Reflecting on the connections between the Japanese American internment during World War II and the present-day detention and deportation of immigrants and refugees, this multi-media event will combine sounds from archival 78 rpm records, live performance, and film projection. Utilizing multiple rooms of the Japanese Cultural and Community Center of Washington (JCCCW), a historic building that served as temporary housing for internees as they resettled in Seattle following the war and is home to the oldest Japanese language school in North America, the performance will feature Paul Kikuchi (percussion, composition) and Crow Nishimura (vocals).
This project was supported, in part, by a grant from 4Culture. Presented by the Earshot Jazz Festival and the JCCCW. Photo of girl skating at Topaz concentration camp by David Tatsuno.
A sound and video installation
by Paul Kikuchi
July 8 - August 26, 2016
Opening reception: Friday, July 8, 7pm
Artist talk: Thursday, August 25, 7pm
Jack Straw New Media Gallery
4261 Roosevelt Way NE
Gallery hours: Mon-Fri, 9am-5pm
Open during evening events at Jack Straw
The music in AUTONOMIC is drawn from a series of compositions that explore breath awareness, intention, and perception, with a particular interest in the human experiential process of musical information transmitted through sound. This music evokes the diverse soundscapes of the world around us, and is visually reminiscent of slow moving forms in nature. In collaboration with videographer James Reeves, the music is paired with visuals inspired by the slowly evolving, multi-layered movements of clouds and water.
Songs of Nihonmachi is a tribute to the thriving Japanese American community in Seattle’s Japantown prior to the World War II internment. The installation provides a listening station that allows visitors to play 78RPM records from the 1920’s and 1930’s, both from Japan and from the United States, that were likely being listened to in the Japanese American community at the time.
The opening night performance will feature a jazz trio with Kikuchi on drums, along with acclaimed Seattle musicians Ivan Arteaga (reeds) and Jeff Johnson (double bass). The ensemble blends jazz standards of the 1920’s and 1930’s with improvisations inspired by popular Japanese songs of the era. The performance takes place at the historic Panama Hotel, in Seattle’s International District, which was a center of the city’s thriving Japanese community life until the disruption of forced resettlement during World War II.
Created with support from a 4Culture Historic Sites Specific grant.
Presented by Earshot Jazz and the Panama Hotel.
Paul Kikuchi - drums and compositions
Ivan Arteaga - reeds
Jeff Johnson - Doublebass
American composer, percussionist, and sound artist Paul Kikuchi presents his work in Tokyo for the first time. Kikuchi is currently residing in Japan as a fellow of the Japan – US Friendship Commission Creative Artist Program.
Kikuchi’s site – specific work utilizes unique sonic environments such as train tunnels, underground cisterns, and nuclear cooling towers. He uses a variety of traditional and non-traditional instruments to explore and accentuate the unique acoustic properties of each space, letting the music unfold in response to his surroundings. Using high quality video and audio recording Kikuchi captures his ephemeral performances, transporting viewers to these often remote and unusual sonic environments.
Additionally, Kikuchi will premier a new composition for an ensemble comprised of Tokyo-based musicians, including:
Hichiriki: Ms. Hitomi Nakamura
Sho: Ms. Remi Miura
Wagon: Ms. Kazue Tajima
Shakuhachi: Christopher Yohmei
Seattle composer and percussionist Paul Kikuchi celebrates the multi-format release of his song cycle Bat of No Bird Island, inspired by the written memoir and 78RPM record collection of his great grandfather, Zenkichi Kikuchi. For the release event at the Jack Straw Cultural Center, Kikuchi will be spinning ethnographic LPs from Asia and serving tea to his visitors. Signed copies of the CD and vinyl will be available, as well as viewing of the new website.
The Wayward Music Series presents:
Paul Kikuchi: Autonomic chamber works for woodwinds, strings, and percussion
This concert is made possible, in part, by an award from 4Culture.