A transformative night of two solo performances by pianist, composer, sound artist Motoko Honda, followed by vocalist, multi-instrumentalist, dancer Jen Shyu
Motoko Honda Performance
Are we not all seeking transformation? Bay Area pianist, composer, and sound artist Motoko Honda (USA/Japan) will open this transformative night with new compositions and improvisation of solo piano works combining acoustic piano with electronic effects and guitar pedals.
Motoko Honda is a concert pianist, composer, and sound artist who has created a distinctive sound through her holistic approach to music, and her exceptional sensitivity in relating to other art forms and technologies. Employing a "virtuoso technique paired with her intensely imaginative mind" (Susan Dirende, L.A. Splash Magazine), and with stylistic influences ranging from jazz to Indonesian music to contemporary prepared piano with electronics, Motoko's compositions and structured improvisations are intended to affect the skin, organs, and minds of the listener rather than simple recitations of rhythmic and harmonic themes. Called both a "keyboard alchemist" (Chris Barton, L.A. Times), and the "embodiment of a muse" (Greg Burk, Metaljazz), Motoko's performances transport audiences on sonic adventures that transcend the boundaries and conventions of contemporary music. http://www.motokohonda.com/
Jen Shyu Performance
New York City-based vocalist, multi-instrumentalist, and dancer Jen Shyu (USA/East Timor/Taiwan) will perform variations of her solo work, Solo Rites: Seven Breaths, which is about a woman living simultaneously in multiple cultures and "projecting her ancestry" through contemporary monologue. Sung in 7 different languages, the performance reveals a personal journey of loss and redemption made universal through the exploration of losses that plague our modern world: loss of tradition, habitat, and public space. Sonic, visual, and visceral rites and reflections are discovered by pilgrimage through Taiwan, East Timor, Indonesia, Vietnam, and South Korea.
Renowned Indonesian film and stage director Garin Nugroho (Opera Jawa, Under the Tree, Daun di Atas Bantal) directs the solo piece, infusing into the work his distinctive vision for celebrating the exhilarating and the sacred.
Larry Blumenfeld of The Wall Street Journal writes of Shyu, “Sounding fierce at times, ruminative at others, displaying tonal precision, and an intuitive rhythmic sense, Shyu is among New York’s most invigorating vocal presences. And perhaps the most enigmatic.”
Pianist/composer/sound artist Motoko Honda marries classical, jazz, avant-garde and Pacific-Rim textures with 21st-century technology and emerges with musical soundscapes as profound as they are all-encompassing. Whether solo or in collaboration, live or in- studio, a Honda's comprovisation is sound and shape shifting at its most thrilling and immediate.
Since 1997, Motoko has been performing at various national and international festivals and concerts such as Angel City Jazz Festival, 19th San Quirico Estate Festival, and Spark International Electronic Music Festival ranging from classical, contemporary jazz, experimental and electronic music, and through her Sound Escape Project, founded in 2003, has been presenting numerous collaborations with artists and improvisers such as Wadada Leo Smith, Jeff Gauthier, Vinny Golia, Alex Cline, Nels Cline, Joe Berardi, Mike Watt, Emily Hay, Steuart Liebig, Elliott Sharp, Henry Kaiser, Pheeroan Aklaff, Maggie Parkins, Kris Tiner, Theresa Wong, William Winant, Larry Ochs, dancer OGURI. Roxanne Steinberg, Maureen Whiting, visual artist Carole Kim and projection artist Jesse Gilbert. A notable interdisciplinary collaboration is the on going research project with Jesse Giblert, using his sound-visual program Spectral GL, integrating music and visual information into one cohesive experience in concerts and installation settings.
At home in classical, jazz, or electronic music, Motoko is a musical force of nature, bringing a unique creative sound to her wide-ranging collaborations. Motoko has been invited to give lecture/performances regarding contemporary compositions, method for structured improvisation in collaborative settings, and extended piano techniques from national and international universities and institutions, and her collaborative projects have taken her to major venues such as the Ford Amphitheater, Barnsdall Gallery Theater, REDCAT, Jazz Bakery, as well as museums, jazz clubs and underground venues in the U.S., Japan, and Europe.
Born in Peoria, Illinois, USA, from Taiwanese and East Timorese parents, 2014 Doris Duke Impact Award recipient Jen Shyu is an experimental jazz vocalist, composer, multi-instrumentalist, dancer, producer, and Fulbright scholar. Larry Blumenfeld (Wall Street Journal) writes, “…Ms. Shyu is among New York's most invigorating vocal presences. And perhaps the most enigmatic.” She has produced five albums as a leader, becoming the first female artist and vocalist as bandleader on Pi Recordings. After graduating from Stanford University, she became the vocalist of 2014 MacArthur Genius Award saxophonist Steve Coleman’s Five Elements from 2003 to 2011 and has presented her own music at Lincoln Center, Brooklyn Academy of Music, Bimhuis (Netherlands), Salihara Theater (Indonesia), National Gugak Center, and National Theater of Korea, to name a few. She has also performed with Mark Dresser, Dave Burrell, Chris Potter, Michael Formanek, Mat Maneri, among others, and in Anthony Braxton’s operas Trillium E and Trillium J. Known for her specialization in lesser known and disappearing traditional musical forms in Taiwan, Korea, China, and East Timor, Shyu studied Javanese Sindhenanand dance for two years on a Fulbright scholarship in Indonesia 2011-2013. She then received a six-month scholarship from the National Gugak Center to study Pansori and Gayageum Byeongchang in 2013, and has also won fellowships from Bronx Council on the Arts, Jerome Foundation, and commissions from the Jazz Gallery and Roulette Intermedium, Inc. in Brooklyn, NY.
Shyu currently leads her band Jade Tongue and is touring her solo opera called SOLO RITES: SEVEN BREATHS, directed by renowned Indonesian filmmaker-director Garin Nugroho. It premiered on May 28, 2014, at Roulette.
Photograph by Charles DeGuzman (Motoko Honda) and Tom Shea (Jen Shyu)
DOORS AT 6PM, SHOW AT 6:30PM
$10-$15 sliding scale
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