In collaboration with MUTEK.JP, which hosts the MUTEK music and digital art festival that uses cutting-edge technology, the KYOTO STEAM—International Arts × Science Festival Executive Committee launches NAQUYO—The Visionary Universe of Heian-kyo.
What kind of sound was Kyoto surrounded with 1,200 years ago, when it was known as Heian-kyo?
To answer this question, NAQUYO, whose name is a Japanese mnemonic for remembering the year (794) when the Heian period began, will unfold as an accessible art project over a two-year period. Bringing back to life the soundscape of Heian-kyo and widely sharing this creative process, the project examines the significance of the philosophy and worldview of Heian-kyo in today’s contexts.
In 2020, we will deepen our understanding of Heian-kyo through academic research into urban studies and the ancient city’s sound environment, and recreate the soundscape of Heian-kyo through electronic music and stereophonic sound systems in cooperation with a broad range of artists, researchers, and engineers alongside the cutting-edge music technology of MUTEK.JP.
We plan to organize four events in 2020 and early 2021. By streaming these events live, we will share the process of virtually reproducing the sound of Heian-kyo with as wide an audience as possible.
October 2020–March 2021
NAQUYO #1: NAQUYO—The Visionary Universe of Heian-kyo Online Talk & Live Music Performance
What was the visionary universe of Heian-kyo? Inviting Nagaya Kazuya, a world-renowned sound artist, and Nakagawa Shin, a pioneer in soundscape research and musicologist, as guests, this online talk unearths the soundscape of Heian-kyo through delving into the literature of the era and reflecting on the significance of Heian-kyo in the present-day context while also sharing the aims of the project.
Thursday, October 22, 2020 / 7 pm–midnight
SUPER DOMMUNE (live streaming site and studio)
7 pm–9 pm
Talk: What is the Visionary Universe of Heian-kyo?
Moderator: Tanizaki Tetra (media producer, Chief Director, KYOTO STEAM—International Arts × Science Festival Executive Committee)
Guests: Nakagawa Shin (musicologist; Specially Appointed Professor, Urban Research Plaza, Osaka City University), Nagaya Kazuya (sound artist)
Live Music Performance: The Visionary Universe of Heian-kyo
Musicians: Nagaya Kazuya and other Kyoto-based musicians
Viewing: Available to all audiences. Visit DOMMUNE to watch the talk and live performance.
NAQUYO # 2: Lecture & Workshop (to be held in December)
Participants will envision and create the soundscape of one day in Heian-kyo. Extracting sounds from books, waka poems, and paintings from the Heian period, and combining them with the sounds of the environment as well as the gagaku (imperial court music) and Gion Festival that have passed down to us from the period, participants will attempt to reproduce the sounds of Heian-kyo.
NAQUYO # 3: Lecture & Workshop (to be held in February)
The workshop aims to create the imaginary sounds of the Buddhist temple bells, which were located in various parts of Heian-kyo. Using a stereophonic sound system, participants will reproduce the sound that would have been heard in the Heian period.
NAQUYO # 4: Talk & Live Music Performance (to be held in March)
Based on the previous three sessions, participants will newly create the soundscape of Heian-kyo and present the results in a talk and live music performance.
*Details for each event will be announced on this website.
Tanizaki Tetra (media producer; Chief Director, KYOTO STEAM—International Arts × Science Festival Executive Committee)
Nagaya Kazuya (sound artist)
Iwanami Shuichiro (MUTEK.JP)
Takekawa Junichi (MUTEK.JP)
Nakagawa Shin (musicologist; Specially Appointed Professor, Urban Research Plaza, Osaka City University)
Watanabe Hiroyuki (Professor and Head of Department of Information Design, Kyoto University of the Arts [formerly Kyoto University of Art and Design])
Dentsu Inc. Kyoto
In cooperation with
Kyoto University of the Arts (formerly Kyoto University of Art and Design)