Tomo Yamaguchi, Sizzle Ohtaka, Yuriko Mukoujima Timor-Leste Performance "Creating a Circle of Music Together"

Timor-Leste no Japaun "Tinan Amizade no Dame"

Photo of (From left to right): Tomo Yamaguchi, Sizzle Ohtaka,
(From left to right): Tomo Yamaguchi, Sizzle Ohtaka,
Yuriko Mukoujima

The Japan Foundation presents performances with workshops by three Japanese musicians for the youth of Timor-Leste as part of "the year of friendship and peace between Japan and Timor-Leste" project to celebrate the 10th anniversary of that diplomatic relations. This event takes place in two cities of Timor-Leste from November 14 to 19, 2012. In Timor-Leste, various genres of music have encouraged people throughout its history, being considered that music is closely tied to the national identity. In addition, Timor-Leste has a very large share of youth population. Aiming to further strengthen a long-lasting friendship between Japan and Timor-Leste through music, the performance introduces Japanese culture to the local youth, who are hopes for the future of Timor-Leste. The players are: percussionist Tomo Yamguchi, who creates an original instrument made of waste material, singer Sizzle Ohtaka, who performed minyo [Japanese folk music] songs at the United Nations headquarters as part of the Great East Japan Earthquake recovery support project in March 2012, and violinist / violist Yuriko Mukoujima, who performs various genres of music with her expressive playing technique. The performance program consists of some types of songs, such as Japanese nursery rhymes and folk songs, a local song, and a song titled "Tohoku" to express a gratitude for the support from Timor-Leste in connection with the Great East Japan Earthquake. The workshops include "Making a percussion instrument using waste material" by Tomo Yamaguchi and "Voice workshop" by Sizzle Ohtaka, whose heart touching voice appeals to audience speaking different languages. At the performance, they play with an instrument being made at the workshop, and appear with local artists on stage.

Read an essay written by Percussionist Tomo Yamaguchi in Wochi Kochi Magazine

Dates: November 14 to 19, 2012

Date: Wednesday, November 14 (Workshop)
   Thursday, November 15 (Performance)
Venue: Venilale girls’ orphanage
Date: Friday, November 16 (Workshop & Performance)
Venue: Saint Peter High School Date: Sunday, November 18 (Meeting with the artist group / Workshop)
Venue: Arte Moris (art school) Date: Monday, November 19 (Performance)
Venue: Embassy of Japan in Timor-Leste

Artist Profile

Tomo Yamaguchi

Photo of Tomo Yamaguchi

Tomo Yamaguchi is a Tokyo-born percussionist. He started his musical career as an assistant to singer Hiro Tsunoda, and made his debut in 1980 as a member of the band “Hiro Tsunoda and JAP'S GAP'S”. After the breakup of the band, he participated in tours and recordings for numerous famous artists, including Miho Nakayama, Miki Imai, Ken Hirai, Tatsuya Ishii and Circus. His experience working for the musical “Ginga Tetsudo no Yoru [Night on the Galactic Railroad]” in 1995 inspired him to create an original musical instrument out of waste material. Since then, he has entertained audience of all ages with his unique performances using junk-made percussion throughout Japan. His role as joint MC with singer UA on NHK’s education channel “Doremi no Terebi”, which was broadcast from April 2003, won him popularity for his distinct character and musical talent. He has made numerous appearances on TV shows.

Official Website

Sizzle Ohtaka

Photo of Sizzle Ohtaka

Sizzle Ohtaka is a cross-genre singer and artist with a rainbow voice. Her activities go beyond musical genres and borders, varying from numerous appearances in TV commercials to collaborative works with artists of other genres in all over the world. She serves as Chairperson of the workshop called “Koe no Oekaki [drawing with voices]”, and makes regular appearances on NHK education channel’s show, “Nihongo de Asobo [Let’s play with Japanese]”, while actively participating in live performances with many famous artists including Tomo Yamaguchi, Kazutoki Umezu and Daisaku Kume. Specializing in Okinawan and other minyo songs, her best works include very popular ones, such as “Hana – Subete no Hito no Kokoro ni Hana wo [Flowers to the hearts of all people]” and “Kanashiku te Yarikirenai [Too sad to bear]”. She composed a song, “Tohoku” hoping the earliest recovery from the earthquake effects, and sang this in three cities of the United States and France, including at the United Nations head office in New York, as part of the Great East Japan Earthquake support performance in March 2012. This performance was presented by the Japan Foundation, and earned high praise.

Official Website

Yuriko Mukoujima

Sizzle Ohtaka

Yuriko Mukoujima is a violinist, violist, and accordionist. She started playing violin and piano at the age of 3 , and began her music career when she was a student. Previously, she worked with various bands and artists, including “Machinegun Tango” band with Tori Kudo, “PUNGO” with Yoshio Kuge, Masami Shinoda and Jiro Imai, Tsuneo Imahori’s “O U”, “Betsuni Nanmo Kurezuma” with Kazutoki Umezu and Koichi Makigami, and “Shun Sakai & string trio” with Hiromichi Sakamoto and Hiroaki Mizutani. In 2008, she toured France, appearing with Sizzle Ohtaka. Her extensive works include musical compositions, arrangements, and performances for play, TV, radio, studio, and concert, and cover a wide range of musical genres from rock, chanson, tango, jazz, genre-free, and world to minyo.

Official Website

[Contact Us]

The Japan Foundation
Asia and Oceania section, Arts and Culture Dept.
Person in charge: Genda
Tel: +81-(0)3-5369-6062

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