Acht Brücken (EIGHT BRIDGES) is a contemporary international music festival held annually in the German city of Cologne. The 2019 event saw concerts and performances held over two weeks at locations throughout Cologne under the theme “Großstadt Polyphonie” (“Urban Polyphony”). Under invitation from festival organizers, TRAVEL MUSICA (Rie Takeuchi, Saki Tobayama, Noriaki Mori, Yuka Yamazaki, Rie Watanabe, Daniel Agi, Carl Rosman, Dirk Rothburst), a group that performs and archives pieces by the late Yuya Honda, a unique composer who died young, appeared at two all-day free music events: Acht Brücken Freihafen (“Free Harbour”) on May 1, and Acht Brücken Lunch on May 4. Together with Youth Brass Band YBB NRW, the group also paraded through the streets performing works by Honda which blend Japanese and Eastern European popular and contemporary music in unique ways. Other events included the world premiere of the new work by composer Yosuke Nomoto during a concert held in a church, and related events such as a lecture by Takinojo Mochizuki, “Traditional Japanese Musical Instruments,” and a composition workshop for children.
Yuya Honda (1977–2004) was a uniquely talented and promising composer and unparalleled performer who died suddenly at the age of 26. TRAVEL MUSICA is a project started by percussionist Rie Watanabe in 2014 with the aim of taking his works into the world, using various approaches to introduce them to the present day, and passing them on to future generations. The project includes concerts and workshops in Japan and Germany, music recordings and video production, as well as collaborative works that connect contemporary artists with Honda. At the same time the group also manages the Honda Yuya Archives, a project producing, presenting and providing consultancy services for digital archives of Honda’s musical scores and sound sources.
Christus Church, Cologne, Germany