For Immediate Release
March 22, 2016
Contact: John Gilbreath, Earshot Jazz, Seattle
206-547-6763 or firstname.lastname@example.org
End date: May 3, 2016
Press photos & full Project Fukushima! screener available upon request
Commemorating the 5th Anniversary of the 2011 Tohoku Earthquake: Project Fukushima! Film Screening & Otomo Yoshihide Solo Concert
Presented by Earshot Jazz, Nonsequitur, Volunteers for Project Fukushima! In North America
Project Fukushima! Documentary Film Screening with Discussion / Q&A by Otomo Yoshihide
Monday, May 2, 7pm
Northwest Film Forum (1515 12th Ave, Seattle, WA 98122)
Free (Advance registration required: brownpapertickets.com)
Otomo Yoshihide Solo Concert
Tuesday, May 3, 8pm
Chapel Performance Space (Good Shepherd Center, 4649 Sunnyside Ave, Seattle, WA 98103)
$5-15 sliding scale (Tickets: earshot.org)
Marking the five-year anniversary of the earthquake and tsunami that hit eastern Japan, Earshot Jazz, Nonsequitur and Volunteers for Project Fukushima! In North America are proud to announce a pair of events featuring Tokyo musician Otomo Yoshihide. In addition to a solo performance – his first in Seattle in over ten years – he will be in attendance for a screening and discussion of the film Project Fukushima! chronicling the festival he co-founded in 2011.
Otomo has made a name as a cutting-edge artist since the late 1980s playing music ranging from jazz and film scores to noise and free improvisation. Primarily a guitarist and experimental turntablist, he has maintained a worldwide following on the avant-garde scene while also finding mainstream recognition in Japan more recently for theme music he co-penned with Sachiko M for the 2013 television drama Amachan. The scope of his activities has also extended to a special focus on work with handicapped children, as he continues to perform around the world, both solo and in a range of ensembles.
The film we will be showing the night before Otomo’s performance is a documentary that follows the development of the festival he and other Japanese artists and musicians organized in Fukushima just five months after the earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan’s Tohoku region in 2011. In putting together an outdoor festival so shortly after the earthquake and in such close proximity to the site of the subsequent nuclear disaster, they faced tough questions concerning the safety and ethics of inviting the public to attend.
As the film depicts their preparations in the lead-up to the festival with an artful simplicity, it begins to reveal the new realities of day-to-day life facing those who continue to live in the afflicted region. Aiming foremost to counter negative associations the name Fukushima had taken on in the wake of the disaster, the festival organizers eschew overt political stances. In doing so, they raise more universal issues for us to ponder, and the arrestingly minimal atonal score of Otomo’s that punctuates the film’s scenes effectively bypasses both verbal interpretation and sentimental response to let the viewer directly feel something of this.
While serving as a poignant reminder of the shock of recent tragedy, the implicit messages of the film, conveyed largely wordlessly, direct the viewer’s gaze as much to the present moment and into the future. Five years on, with nuclear plants being restarted across Japan even as radiation continues to spread from the reactors in Fukushima, questions concerning the safety of nuclear energy and the broader ecological legacy we leave for future generations may be more pressing now than ever.
Otomo, who served as music director for the film as well as the festival’s artistic director, will be in attendance for this special screening. He plans to lead a discussion of the film afterwards, touching on the current state of life in Fukushima, the future of the festival and other relevant topics.
Otomo Yoshihide, Musician
Guitarist, turntable performer, composer, film composer, and music producer. Born in Yokohama in 1959, he spent his teen years in Fukushima. He has led multiple music bands, such as ONJT, Double Orchestra, Yuheisya and FEN, and is also a member of numerous other bands and music projects, including Filament, Kahimi Karie, I.S.O., Otoasobi no Kai and Emergency!. He has worked independently to create music widely and simultaneously all over the world. His output ranges from loud music using noise and feedback, to music focusing on the generation of sound itself, plus other work themed around jazz, pop music and songs. His film compositions number over 60 pieces, including Chinese cinema (Blue Kite, directed by Tian Zhuang-Zhuang), the work of leading Japanese film directors (Shinji Somai, Hiroshi Ando, Masao Adachi, Tomoro Taguchi), emerging directors in Japan (Satoko Yokohama), TV drama series (e.g. NHK (Japan Broadcasting Corporation) morning drama series Ama chan), and TV advertising. Recently his unit ENSEMBLES has been presenting musical pieces and unique concerts based on collaborations with a broad variety of people, and he has also been conducting musical workshops with disabled people, and projects which are open for amateurs. His published books include MUSICS (Iwanami Books), JAMJAM Diary by Yoshihide Otomo (Kawade Shobo Shinsha), and ENSEMBLES (Getsuyosha).
Hikaru Fujii, Film Director
Born in Tokyo, Japan in 1976. He obtained a DEA (Athletic, Science and Technology of Arts) from Université Paris 8. He works with visual media to intuitively deal with the social and political situation in Japan. Since the disaster of 3.11, he started shooting in the stricken area on the theme of the relationship between 3.11 and art, producing work as “3.11 Art Documentation”. In addition, he has been recording the post-3.11 Tohoku landscape, filming both the coastal areas, where everyday life has been taken away by the tsunami, and the forests of Fukushima, which have been contaminated by radioactive substances.
Silver Sponsor: Bellevue Children’s Academy
Community Sponsors: Junglecity Network, Kalika Trading, Nature’s Harvest, Michael Whalen AIA
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