Originally published on metropolis.co.jp on September 2009
Iconoclastic, self-taught musician Tetsu Saitoh directs a trio of fellow bassists and a quartet of koto players in a performance of his Ombak Hitam, accompanied by butoh dance legend Min Tanaka. The name of the piece comes from the Malaysian word for the ocean current that sweeps up from Southeast Asia, bringing with it seafarers and their cultural influences. Saitoh composed the piece while on Iriomote Island, the first part of Japan reached by the current. Ombak Hitam civilization, he says, provides an alternative to the “Tokyo-centered way of culture, in which the economy leads everything, hurting the earth and human beings deeply.”
Tetsu Saitoh brings butoh dance together with bass and koto players. Sep 16, 7:15pm, ¥4,000. Za Koenji, Koenji. Tel: 03-3419-6261.