Saturday 2 December 2017, 7.30pm

Photo by Sayuri Okamoto

Gozo Yoshimasu & Kukangendai

Delighted to host a rare collaborative performance between pioneering experimental poet, Gozo Yoshimasu, and Japanese three-piece, Kukangendai.

“What I try to do is crack open the conventional composition of the language to reveal the innate imperfections underneath the exterior of elegance. In setting out to create flawed pieces, I try to establish an alternative ideal of poetry, by which such pieces find acceptance. I try to enter into this parallel world via my work.” – Gozo Yoshimasu, from a Q&A with Asymptote Journal

Supported by Japan Foundation.

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Gozo Yoshimasu

Gozo Yoshimasu is a pioneering experimental poet, considered one of the most representative figures of Japanese modern literature. His poetry, which he challenges himself to constantly reinvent and reinvigorate, chronicles a timeless pursuit of origins. He also explores the idea of always being in movement. As a traveler his itineraries are a form of a personal "pilgrimage", from the isles of Japan to the American desert, Central Asia, South America or simply common streets in most continents of the world. This constant movement is one of the foundations of his poetry, giving them a sense of rhythm and speed.

Yoshimasu has developed his poetry into other forms of artistic expression - photography, engraving, calligraphy and films - gozociné - he connects real landscapes to create a visionary world of his own that captures a delicate, almost invisible texture that exists in all things. As a performer he has cultivated a unique style of recitation, and uses rhythm and vocal modulation to the extent that one might consider it a form of incantation. His voice, at times gentle, at times feverish lends itself to a fascinating meeting with music. His readings have been called "electrifying revelations of the power of poetry to move the heart and mind without the aid of translation". Gozo Yoshimasu has been the recipient of some of the highest literary awards and honours in Japan and abroad. In 2003 he received Japan's medal with Purple ribbon for artistic excellence. 

Kukangendai

Formed in 2006 with Junya Noguchi on guitar and vocals, Keisuke Koyano on bass guitar, and Hideaki Yamada on drums. Performing as a three-piece, its tracks are made through a process of editing, replicating, and deliberate error.

This music creates a sense of distortion and places a burden on the performers, leading to their characteristically stoic and humorous live shows. In recent years, the band has attempted to construct and implement a form of live concert in which they go back and forth between playing multiple simultaneous songs in parallel, but the flow of time as a whole manifests as a single unified rhythm.