Mar 22,2014. UPDATE

WORKSHOP BY LEXUS vol.8: A new take on “Rakugo” and music

4.22 Tue 19:00 START

Shunputei Ichinosuke(Rakugo performer) , Towa Tei

Rakugo performer Shunputei Ichinosuke and DJ TOWA TEI, who produced the music for INTERSECT BY LEXUS, have each achieved widespread recognition in their respective creative fields. Now, the two men are trying their hand at a new form of live performance that brings together Rakugo and music. At the workshop, the two men explored the common elements between Rakugo and music, after touching on this in an earlier conversation that was featured in SWITCH magazine. Writer Akiko Saito moderated the event.

The workshop began with a 10-minute session by DJ TOWA TEI. Mr. Ichinosuke then took the stage and gave a traditional “Makura” (pillow) introduction, which made the crowd laugh. After Mr. Ichinosuke finished, the atmosphere of the room was once again transformed by music from DJ TOWA TEI. Mr. Ichinosuke then returned with a Rakugo story, before the first half of the performance came to an end.

The second half consisted of a talk show featuring the two men and musician Miu Sakamoto, who has had a personal interest in Rakugo since she attended her first performance in 2005. She recalled that the experience had broadened her interest in stage performance and the performing arts in general. She then started to make regular trips to the theatre, including Rakugo shows, which she found particularly fascinating as one-man performances.

The subject shifted to the Rakugo and music of the first half. Mr. TEI explained that the first track he played was one he often uses to warm up a club at the beginning of a night, while the second had been inspired by his mentor. Mr. Ichinosuke interjected to say that the initial atmosphere is always quite tense, but they had each attempted to ease this in their respective performances. He also pointed out that what they were doing here was probably a world first.

Next, Ms. Sakamoto asked Mr. Ichinosuke when he decides his programs. Mr. Ichinosuke admitted that he often does this on the spot, depending on the crowd, and he rarely prepares it in advance. He explained that he has about 40 stories ready at any given time. If it is a young crowd and there is a good vibe, he’ll often up the tempo. Mr. TEI added that he also rarely prepares his sets in advance but rather picks playlist folders from his PC according to the vibe in the room. Today, he brought the “lounge” folder data with him. Choosing what to bring to the table based on the mood of the room is a creative trait that the two men share. Finally, they answered questions from the floor, before the talk session came to a close.

Guests at INTERSECT BY LEXUS were given a taste of a unique collaboration between two very different art forms. It was a valuable experience that showed creativity is able to span genres.