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Invented Languages & Musical Tongues: Jaap Blonk and Koichi Makigami

2015/06/11

by Taylor Mignon

In the fall of 2013, I had the pleasure of attending a gig of Third Person at Lady Jane in Shimokitazawa. 3rd Person comprises of the duo Kazutoki Umezu, Samm Bennett & the guest, who, constantly rotates. The guest at that time was Koichi Makigami, the vocalist for Hikashu. At Lady Jane, Makigami improvised while vocalizing a new language instantly, combined with other nonverbal utterances and creating sounds off the cuff with whatever items were nearby at hand, including a mouth harp. Yet his manner of tone and inflection ironically implied meaning and feeling. At times, I imagined the euphemistic rhetoric of a politician in his intense barrage of utterances, sometimes quiet and sometimes louder, but always impassioned. Mr. Bennett later recommended I listen to Jaap Blonk.

Until that time, I hadn't yet experienced or heard much Sound Poetry. The sound poem, at least in its modern (anti-) artistic sense, originated in the Dada movement, specifically in Kurt Schwitter's work Ursonate. Blonk’s memorized interpretation of Ursonate, on Youtube, is incredibly fluent and vocally musical. You can find two versions of Arsenate at this link, one with real time typography of Kurt Schwitter's text.

Dadaists rebelled against the senseless millions of deaths expended during World War One. Though today we still commend ourselves at our capacity for thought, mindless consumerism, social networks with its memes, a fake populism and mass conformity triumphs. The need for artists to rally against the status quo is as strong as ever. We require art that reaches us deeply, not just intellectually, but to a deeper place, call it the unconscious.

Upcoming at SuperDeluxe is a rare chance to see Makigami's Dutch counterpart, Jaap Blonk, who will be giving a solo performance and improvisation with Makigami and Jim O'Rourke, an experimental and improvisational musician from Chicago. Here are both sound poets (and friends) represented here in Quiet Neighbors Moaning. This is sure to be one ruckus of a show, vocally dynamic, anti-rational, yet not meaningless, a tongue-in-out-around-under-over the cheek, inspirational vocal, guttural fireworks display, yet not without subtlety. Bring your open heart, leave your hat and get ready to have your mind blown with a laugh.



Tour Scedule June 2015

Thursday, 11 at 4:30 pm
Musashino Art University, Tokyo, Japan Lecture

Friday, 12 at 7:00 pm
SuperDeluxe, Tokyo, Japan
Solo Performance and Improv with Koichi Makigami and Jim O'Rourke

Sunday, 14 at 7:00 pm
Nanya, Nagoya, Japan
Solo Performance and Improv with Local Musicians

Tuesday, 16 at 10:40 am
Ritsumeikan University, Kyoto, Japan Lecture / Workshop

Wednesday, 17
University of Health and Sport Sciences, Osaka, Japan Workshop

Thursday, 18 at 7:30 pm
Guggenheim House, Kobe, Japan
Solo Performance / Also Featured: Aoki Shiori & Inada Makoto; Haco & Morimoto Ali

Friday, 19 at 7:30 pm
UrbanGuild, Kyoto, Japan
Solo Performance / Also Featured: Kohei Suzui, Rico Murakami, Haruka Mitani and Michael Lyons

Sunday, 21 at 5:00 pm
MIIT House, Osaka, Japan
Solo Performance and Improv with Samuel Ekkehardt Dunscombe and Jerry Gordon

Tuesday, 23 at 2:40 pm
Art Media Center, Tokyo University of the Arts, Japan Lecture / Workshop

Wednesday, 24 at 7:00 pm
iCLA, Kofu, Japan Lecture

Thursday, 25 at 7:30 pm
AtHall, Oita, Japan
Solo Performance and Improv with Local Musicians

Friday, 26 at 7:00 pm
IAF Shop, Fukuoka, Japan
Solo Performance / Also Featured: TOMI and Shayne Bowden

Saturday, 27 at 7:00 pm
Retroft Museo, Kagoshima, Japan
Solo Performance and Improv with Mitsuaki Matsumoto

Sunday, 28 at 7:00 pm
Higashi-Kumin-Bunka Center, Hiroshima, Japan
Solo Performance / Also Featured: Toshikazu Marumachi, Bunpei Kunimoto, Kazuya Katoh, Tamaho Miyake and Daisuke Terauchi



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