We have invited musicians and dancers to participate in this spectacular project that links two cultural worlds. Butoh-Techno is a spectacle that combines improvised and techno music, visuals and dance movements to tell a fable of man living a life as journey. Both dancer and musicians are characters in this performance playing on the metaphorical stage of life. Butoh dancer uses his body to tell stories of falls and uprises while struggling against odds of life. Muscians take role of his friends as well as his adversaries. They build obstacles or make it easier for him to overcome them by creating multilayer abstract spaces filled with improvised and techno music and live visuals.
The idea for the spectacle originated from collaboration of Shepherds of Cats with Japanese musician Ayako Ogawa and polish artist Filip Zawada. The stream of mutual intuitions and understanding, various aesthetical and cultural roots and need to share different ways of looking at the same world led us 3 years ago to create Butoh-Techno. The spectacle flourish each year with new ideas and it will be third year we will perform it.
///Shepherds of Cats///
They use improvisation as working method to create sonic stories and worlds, drenched in incredulity at their own existence. Plethora of instruments, found sounds and moving images allow them to layer contrasting sounds to create haunting and mesmerising soundscapes. Bells chime, bows scrape, moans and groans weave in and out, found and synthesized sounds intermittently warm the pieces sonically while their colaboration with VJ add visual dimension to their intriguing performances. They explore the outer boundaries of sound, pushing it to the limits of what can be considered acceptable in the realm of so called music. Their compositions are created in real time, though sometimes time as well as good taste and other senses maybe suspended. In 2015 and 2017 Shepherds of Cats toured Germany and UK to play concerts in places such as at Kreuzung an St. Helena for In Situ Art Society in Bonn, Das Gespinst in Essen, MK Gallery in Milton Keyens, The Kazimier Gardens in Liverpool and the legendary Cafe OTO in London. They colaborate closely with Manchester-dwelling saxophone swinger and Tombed Vision Records headmaster David McLean, german trombonist Gunter Heinz, japanese pianist Ayako Ogawa, composer and Lisbon experimentalist Pascal Ansell AKA Panelak. Maciek Piatek AKA VJ Pietrushka, experimental live video maker. In collaboration with their Japanese and Polish friends they created Butoh – Techno spectacle. Shepherds are:
Aleksander Olszewski - ethnic percussion
Adam Webster – cello, voice
Jan Fanfare – guitar, loops, voice
Dariusz Blaszczak – synthesizers and electronics
/// Ayako Ogawa ///
Pianist, educator and artist who lives in Hakodate, Hokkaido. She has played the piano since 1968 and has been involved in theatre since 1970. While she has been working as an educationalist she has continued to write songs, organised poetry readings and published original picture books. These experiences inform her improvisations, which include work with recognisable figures such as: Sabu Toyozumi, Peter Brotzmann, Deku Ogawa and Butoh dancers Hal Tanaka, Mushimaru Fujieda and Tukasa Kamidate.
/// Mushimaru Fujieda ///
born in Aichi Prefecture of Japan, 1952. He began drama in 1972 and then belonged to drama company 'Ishin-ha' in 1978-89. He later became independent performer from 1989. Thereafter he is a solo performer with numerous performances inside and outside of Japan. After receiving a highest praise from a poet, late Mr. Allen Ginsburg in N.Y. Mushimaru gave himself a name as the 'Natural Physical Poet', and has produced with the unique style, pieces of dance work. He was awarded with the 'Most Excellent Improvised Dance' the prize of Tobita Drama Award in 1997. His other activities have included: a mask dance-drama for Himalayan religious ceremonies, collaboration in theatrical presentations with musicians and most famously with the American poet Allen Ginsberg, appearance on stage at “Rainbow 2000” techno festival in Japan, performances with Finland’s master musician Eduard Vesala, appearance at the Juksan International Arts Festival in Korea and on television on the Kyoto Satellite Channel, producing and performing in 'Asian Performing Arts Now” in Japan with dancer Edwin Lung and with the Korean company Paekche under Professor Sung-Sik Chang.
/// Matylda Gerber ///
Composer and saxophone player from Wroclaw, Poland. She is a regular to the jazz scene in her hometown as well as London, where she participated in projects such as London Improvisers Orchestra, Skronk and Exploratorio. Matylda also spearheads two musical projects in London, which focus on mixing compositions with free-jazz improvisations. In 2015, Matylda played at the esteemed Jazztopad Festival in her native city after which she was featured in the music portal All About Jazz. Establishing her career with the band Kolega Doriana, the group released an album in 2015 to positive reviews from The Free Jazz Collective as well as Redbull Tour de Polonia.
/// Maciek Piatek ///
Video artist based in the UK working mainly on experimental video projects & short films but also collaborating with various local and international musicians, exploring closely improvised and electronic scene. His films has been screened & exhibited both nationally and internationally in places such as: Art Gallery of SESI-SP in Sao Paulo, Babylon Cinema in Berlin and ICA in London, Arnolfini in Bristol, The Vienna Kunstlerhaus and The Embros Theatre in Athens. Vj Pietrushka shared the stage with artists such as Isnaj Dui and Ben Nigel Potts performing fully improvised live vj sessions and closely collaborate with Shepherds of Cats.
/// Competition ///
Competition makes (mild) pop music and performs live with a sampler and voice. The songs think about smallness and vulnerability, and build hooks from within their own limited means. Most recent tape 'You turned into a painting' was released by Slip in November 2018. https://slipimprint.bandcamp.com/album/you-turned-into-a-painting
/// Chris Bywater ///
The unpredictable improvising electronics maverick - CHRIS BYWATER. previously with/as Vibration Whitefinger, Orchestra of The Upper Atmosphere, Transient V Resident, Juxtavoices, Bywater/Jasnoch, Bradford Scratch Orchestra, Earth's Tilted Access with Steve Dinsdale of Radio Massacre International/OUA, and various collaborations with visual artists.
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