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International Ensemble Modern & Tokyo Wonder Site Academy Vol.6

  • Date:
    2013.03.24(Sun) - 2013.03.30(Sat)
    Closing Concert / Lecture Program: Free Other programs' auditing fee: 1,000 yen / day
    Tokyo Metropolitan Foundation for History and Culture, Tokyo Wonder Site
    Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, Goethe-Institute-Tokyo, the Finish Institute in Japan, Japan Finland Contemporary Music Society
    Ensemble Modern
    Tokyo Wonder Site Aoyama: Creator-in-Residence / Tokyo Women's Plaza Hall

This is a cooperative project of Ensemble Modern (EM), which stands at the forefront of contemporary musical creation, and Tokyo Wonder Site. The Academy is not only an educational forum where EM passes on to young musicians the knowledge and experience it has gained since its foundation; it is also an experimental forum where TWS creates a contemporary sound-space together with EM, which over the years has been involved in numerous collaborations with renowned artists. Starting this time, we will also offer courses in visual and performing art, taught by leading creators from Asia. As a multimedia academy, we aim to create new forms of expression through activities in which artists from various genres collaborate on thematic explorations and creative processes. Most of the academy and closing concert will be open to public. 


Please send your name, phone number, date/time/name of the
and number of people with the title "Academy Booking" by Email or Fax.

E-mail: / FAX: 03-5766-3742

*Payment should be made at the reception desk on site.
*Program schedule will be announced soon. 

Academy Schedule
Please download the latest timetable from here. 


*Please note that schedule is subject to change.




John Cage×Daisetz Suzuki×Toshi Ichiyanagi
After World War II, American art dismantled existing conventions and experimented in new forms of investigation and creation. Within this current, John Cage encountered the Zen through Daisetz Suzuki and opened up the musical horizon, not only influencing the arts but profoundly changing the way people live. For his part, Daisetz Suzuki disseminated Zen, the origin of Eastern modes of perception, throughout the world so that it could play a role in the new global culture and become a deeper way of exploring human existence. Ichiyanagi worked with Cage in New York, and after returning to Japan he carried out numerous experimental avant-garde projects, while at the same time creating new forms of expression from Japanese ancient culture and traditional spaciotemporal concepts. With the global economic crisis, the Jasmine Revolution, the earthquake disaster of March 11, 2011 and so on, today's world is in need of a major shift in values, and it is in this situation that the Academy is focusing on Cage, Daisetz and Ichiyanagi. In 2013, John Cage's 100th anniversary + 1, we will take another important step together with Ichiyanagi, Ensemble Modern, and young artists.

"Something Eastern - Cage's Music" Toshi Ichiyanagi
It seems to me that in Japan, the interpretation and performance of John Cage's music tend toward the European and the technical. In the commonly held view of Cage there are no Eastern elements like "Zen" or "Buddhism." Even with "chance operations," "indeterminacy" and "Music of Changes," the treatment in most cases is highly technical from start to finish. But if we want to gain an understanding of Cage's real nature, this is surely not enough. While it's true that Cage was interested in cutting-edge things, his demeanor and behavior, indeed his very being, were extremely calm. If he had worn a Buddhist monk's robe, he could have been a monk. In our current period of transition, what sorts of questions will we be asked by the Eastern ideas that Cage received from Daisetz--ideas that have been omitted in a distortedly westernized Japan--and by the the horizon that Cage opened up?


■Ensemble Modern: Dietmar Wiesner (Flutist), Ueli Wiget (Pianist), Rumi Ogawa (Percussionist), Michael M. Kasper (Cellist)
■Toshi Ichiyanagi (Composer, Pianist, Supervisor of Tokyo Wonder Site Music Program)
■Joonho Jeon (Visual Art, Korea)
■Kyungwon Moon (Visual/ Media Art, Korea)
■Danny Yung (Director, Chairperson of the HKICC and founder of the art group, Zuni Icosahedron / Hong Kong)
■Shizuteru Ueda(Philosopher, Member of the Japan Academy, Professor emeritus at Kyoto University)
■Mihoko Okamura (Honor Director of D.T. Suzuki Museum, Councilor of the Japan Folk Crafts Museum)

[Instrumental Course] Members of the Ensemble Modern will give performance lessons on the pieces given along with the theme of the Academy.

[Composition Course] Participant gives a presentation on his/her own composition in front of tutors and other participants, and are given advices through discussion.

[Visual Art / Performing Art Course]
Tutor will give advices for participant's presentation of his/her portfolio or idea of the project through mentoring.

Common Programs
[Lecture Program] There will be lectures by guest speakers about "D.T. Suzuki" and "Zen", as well as talk sessions and symposium on various themes such as Ensemble Modern's collaborative projects and educational programs.

■Mar 24 (Sat.) - 28 (Thu.) at TWS Aoyama: Creator-in-Residence, Tokyo Women's Plaza Hall
*Admission Free / Reservation Required / with JP-ENG interpretation

[Workshop] Participants are expected to willingly communicate with others and be flexible to work on wider expression beyond the border of music or art.

