Talk event report: Takeshi Kobayashi and Fram Kitagawa

2018 TRIENNALEPosted : June 11, 2018

The first series of talk event at the promotion of ETAT2018 at HIKARIE was between Takeshi Kobayashi, who produces the opening concert of the festival and Fram Kitagawa, General Director of the festival. The talk covered vaious topics in relation to the highlight of the ETAT2018, Symphonic Suite "Beyond the Circle" based on “the flow of the river is ceaseless” by Minao Shibata.

The concert is held coinciding with the special exhibition of ETAT2018, "The Hojoki Shiki in 2018 - Spatial designs of 10 square feet and their development". Likening the contemporary time to middle ages, the tempestuous period in the history with natural disasters and wars, the exhibition aims to view the world from the minimun space with reference to the world view articulated by Chomei Kamono in his "Hojoki". One of the phrase, "the flow of the river is ceaseless and its water is never the same" is so famous.

It was Minao Shibata, one of the most prominent composers after the WWII in Japan, who created symphonic music in 1975 with the phrase as its title. Kitagawa was struck by a tribute concert in 2016 (conducted by Kazuki Yamada), celebrating centenar of birth and twenty years of death of Minao Shibata. Kitagawa discovered that Minao Shibata not only introduced state-of-the-art music from the West but also collected folk and children's songs as he explored across Japan and developed an alternative ways for the music to be. Kitagawa was impressed with sympathy by the fact that there was a person more than 40 years ago who engaged with the similar challenge he had been facing while seeking for the way to involve various people with an art festival in Echigo-Tsumari. It was him who asked Takeshi Kobayashi to help bring back Minao Shibata's music to 2018 in an alternative way.

Takeshi Kobayashi participated in ETAT2015 for the first time with rebirth of "Yen Town Band" which appeared in a film "Swallowtail" followed by re-staging of an imaginary city, "Yen Town" in Inujima for Setouchi Triennale 2016. This will be the third collaborative project with Kitagawa. Although Kobayashi has been engaged with art projects and even launched Re-Born Art Festival in the disaster affected region in Tohoku in 2017, he was slightly confused by the offer by Kitagawa for ETAT2018.

First to get more familiar with Minao Shibata and his music. Then Kobayashi revisited history of Showa for half-a-century comparing with changes and development in his own music history and repeatedly listened "theatre piece" comprising of chorus of "Hokoki" and orchestra by Minao Shibata, studied the music scores and composed an original Symphonic Suite of eight movements.

Kobayashi described the project which is totally different from his usual activity as "I regarded myself as a catalyst to take over something that Minao Shibata did from Chomei Kamono. I would like to contribute to continue what ETAT has been doing to the present and find an alternative ways to pass it onto the future."

"Beyond the Circle" will be presented with a small organisation of orchestra with female singers with participation by a local choras group. With digital technologies, it will also explore the contemporary approach of expression in the 21st Century.

When Kobayashi said "I was very pleased to meet Chomei Kamono in this way", Kitagawa revealed the purpose of holding the Hojoki Shiki 2018 exhibition as follows: "Although Chomei talked about "mutability" in his writing, he couldn't dismiss passions. He kept drawing plans for architecture and lived full and tough till the end of his life. We do see Osamu Dazai and Ango Sakaguchi also lived like that way. Although the level of aspirations has been continuously declining, we have to avoid the easy way and live fully."

"Beyond the Circle" is to link different times and jenru - we can't wait to experience this two-day only opportunity during the opening of ETAT2018 on 28 and 29 July.

ETAT2018 Opening Concert:Symphonic Suite Takeshi Kobayashi presents "Beyond the Circle" based on “the flow of the river is ceaseless” by Minao Shibata. Tickets are on sale through ticketing agencies from 10:00 on Saturday 9 June. Or at "ETAT2018 promotion in Hikarie". We look forward to seeing you and celebrating the opening of ETAT2018 together.

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Click ≫here for the details of the concert.