has its own sound. Each of them can make distinctive sounds,” Suzuki said. “If people could listen to the sounds around them, they would listen to melodies in nature.”

“In the upcoming event in Hà Nội, I will meet Vietnamese youths who are new to music. It will be a chance for me to learn how to listen once again,” Suzuki said.

With this impromptu orchestra and multitude of different ensembles created by the participants and varied sounds drawn from Hà Nội’s streets, a new kind of “music without musicians” will be born in Hà Nội.

The musical score won’t be used at the performance. The sounds will depend on feelings, relationships and conversations among participants, who have never learned to play an instrument. 

Suzuki’s journey as an artist began in 1963 with a performance at Nagoya station, in which he threw a bucket full of junk down a staircase. Suzuki’s performances and installations have been presented at numerous festivals and museums in several countries, such as at the AV Festival in Newcastle, England, in 2014, Musee Zadkin in Paris in 2004, British Museum in London in 2002, and at the Japan House in New York in 1983, besides many others.

Guest artists at the Hà Nội Collective Orchestra will also include Otomo Yoshihide from Japan and Vietnamese guest advisor Trần Lương. 

Artists tutoring at the workshop are Nguyễn Ban Ga and Phùng Tiến Sơn from Việt Nam, Kano Haruka and Yoshihama Sho from Japan and Nongyao Arnont and Thatchatham Bigg from Thailand.

The Hanoi Collective Orchestra is part of the Ensembles Asia Orchestra, a project launched in 2014 by the Japan Foundation with the aim of creating a free-form orchestra that engages with people who are not professional musicians.

The project is organised by the Japan Foundation Asia Centre with musician Otomo Yoshihide as the artistic director.

Ensembles Asia Orchestra aims to uncover new and unprecedented ways of making music and connecting with people, by sharing the joy of making music and fostering communication with people from elsewhere in Asia.

“I think the Hà Nội Collective Orchestra is a meaningful way of bringing together young people and helping them to get close to music,” artist Ban Ga said.

“There will be no barriers between the artists and amateurs at the musical performance. I highly appreciate the event because it can connect young people and honour the community,” Ga said.

The event is being organised by the Japan Foundation Centre for Cultural Exchange in Việt Nam, at 27 Quang Trung Street at 5pm. Entry is free for all visitors. — VNS



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