audio visual improvised spectacle with physical poetry
“We have invited musicians and dancers to participate in this project that links two cultural worlds. Butoh Techno is a real live created spectacle that combines improvisation and techno music, live processing videos and physical poetry. Both dancer and musicians are characters in this performance. The physical poet uses his body to tell a fable of man continuous journey through life while musicians take role of his opponents or allies by creating audio and visual tensions or ease.”Shepherds of Cats
Butoh Techno is an international dance and audio visual project formed in 2017 out of a collaboration between Shepherds of Cats, Polish artist Filip Zawada and Japanese pianist and vocalist Aya Ogawa. The spectacle happens in multilayered abstract scenery filled with improvised music, live processed videos and butoh dance.
1st edition of Butoh Techno was performed in Ośrodek Postaw Twórczych, Wroclaw (Poland) in May 2017. Shepherds of Cats collaborated with Tukasa Kamidate (butoh), Aya Ogawa (vocalist/pianist), Filip Zawada (directing, music), Vj Pietrushka (live visuals), Mariae Smiarowska (voice, contemporary dance), Matylda Gerber (saxophone). The spectacle attracted enough interests to continue this project in following years with new collaborations. In May 2018, during 2nd edition Aya Ogawa invited japanese physical poet Mushimaru Fujieda to join the project. In May 2019, the artists went on tour to perform 3rd edition of Butoh Techno in Poland, Germany and UK.
Mushimaru Fujieda – physical poetry
Aya Ogawa – piano, vocal
Matylda Gerber – saxophone
VJ Pietrushka – live video processing
Shepherds of Cats – live music
MUSHIMARU FUJIEDA, born in 1952 in Aichi Prefecture, Mushimaru Fujieda is now based on the rainforest island of Yakushima in Japan. He began working in drama in 1972 and then joined Ishin-ha company in 1978. Since 1989 he has gone out as an independent solo performer inside and outside of Japan. After receiving the highest praise from the late, great American poet, artist and activist Allen Ginsberg, Mushimaru was inspired to redefine his work as that of a Natural Physical Poet. In 1997 he received the Tobita Drama Award for “Most Excellent Improvised Dance”. His other activities have included: a mask dance-drama for Himalayan religious ceremonies, collaborations and theatrical presentations with, among others, Finnish avant garde drummer Edward Vesala and American poet Allen Ginsberg; appearances at Rainbow 2000 techno festival in Japan, Juksan International Arts Festival in Korea and on television on the Kyoto Satellite Channel, Asian Performing Arts Now in Japan with dancer Edwin Lung, and with the Korean company Paekche under Professor Sung-Sik Chang.
AYA OGAWA, pianist, vocalist, educator and artist Aya Ogawa lives in Hakodate, Hokkaido. She started playing piano in 1968 and has been involved in theatre since 1970. Ogawa is also a songwriter, organiser of poetry readings and publisher of picture books. These experiences inform her improvisations, which include work with Japanese and international musicians and dancers such as Sabu Toyozumi, Peter Brötzmann and Deku Ogawa, and Butoh dancers Hal Tanaka, Mushimaru Fujieda, Atsushi Takenouchi and Tukasa Kamidate.
MATYLDA GERBER, composer and saxophone player from Wroclaw, Poland. She is a regular to the Jazz scene in her hometown as well as London, where she participated in projects such as London Improvisers Orchestra, Skronk and Exploratorio. Matylda also spearheads two musical projects in London, which focus on mixing compositions with free-jazz improvisations. In 2015, Matylda played at the esteemed Jazztopad Festival in her native city after which she was featured in the music portal All About Jazz. Establishing her career with the band Kolega Doriana, the group released an album in 2015 to positive reviews from The Free Jazz Collective as well as Redbull Tour de Polonia.
MACIEJ PIĄTEK aka VJ Pietrushka, video artist working mainly on experimental video projects & short films but also collaborating with various local and international musicians, exploring closely improvised and electronic scene. His films has been screened & exhibited both in places such as: Art Gallery of SESI-SP in Sao Paulo, Babylon Cinema in Berlin and ICA in London, Arnolfini in Bristol, The Vienna Kunstlerhaus and The Embros Theatre in Athens. VJ Pietrushka shared the stage with artists such as Isnaj Dui and Ben Nigel Potts performing fully improvised live VJ sessions and closely collaborate with Shepherds of Cats.
SHEPHERDS OF CATS, improvisation is their working method to create sonic stories and worlds, drenched in incredulity at their own existence. Plethora of instruments, found sounds and moving images allow them to layer contrasting sounds to create haunting and mesmerising soundscapes. They explore the outer boundaries of sound, pushing it to the limits of what can be considered acceptable in the realm of so called music. Their compositions are created in real time. In 2015 and 2017, Shepherds of Cats toured Germany and UK to play concerts in places such as: Kreuzung an St. Helena for In Situ Art Society in Bonn, Das Gespinst in Essen, MK Gallery in Milton Keyens, The Kazimier Gardens in Liverpool. They collaborate closely with Manchester-dwelling saxophone swinger and Tombed Vision Records headmaster David McLean, German trombonist Gunter Heinz, Japanese pianist Aya Ogawa, composer and Lisbon base experimentalist Pascal Ansell AKA Panelak, Maciej Piątekaka VJ Pietrushka, experimental live video maker. Shepherds are: Aleksander Olszewski (ethnic percussion), Adam Webster (cello, voice), Jan Fanfare (guitar, loops, voice), Dariusz Blaszczak (synthesizers and electronics).