This fall will see the music festival “Yokohama Otomatsuri 2013,” to be held from September 20 to November 30, and during which a variety of music will ring out across Yokohama City.
Yokohama is the “point of origin of wind instruments,” and many of the citizens of the region enjoy a wide range of music, not only listening to it but also performing it themselves or holding concerts; and a wide range of more than 270 events are planned to take place during “Yokohama Otomatsuri 2013.”
Whereas the Yokohama Minato Mirai Hall, the main venue of the festival will offer classical music concerts, a variety of free concerts will be held in the unique locations that only Yokohama can offer such as the Nipponmaru Memorial Park and Yamate Seiyokan, western residences in the bluff area.
In the same way as the “Dance Dance Dance @ YOKOHAMA 2012” last year, movie theaters, hotels, bars and passenger cruise ships will also hold events relating to live performances and music, creating a festival that allows everyone to easily enjoy a variety of music, and with something happening almost every day somewhere in the city.
Furthermore, in accordance with the holding of the “Yokohama Otomatsuri 2013,” we have again this year gained the support and cooperation of a large number of companies and commercial facilities. It is thanks to all of this support that the cultural power of Yokohama’s citizens is capable of surpassing genres, and national boundaries, and we are proud that it will go on to create new values and new histories.
The people and the companies of Yokohama are going to come together for a 72 day voyage, starting from September 20.
We all welcome you to Yokohama, the sea of music!
I am very happy this year to be able to introduce to you the “Yokohama Otomatsuri 2013.”
Music is the backdrop to every facet of human life, calming the heart, letting us have fun, cheering us up when we need it, and is something that we could never live without. It is also a representation of culture and art that allows the people of the world to share their values without relying on words, giving it substantial power for interaction across national boundaries.
The “Yokohama Otomatsuri 2013” intends to be a festival that removes all of the barriers of genre from music, and allows everyone to easily take part regardless of their age and musical experience. We also intend to make use of the kind of locations that only Yokohama can offer to provide the most appealing settings for the festival, limited not only to cultural facilities but also making use of all of the varied spaces within the city, including facilities for tourism, the port and our parks.
During the dance festival “Dance Dance Dance @ YOKOHAMA 2012” held last year, the entire city of Yokohama was alive with dance for the two and a half month period of the event. This fall, it will surely be music from around the world that gathers in Yokohama and flows out onto the streets.
Through the holding of the “Yokohama Otomatsuri 2013,” we are hoping not only to transmit new art and culture out both domestically and overseas, but also hope that the universal power that music holds will bring strength to us as we try to overcome the problems faced by modern society, and give us the energy to carry on into the future. Furthermore, we are confident that this festival will link to the “Yokohama Triennale 2014,” helping to realize Yokohama as the “city of arts and culture” and “city of activity.”
Finally, in regard to the holding of this festival, I would like to offer my deepest thanks to all who have offered their cooperation, and humbly request their continued support into the future.
I hope you will look forward to the “Yokohama Otomatsuri 2013,” starting in September this year.
Oko AraiArtistic Director Yokohama Otomatsuri 2013
Welcome to the Music Ocean!
Long ago, there were no boundary lines on the land or the sea. These are things placed there by the people who have since come into being. The world of music now finds itself in a similar situation; the boundary lines for a variety of genres have been drawn, including pop, rock, classical and jazz, and each genre has developed and matured on its own, with free movement between them becoming less and less commonplace.
Music, however, is an infinite ocean, and Yokohama marks the cultural entranceway through which music from overseas has entered Japan. This places the town in a unique position to create true crossover music, with artists from a variety of genres all playing together.
The “Yokohama Otomatsuri” (sound festival) is an event that seeks to overturn the preconceptions attached to each kind of music, providing a new way to enjoy it, free from all established formalities. Over a period of approximately two months, you will be able to enjoy performances of every genre of music in just the kind of unique and varied locations that Yokohama can offer.
Our net has been cast wide to include all genres of music, including the wind instrument music that is said to have millions of fans nationwide, the sound of solemn pipe organs combined with songs from TV animation, the collaboration between music and the “kawaii” fashion that has become an international buzzword, a band and chorus stage with citizen participation, and opera staged with German collaboration. Which you choose to take in, the situation you choose to watch it in, whether to submerge yourself completely or simply pick and choose; that freedom is completely yours.
Festivals provide a release from everyday life, leading our hearts and minds into a different, extraordinary world. Now, we have heard the fanfare calling for the start of the festivities. Let us set sail from Yokohama out into the music ocean!
Oko Arai (Concert Program Coordinator, Writer)
Graduated from the Tokyo University of the Arts, Faculty of Music, Department of Composition. Received an International Emmy for composition work on the 1998 NHK educational show “Wagamama Orchestra” (Selfish Orchestra). As a coordinator and writer of classical music concerts, currently works for concerts by the Yomiuri Nippon Symphony Orchestra, New Japan Philharmonic, Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra, Sendai Philharmonic Orchestra and Sapporo Symphony Orchestra, and for such TV programs as “Yomikyo Symphonic Live” (Nihon TV), “Untitled Concert” (TV Asahi) and “Tokyu Silvester Concert” (TV Tokyo).
Also wrote the book for musical stories such as “Peer Gynt,” “The Nutcracker” and “Midsummer Night’s Dream,” which were then performed by Toru Emori and Etsuko Ichihara. Has also earned praise for composition of the 2005 Expo in Aichi, the Hiroshima Peace Music Festival and the Yokohama Minato Mirai Hall “Children’s Day Concert,” and the book for the opera “Uzura” (Quail) celebrating the 40th anniversary of Wako City becoming a city in 2010, and the 2011 Hamamatsu City musical “Singing Voices Carried on the Wind.”
Written works include “Before the A Rings Out,” the poetry collection “Door,” “A New Textbook: Music” (collaboration) and “Famous Classical Melodies You Can Listen To On Your Cell Phone.” Currently appears as a personality on such shows as NHK-FM’s “DJ Classic.”
Part-time professor at the Tokyo University of the Arts, visiting professor at the Senzoku Gakuen College of Music.