Through the looking glass to Japan — and back: two artists see their worlds anew
Paul Kaiser- Visual Artist
Jaroslaw Kapuscinski- Composer and Assistant Professor, Department of Music, Stanford University
What more can western artists gain from encounters with Japan? Japanese culture has long since insinuated itself into our visual, literary, and musical worlds — Japanese prints having influenced the Impressionism of Monet, Japanese haiku the modernist poetics of Ezra Pound, and Japanese mysticism (Zen) the chance music of John Cage.
Composer Jaroslaw Kapuscinski and digital artist Paul Kaiser explore new sources of Japanese inspiration that drove their creation of Linked Verse, the intermedia performance that they and their collaborators recently premiered at Bing Concert Hall. The music, composed for western cello and the Japanese sho (mouth organ) fuses the two instruments while reshuffling their traditional timbral and harmonic functions. The imagery, projected as 3D video, forged a new form of visual montage akin to the methods of renga, an old Japanese tradition of collaborative linked verse that follows a discontinuous line of association radically different from western lyrical and narrative lines.
The artists will relate the stories of their sometimes odd encounters with Japan and its culture, with mystery and incomprehension often playing a key role. They'll also show in telling and concrete detail the methods of their creative responses.