Wildly Eclectic, Exclusive Spotify Playlist Celebrates Seven Years of Japan Society's Original Music Programming

Japan Society Performances 2006-2012 Spotify Playlist

** Link: **

New York, NY - Japan Society celebrates the announcement of its 2012/2013 Performing Arts Season with the public release of a Spotify music playlist, Japan Society Performances 2006-2012 Spotify Playlist,  with tracks from over two dozen artists who have played on the Japan Society stage or will perform in the new season. (For video highlights of the season, visit

Featured playlist artists include electronic sound composer Ryoji Ikeda; punk rockers Afrirampo; art-noise mixers Otomo Yoshihide and Christian Marclay; pop R&B singer Yu Sakai; traditional shamisen player Hiromitsu Agatsuma; avant-garde noise jazz from John Zorn, Yamantaka EYE of The Boredoms, Bill Laswell and Mike Patton; classical composer Harry Partch as played by The Ensemble of Unique Instruments, and many more.  

The Japan Society playlist begins with music from Oorutaichi (performing at Japan Society on November 16) and Bang on a Can All-Stars (performing the music of Vijay IyerSomei Satoh and Mamoru Fujieda at Japan Society on December 8). This playlist is accessible to listen on any computer or portable device running Spotify. 

Tracks on the playlist were handpicked by Japan Society Artistic Director Yoko Shioya, curator of all performing arts programs at the Society.

"When I book artists to play at Japan Society, it is a bit like being a DJ. In both instances, I am trying to share a '!!!!' moment with the listener, a moment when I feel I have heard something truly original, something I have never heard before.

“Often, this discovery is a subtle thing, something unique in the rhythm of a piece or the texture of a sound or voice. I have to say that Japan is a treasure chest for these '!!!!' moments.  The diligent listener will find a plethora of never-before-heard sounds in the most amazing places: in serious classical composition, improvisational found art, high-tech electronics and non-commercial pop music scenes.  You will find elements of all the above and much more in this playlist and in my programming at Japan Society.

“I am excited at the opportunity to further share my musical discoveries with online listeners but would urge anyone excited by this music to join us for some truly memorable live performances, starting with our Fall season. For 2012, I have selected Oorutaichi (an amazing and energetic non-commercial pop composer) and Mamoru Fujieda (a serious and high-tech minimalist), both from Japan. Additionally, we will showcase a newly commissioned piece from the fantastically gifted jazz artist Vijay Iyer, who is currently at work creating music inspired by the Japanese traditional painting known as Rimpa.  An exhibition of priceless Rimpa works will run concurrently at Japan Society with our guest artists, Bang on a Can's performance of Iyer's piece, providing audiences with a rare opportunity to see both the product and the inspiration. We'll have more music to share in 2013, but for now enjoy some of the great sounds that Japan Society has been honored to present over the past seven years!"

The Japan Society Performances 2006 -2012 Spotify Playlist full tracklist is as follows:

1. Oorutaichi - Futurelina (EYE Remix)

2. Bang On A Can All-Stars - sunray

3. Vijay Iyer - Forgotten System

4. Somei Satoh - Ruika

5. Hiromitsu Agatsuma - Tsugaru Jongara-bushi (Kyu-bushi)

6. Yosuke Yamashita - J. G. Bird 

7. Nobukazu Takemura - Assembler Mix

8. Aoki Takamasa - mnd-sng01

9. Sachiko M - Detect

10. Hikashu - Nikoseron

11. Yamantaka Eye - Anarchy Way

12. Keiji Haino - Aria I

13. Mike Patton - Inconsolable Widows In Search Of Distraction

14. Ken Ueno - Kaze-no-Oka

15. Bill Laswell - Improvised Music #2

16. John Zorn - You Rang?

17. Afrirampo - Afrirampo

18. Harry Partch's Delusion of the FuryThe Pilgrimage

19. Akiko Yano - Omoide No Sampo-michi

20. Ikue Mori - Ghostlake

21. Teiji Ito - Quetzalcoatl I: Opening Chant/Gemstones

22. Ryoji Ikeda - Test Pattern #0100

23. Yu Sakai - Kiss Of Life (Live From Tokyo)

24. Asobi Seksu - Strawberries

25. Otomo Yoshihide - 2*10'

26. Christian Marclay - One Thousand Cycles    

Yoko Shioya joined Japan Society in 1997, assuming the position of Director of Performing Arts in 2003 and Artistic Director in 2006.  She has expanded collaborative projects with American cultural organizations and universities to introduce Japanese performing artists and also launched new initiatives, including an artists' residency project and a workshop series. Known in Japan as a writer/researcher on the public and private arts support systems in the U.S. and Japan, Ms. Shioya has been invited to speak at numerous symposia, lectures and TV programs presented by the Agency for Cultural Affairs of the Japanese government, Keidanren, the Academy of Cultural Economics and the Japan Council of Performers' Organizations, among others. In 1998, her first book, New York: How the City and Its Artists Coexist, was published by Maruzen Publishing Co. She has been a regular contributor to arts columns on performing arts and exhibitions for the Asahi newspaper, and has served as a committee member and selection panelist for numerous programs, including The Bessie Awards, Rolex Mentor and Protege International Program, and the Toyota Choreography Awards. Ms. Shioya holds BAs in musicology and dance history from Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music.

Founded in 1907, Japan Society is a world-class, multidisciplinary hub for both English and Japanese-speaking artists and audiences.  Since the inception of the Performing Arts Program in 1953, Japan Society has produced more than 600 showings of Japan's finest performing arts to an extensive American audience in and out of New York City.  Program topics range from the traditional to the avant-garde.  Japan Society commissions new works, administrates national tours, organizes residency programs for American and Japanese artists and develops and distributes educational programs.  The Society is responsible for hosting more than 100 events each year.  An American nonprofit, nonpolitical organization, the Society's overarching goal is to cultivate a constructive, resonant and dynamic relationship between the people of the U.S. and Japan.  

Japan Society’s 2012-2013 Performing Arts Season Music Highlights

KINYA SOGAWA:  Shakuhachi Exploration
Sunday, September 23 at 5:00pm
File Under:  Japan, Traditional, Instrumental, Experimental
Tickets: $15 / $10 Japan Society & Roulette members, students & seniors 
***OFF-SITE: Roulette is located at 509 Atlantic Avenue, Brooklyn, NY
***Tickets can be purchased at or by calling (917) 267-0363

Japan's shakuhachi virtuoso Kinya Sogawa makes his much-anticipated full-length U.S. performance debut at Roulette in a concert co-presented by Japan Society and Roulette, and featuring special guests Elizabeth Brown, Ned Rothenberg, Ralph Samuelson and Laurie Sogawa.  Both a brilliant performer and acclaimed instrument maker, unique in the shakuhachi world, Sogawa is active in diverse genres of traditional and contemporary music,including popularenka songs and video game scores and sound effects.  Exploring the multifaceted beauty, power and versatility of the shakuhachi, a traditional Japanese bamboo flute, Sogawa performs a wide range of music from meditative solo pieces passed down by the komuso wandering monks of the 17th century to new 21st century works by composers Ned Rothenberg and Elizabeth Brown that expand the sonic language of that tradition, creating new possibilities for the instrument.

Related Workshops: In the week prior to this U.S. debut concert, Kinya Sogawa leads a series of workshops at Japan Society, for performers, composers and instrument makers, giving participants a deeper look into this versatile shakuhachi. 

For more information, please visit 

KUROMORI KAGURA:  Folk Music & Dance from Tohoku
Saturday, October 27 at 7:30pm, and Sunday, October 28, at 5:30pm
File Under:  Dance, Japan, Traditional
Tickets:  $32 / $25 Japan Society members
Tickets can be purchased at or by calling (212) 715-1258   

Experience a centuries-old folk music and dance tradition from the Tohoku region (northeastern Japan), performed by artists hailing from towns devastated by the earthquake and tsunami of March 11, 2011. Originating in an area often referred to as a "treasure chest" of Japan's folk performing arts, the practice ofKuromori Kagura, which represents a demonstration of appreciation to the gods of Shintoism, can be traced back to the 17th century, honoring the divine spirit of the Kuromori Shrine in Miyako City, Iwate Prefecture.  Designated as an Important Intangible Cultural Folk Asset by the Japanese government, the group will perform a selection of dances from its vast repertoire, which includes furious jumps, brisk turns and whimsical moves accompanied by percussion and fue (Japanese flute) and performed wearing elaborate masks and colorful costumes, revealing a whole new dimension of Japan's traditional performing arts.  Kuromori Kagura arrives in New York as part of a four-city tour produced and organized by Japan Society, followed by stops in Middletown, CT (Wesleyan University), Philadelphia, PA (Philadelphia Museum of Art) and Baltimore, MD (Towson University).