Special Programs
[Revelation 2011 - Cycle and Fleeting]
Written by Toshi Ichiyanagi after the Great East Japan Earthquake, Symphony No. 8--"Revelation 2011" (chamber orchestra version) is an evocative work which poses important questions about the relationships among nature, civilization and human. It was born of the artist's wish to know what art can do in the face of this enormous reality. Made up of four sections entitled "Premonition," "Fleeting," "Requiem" and "Revival," the work as a whole is wrapped in images of cycle and impermanence. It asks us the question, "How can we inherit and renew the characteristically Japanese ways of thinking and the wisdom and experience for living which have been developed from unique traditions dating back to ancient times, and which are disappearing and being forgotten due to the spread of Western civilization?"

[Music Theater]
At this academy, we have produced two music theater works, "TOKYO" (at Vol.4) and "RENGA" (at Vol.4), supervised by Toshi Ichiyanagi. There were no conductors or directors, and we gave importance on spontaneous dialogues and connections in the course of the production. This way of production is not only oriental but also suggests how a new society should be. In "TOKYO", we translated basic components of Japnese gagaku music into modern expression, and in "RENGA" we employed the traditional Japanese poetic form known as renga to express various bonds and connections as prayers for March 11. At this third production, under the theme "John Cage x D.T. Suzuki x Toshi Ichiayanagi", we will step forward from "prayer" to tackle on the question thrown by Ichiyanagi in his 8th symphony "Revelation". We will hold the tryout on March 30 (Sat.), and continue to elaborate the production through workshops. The complete version will be performed in December, 2013.

[Closing Concert / Music Theater Tryout]
Ensemble Modern members and young musicians will play works by a variety of composers, from John Cage and Toshi Ichiyanagi to younger generations in the same stream. In addition, the special chamber orchestra organized for this academy will play Toshi Ichiyanagi's Symphony No. 8 "Revelation 2011". Tryout of Music Theater will be performed, collaborated with a world-wide theater director, Danny Yung, and remarkable visual artists, Joonho Jeon and Kyungwon Moon.

Mar 30 (Sat.)14:00-17:00 at Tokyo Women's Plaza Hall  
*Admission Free / Reservation Required

→Please visit here for more detail about the Closing Concert.


Instrumental and Composition Courses

Ensemble Modern
Founded in 1980 and based in Frankfurt am Main, the Ensemble Modern (EM) is one of the world's leading ensembles of Contemporary Music. The EM is comprised of 19 soloists from all over the world. Its unique and distinctive program consists of music theater, dance and video projects, chamber music, ensemble and orchestral concerts. The EM gives approximately 100 concerts and 20 world-premieres each year.
+ Dietmar Wiesner (Flutist)
+ Ueli Wiget (Pianist)
+ Rumi Ogawa (Percussionist)
+ Michael M. Kasper (Cellist)

Toshi Ichiyanagi (Composer, Pianist)
After coming back from New York in 1961, Ichiyanagi introduced many new musical concepts, including Cage's idea of indeterminacy, exerting a strong influence on the stream of the Japanese contemporary music. He has composed in most genres of music: operas, orchestral, chamber and instrumental works. He has been commissioned and invited by various music festivals in the world. He also serves as supervisor of Tokyo Wonder Site Music Program. He was honored as one of the Persons in Cultural Merit in 2008.

Visual Art Course

Joonho Jeon (Visual Art, Korea)
Joonho Jeon holds an MA from The Chelsea College of Art and Design, London and a BFA from Dongeui University, South Korea. His body of work presents revisions of Korea's sociopolitical environment through installations comprised of video, painting, and sculpture.

Kyungwon Moon (Visual/ Media Art, Korea)
Kyungwon Moon holds an MFA from the California Institute of Arts and a PhD in Visual Communication from Yonsei University. Her work focuses on concepts of reality and self-reflective consciousness, relationships between individuals, and between artists and society.

Together Moon and Jeon received the first annual Korea Artist Prize for their collaborative work in 2012. They also participated in the Gwangju Biennale (2012), Moscow Biennale (2010), and Biennal of Graphic Arts, Ljubljana (2010), as well as with their project "News from Nowhere" in documenta 13.

Performing Art Course

Danny Yung (Director, Chairperson of the HKICC and founder of the art group, Zuni Icosahedron / Hong Kong)

DANNY N.T. YUNG founded Zuni Icosahedron, a Hong Kong art collective in 1982. Zuni's works have been performed in many cities in Asia and Europe. He advocates the form of new art and has presented works, such as experimental films, videos, installations, in various places. He is also known as the author of a comic "Tian Tian Xiang Shang." He is a policy advisor to Hong Kong government on important cultural matters, and has collaborated with UNESCO in initiating Arts in Education Observatory and the Centre for Intangible Cultural Heritage. He is also the founder of the HKICC School of Creativity in Hong Kong.

Special Lecturers

Shizuteru Ueda(Philosopher, Member of the Japan Academy, Professor emeritus at Kyoto University)
Shizuteru Ueda is a philosopher specialized in philosophy of religion where thoughts and religions of East and West encounter for existence and speculation. He follows in the footsteps of Kitaro Nishida, D.T. Suzuki, Keiji Nisitani. He is considered a third generation member of Kyoto school.

Mihoko Okamura (Honor Director of D.T. Suzuki Museum, Councilor of the Japan Folk Crafts Museum)
Born in LA, Mihoko Okamura met D.T. Suzuki in 1951. She had served as his secretary for 15 years until D.T Suzuki passed away in 1966. She worked as an editor for "The Eastern Buddhist" (1969-1998) and lecturer at Otani University (1992-2006).