The Man’yōshū, or Collection of Ten Thousand Leaves, is the oldest existing collection of Japanese poetry, dating back to the 8th century C.E. The collection is filled with evocative depictions of nature and the seasons, and is emotionally direct, speaking across centuries to modern readers.
This weekend, The Jazz Gallery is proud to present a very special multimedia project inspired by the Man’yōshū and other arts from Classical-era Japan. The project Ten Thousand Leaves features music composed and performed by singer-songwriter Becca Stevens and composer/sound artist Aya Nishina, as well as video projections by artist Shimpei Takeda. Drawing from both the Man’yōshū and Makura no Sōshi—The Pillow Book—another great work of Classical Japanese literature—Stevens and Nishina have crafted a set of compositions that seek to bridge both time and place. The music itself reflects the pair’s diverse musical upbringings, finding common ground between traditional Irish folk music and Japanese Gagaku court music from the 7th century C.E.
To get a sense of what the artists might have in store this weekend, check out their previous collaboration below, a haunting synthesis of music and moving image made in memory of the March 11, 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami.
Ten Thousand Leaves promises to be an immensely beautiful evening of sound and sight, devised by artists of great skill and imagination.
The Jazz Gallery presents Ten Thousand Leaves on Friday, June 24th, and Saturday, June 25th, 2016. The project features music composed by Becca Stevens and Aya Nishina, video projections designed by Shimpei Takeda, sound engineering by Fernando Aponte, and sets designed by Ostap Rudakevych, and Masayuki Sono of Clouds Architecture Office. Performances are at 7:30 and 9:30 P.M. each evening. $22 general admission ($12 for members) for each set. Purchase tickets here. This project is made possible in part by a Performing Arts Japan 2015-2016 grant from The Japan Foundation.