Tokyo venues thinking outside the box

October 11th, 2009 by Jason Jenkins

soundgardening

Great music has the ability to transport you to a different place. Sometimes quite literally. Over the last few months, some interesting aural performances have been happening in venues that are not known for – or built for – live music.

One example is the Soundgardening series (pictured above) happening in the teahouse of Kiyosumi Teien in Kiyosumi Shirakawa. Like Shinjuku Gyoen, Kiyosumi Teien is a manicured garden with a traditional tea house overlooking its koi-filled pond. Artist Philippe Chatelain turns this quiet setting into a private listening area for digital musicians to create and share. Each member of the audience is provided with a champagne tasting (from sponsor Laurent-Perrier) and a pair of headphones. Like the Silent Disco of this summer, Soundgardening performances happen only in the ears of those present so that the ducks and cranes (and neighbors) a few paces away remain undisturbed.

Another unlikely venue for experimental sounds is Highti, a run-down storehouse in the east-end of suburban Tokyo’s no-man’s-land. Highti is quite the opposite of a manicured garden: the entrance is up dusty wooden stairs strewn with cardboard boxes, the mismatched chairs include a few mannequin torsos and the surrounding particle-wood doors open into the bedrooms of artists and designers who live there. There’s a paper cup at the entrance to place your ¥500 entrance fee, and the makeshift bar sells drinks, grilled cheese and avocado sandwiches for ¥300 each.

What both venues do have in common is a sense of intimacy. The Soundgardening shows sell only 35 tickets, and due to the location and experimental nature of Highti shows, the crowds tend to be small and passionate.

What other unlikely venues have you discovered in Japan? Add them in the comments.

highti_door_312highti_live_312

Tags: ,

Comments are closed.

RSS

Recent Posts

  • Marketers capitalize on university entrance exam time

    This week there is something weighing heavy on the minds of many students who’d like to advance to college: the National Center Test for University Admissions. It’s being held Jan. 18-19. Those with their heart set on a particular school who don’t get a good enough score may choose to spend a year, or in [...]

  • Pulsations 1.13.14

    The first batch of Pulsations in 2014 features a twist on chopstick design, a spectacular holiday illumination in Osaka and more.

  • Feelin’ lucky? The highs and lows of ‘fukubukuro’

    Whether you count fukubukuro “lucky bags” as a thank-you to shoppers, a scheme to unload less popular merchandise at the end of the year or just a way to kick off the New Year’s sales, buying a mystery pile of stuff worth [hopefully far] more than the price tag is a tempting offer to many. [...]

  • Pulsations (12.6.13)

    This collection of Pulsations brings holiday cheer in bento form, a must-see project for font-lovers, a solo stop-motion animation effort and more!

  • Joysound’s top 10 karaoke songs of 2013

    Joysound karaoke announced their top songs of 2013! However, just because they’re popular does not mean they came out this year . . .

  • Tokyo Eggs Benedict Bingo

    Eggs Benedict with awesome bacon, with a near lack of eggs, with raw tuna! Wait, raw tuna?! We sample a handful of Tokyo’s Hollandaise sauces.

  • Pulsations (11.19.13)

    Fashion, art and snacktime collide in this collection of Pulsations! Plus: Doraemon makes his 3D film debut!

  • J-blip: Tsutaya launches one-stop ‘lifestyle’ bookshop

    Bookseller Tsutaya moves into the lifestyle business and gives consumer more ways to use T-points.

  • Autumn crop of pumpkin, purple potato and pear products

    The change of season prompts a change of snack flavorings – great for those with a pumpkin craving.

  • Tokyo Designers Week 2013

    This year’s Tokyo Designers Week gets its creative juices flowing with more markets, music and a festival vibe.

Read more:
keita-sagaki-2012-Statue-of-Liberty-detail1
Pulsations (11.19.13)

Fashion, art and snacktime collide in this collection of Pulsations! Plus: Doraemon makes his 3D film debut!

Close