(Running time: 90 minutes)
Pre-performance Lectures:   One hour before all show times and FREE to ticket holders.

Related Family Event:  Kuromori Kagura: Traditional Music & Dance on Sunday, October 28 at 11:00am

A special event for families, with children of all ages invited to enjoy Kuromori Kagura's ritual dances.  This event offers the opportunity to try basic kaguradance moves, participate in craft-making and receive good luck from the lion-shaped Gon-gen sculpture.  Part of Japan Society's  Japan's Annual Festivities series.  Tickets are $12 ($5 for Japan Society Members / Children 2 or under are free).  Members may purchase tickets for family at the discounted price.  

OORUTAICHI:  Cosmic Coco
Friday, November 16; Cash Bar Opens at 6:30 / Show Begins at 7:30pm  
File Under:  Electronic, Pop, Japan, Multi-Media
Tickets: $23 / $18 Japan Society members
Tickets can be purchased at or by calling (212) 715-1258
**Concertgoers attending dressed in space costumes will receive a complimentary drink

Japan's unparalleled vocalist and multi-track sound mixmaster Oorutaichipropels audiences into orbit, as his colorful yet experimental pop music brings crowds to their feet.  Time Out Tokyo praises Oorutaichi's live performance as, "A chain of amusement... Amazingly great." Dubbed "imaginary electronic folklore" by Oorutaichi, his music weaves fanciful language into never-heard-before beats and loops. Titled after Oorutaichi's latest album, Cosmic Coco, this exhilarating event features a celestial-inspired, multi-media projection installation by Oorutaichi and his creative team, transforming Japan Society's foyer into a revolving nightclub.  Local sensation DJ Aki opens and concludes the night with contemporary Japanese and American rock, pop and hip hop.  

(Scheduled Running time:  3 ½ Hours)

BANG ON A CAN ALL-STARS: Rimpa Reimagined
Saturday, December 8, at 7:30pm, followed by a MetLife Meet-the-Artists Reception
**Featuring World Premieres of Japan Society Commissions by VIJAY IYER and MAMORU FUJIEDA and the music of SOMEI SATOH with new video projection by NOBUYUKI HANABUSA
File Under:  Classical, Experimental, Instrumental, Japan, Multi-media
Tickets: $28 / $23 Japan Society members
Tickets can be purchased at or by calling (212) 715-1258   

New York's fiery music group, Bang on a Can All-Stars, which "combin[es] the power and punch of a rock band with the precision and clarity of a chamber ensemble" (The New York Times), unveils new Japan Society-commissioned works drawing inspiration from Rimpa - a school of Japanese painting that spanned the 17-19th centuries. The program features two pieces: one by red-hot New York-based composer Vijay Iyer, and the second by celebrated Japanese post-minimalist composer Mamoru Fujieda.  In addition, the All-Stars revive Somei Satoh's Shu (Spells), for the first time since its world premiere at the Society in 2004.  This time, Shu will be enhanced by a Rimpa art-inspired visual landscape created specially for this concert by leading Japanese motionographer Nobuyuki Hanabusa.   Presented in conjunction with the Japan Society Gallery exhibition 

Silver Wind: The Arts of Sakai Hōitsu (1761-1828); the gallery will be open until 7:30pm, access free with concert ticket.

