幽玄 – yūgen

幽玄 a profound awareness that triggers emotions too mysterious and deep for words.  

  • 幽玄 is one of the most important ideas in Japanese aesthetics.
  • Though the term undeniably applies to experiences and phenomena that are ineffable, 幽玄 also holds that these things are most certainly experienced within the natural world.  
  • Apart from natural phenomenon, the creation of art and the cultivation of artistic skills and techniques can also lead to 幽玄.

Taiko ImageWe would like to explore cyclical themes in relation to 幽玄 as a basis for our interaction with one another – the taiko drum already has become emblematic of this direction.

Taiko Duet: playing techniques and rhythmic patterns learned in workshop with taiko.

Taiko Improvisation: taiko, movement.  In this improvisation we were looking to juxtapose power and fragility and question traditional gender roles in this dynamic.

John Dowland’s ‘Weep you no more, sad fountains’.  We used this piece as a starting point for our workshop day with lute and koto.  Its key and melody suggested a related pentatonic scale which served as a foundation for subsequent koto-lute-voice improvisations.  A short movement/breathing phrase also evolved from this piece which then initiated subsequent movement.

Improvisation: movement, koto, lute, voice.

Improvisation: movement, voice, clarinet, electronics.  An excerpt from an earlier residency where we were exploring improvisational strategies in connection with electronics.

 

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