A journey through Japan's experimental music scene, followed by a live cello set from Hiromichi Sakamoto.
“To compose is to remember things that have entered us. Memories travel through our minds and bodies. When you hear a sound of any nature, I think that you remember it more than you hear it. When you recall more than one thing at a time, something new is created.” - Hiromichi Sakamoto
In recent years Tokyo has been recognised as a motherlode for improvised and experimental music. This elegant French documentary gets under the skin of the scene by steering well clear of the usual talking heads, instead concentrating on imaginatively-staged performances by some of the key players. Famous for his brutal deconstructions of the turntable, we see Yoshihide Otomo quietly tinkering in a junk-yard, while Umi No Yeah’s electro-rock cabaret is played out on a rubbish-strewn beach and performance artist Yamakawa Fuyuki does amazing things in the dark with lightbulbs and a stethoscope. Interspersed are scenes of contemporary urban bustle, and some round-table discussion where the musicians muse on Japan’s culture of ‘happiness in a box’.
One of the stars of the film is Hiromichi Sakamoto, seen marauding around an empty warehouse. He’s a unique and lyrical performer who embellishes the cello with vocal effects and assorted saws and grinders, and we’re very pleased to confirm that Sakamoto will be joining us after the screening for a one-of-a-kind improvised set.
Supported by The Japan Foundation through the Performing Arts JAPAN programme, in partnership with All Nippon Airways.
Dir: Cédric Dupire & Gaspard Kuentz
With: Otomo Yoshihide, Hiromichi Sakamoto, Yamakawa Fuyuki, Numb & Saidrum, L?K?O, Takehisa Ken, Shimazaki Tomoko
Running time: 80 mins