Related Gallery Exhibition:   
Silver Wind: The Arts of Sakai Hōitsu (1761-1828)

Running September 29, 2012 through Sunday, January 6, 2013
Japan Society Gallery presents the first American retrospective of Sakai Hōitsu. The exhibition includes 58 screens, scrolls, painted fans, lacquer wares, and woodblock-printed books from public and private collections throughout the United States, including five loans from The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Silver Wind offers an unmissable opportunity to experience in its totality the art of a great painter who has long been prized in this country for his direct visual appeal, loving depiction of favorite Japanese subjects, and sensitivity to subtle changes in weather and the seasons. Hours: Tuesday through Thursday:  11:00am - 6:00pm; Friday:  11:00am - 9:00pm (Free from 6:00pm to 9:00pm, please note that the gallery closes at 6:00pm on Friday, October 26); Saturday and Sunday, 11:00am - 5:00pm; Closed:  Mondays and major holidays. Admission: $15/$12 students and seniors/FREE Japan Society members and children under 16.

Since the inception of the Performing Arts Program in 1953, Japan Society has introduced more than 600 of Japan’s finest performing arts to an extensive American audience. Programs range from the traditional arts of noh, kyogen, bunraku and kabuki to cutting-edge theater, dance and music. The Program also commissions new works to non-Japanese artists, produces national tours, organizes residency programs for American and Japanese artists and develops and distributes educational programs. "At once diverse and daring, the program stands toe to toe with some of the most comprehensive cultural exchange endeavors today.” --Back Stage.

Founded in 1907, Japan Society is a world-class, multidisciplinary hub for global leaders, artists, scholars, educators, and English and Japanese-speaking audiences. At the Society, more than 100 events each year feature sophisticated, topically relevant presentations of Japanese art and culture and open, critical dialogue on issues of vital importance to the U.S., Japan and East Asia. An American nonprofit, nonpolitical organization, the Society cultivates a constructive, resonant and dynamic relationship between the people of the U.S. and Japan.

Tickets & Information: Tickets for performances and related events at Japan Society can be purchased by calling the Box Office at 212-715-1258 or in person at Japan Society (M-F 11:00am – 6:00pm and Sat-Sun 11:00am – 5:00pm). Japan Society is located at 333 East 47th Street, between First and Second Avenues (accessible by the 4/5/6 at 42nd Street-Grand Central Station or the E and V at Lexington Avenue and 53rd Street). For more information, call 212-832-1155 or visit

Major support for Japan Society 2012-2013 Performing Arts Programs is provided by the Lila Wallace-Reader's Digest Endowment Fund and the Endowment for the Performing Arts, established with leadership gifts from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, The Globus Family, Kyocera Corporation, The Starr Foundation and Toyota Motor Corporation. MetLife Foundation is a Corporate Partner of Japan Society's 2012-2013 Performing Arts season. Japan Society is also grateful to the following individuals, foundations, and government agencies for their generous support:  Dr. John K. Gillespie; The Fan Fox and Leslie R. Samuels Foundation, Inc.; Dr. and Mrs. Carl F. Taeusch II; Mr. Norton Belknap; Mr. Terry Brykczynski and Ms. Andrea Miller; Mr. James C. Nolan; Ms. Hiroko Onoyama; Howard and Sarah Solomon; Mr. Alex York; and Paula S. Lawrence; and an anonymous donor. New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, in partnership with the City Council, and the New York State Council on the Arts with support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York Legislature. Transportation assistance is provided by All Nippon Airways Co., Ltd. Yamaha is the official piano provider of Japan Society. The four-city American tour of Kuromori Kagura is produced and organized by Japan Society, and is supported by the Agency for Cultural Affairs, Government of Japan in the fiscal year 2012, The Japan Foundation through the Performing Arts JAPAN program, and The Asahi Shimbun Foundation. The regional tour of Kuromori Kagura is made possible by a grant from the Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation with support from the National Endowment for the Arts. Additional support for the New York engagement is provided by Dr. Stephen and Michiko Levine and Mitsubishi UFJ Foundation.  Special thanks to the TOMODACHI Initiative and the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo. Bang on a Can All-Stars: Rimpa Reimagined is supported by Doug and Teresa Peterson and Toshiba America, Inc. MetLife Meet-the-Artists Receptions support is provided by MetLife Foundation.

Media Contacts:

John Seroff, GreenHouse Publicity, 201-743-8536,

Shannon Jowett, Japan Society, 212-715-1205,

Kuniko Shiobara, Japan Society, 212-715-1249,


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