The Noh singer Ryoko Aoki’s commission series “Contemporary Music x Noh” showcases new works of Utai (chanted Noh music), with 39 composers from around the globe contributing music to the project so far. This concert featured commissioned works by three composers active on the world stage: Mikel Urquiza (Spain), Silvia Borzelli (Italy) and Yasutaki Inamori (Japan). This concert constituted the world premiere of three new pieces for Utai and cello, performed with the gifted cellist Ayano Kamimura, who enjoys a successful career both inside and outside Japan. Additionally, musicologist and professor at Toho Gakuen School of Music, Yuji Numano, who came to prominence with his introductory book on contemporary music, “Gendai ongaku-shi – toso shitsuzukeru geijutsu no yukue” (“A History of Contemporary Music-The Future of Art That Continues to Struggle” (Chuokoron-Shinsho), gave a talk entitled “Contemporary Music and Utai Noh chanting.”
Established in 2007 and centering around Noh singer Ryoko Aoki, this ensemble pursues and practices the fusion of Noh with contemporary music. By commissioning international contemporary music composers to write new works utilizing elements of Noh Utai chanting, the ensemble posits a new form of culture based on a traditional Japanese one and takes a fresh look at the cultural significance of traditional performing arts in the present time. The ensemble’s purpose is to reconstruct a Japanese aesthetic fostered through history and tradition, and promote it worldwide.
Suntory Hall, Blue Rose, Minato City, Tokyo