Saturday, September 19

exchange culture: motoko kikkawa in japan

Tokyo-born, Dunedin-based experimental violinist Motoko Kikkawa has lived in New Zealand's southernmost large-ish city for over a decade, and been an important presence in Dunedin's collaborative improvised music community throughout that time. Like many of us (and confounding the hoary yet persistent old cliches of Dunedin's sound culture as emerging from the yearnings and nostalgia of a peripheral place which is 'marginal' and 'isolated'), she regularly travels to update living links with the other places she draws on as history, in the process weaving a uniquely personal  geographical and cultural mindset, through the constant curiosity, learning and fresh listening such peripetatic activities inspire.

Motoko's most recent visit to Japan resulted in many audio documents, both while visiting family and field recording at a temple in Hiroshima, and being a participant and listener at various small venues for experimental music in Osaka and Tokyo. With her collaborators Takashi Masubuchi and Rosie Langabeer, she performed various dates on a tour of Osaka. Motoko's audio documents of these gigs are mostly captured at two venues: Futtari (in Suidoubashi), an improvised/experimental music store which has a regular programme of live music, and Art Space Bar Buena (in Shinjuku). Her capturing of the everyday life of the cities she traveled through also includes attention to the sounds of "foreigners" - part of a reflection around the strangeness of being a stranger in your own land, and  hybrid cultural identity: being always, on some level, in both places (and languages) at once.

We are very pleased to have Motoko as our guest tonight on Avant Gardening. During the show we will be playing and discussing her observations and listenings-in to the current underground network of Japanese experimental and noise music, revealing the current crop of tiny city spaces and the particular sounds emerging from them, as well as talking more widely about sound in Japan, and pondering place and other geo-cultural reflections.

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