Ftarri / Ftarri Festival 2019

Otomo Yoshihide

Otomo Yoshihide was born in 1959 in Yokohama. He was a pioneering figure on the electroacoustic improvisation scene, and today he is a musician and producer--a cross-genre music maker actively performing free improvisation, noise and pop simultaneously and independently on a global scale. He has long experimented with electronic technology, and his compositions draw from a wide range of musical styles. As a teenager, he lived in Fukushima, where his interest in free jazz blossomed. In 1979, Otomo moved to Tokyo.

In 1991, he released his first album in Hong Kong and performed there as the leader of the experimental rock group Ground-Zero. Since then, he has played overseas extensively. After Ground-Zero disbanded, Otomo's sound changed markedly. His current sound embraces simplicity and texture over dynamism and instrumental virtuosity, in sharp contrast with the distinctive plunderphonics of his earlier style. He formed Otomo Yoshihide's New Jazz Quintet in 2001. As a film composer, he has produced over 100 pieces of music for visual, film and television works. In recent years, he has been organizing unique conducted improvisation groups, in collaboration with both artists and non-musicians, under the name "Ensembles." Additionally, he has been committed to music workshops and participatory projects with challenged children, and a music festival as part of "Project FUKUSHIMA!," which started after the Great East Japan Earthquake in 2011 and for which he received a Minister of Education Award for Fine Arts in 2012. In 2013, he received the Japan Record Award for his accomplishments, including as composer of the theme music for the TV drama Amachan. In 2017 Otomo was appointed artistic director of Sapporo International Art Festival, and he currently serves as director of Ensembles Asia.

Otomo Yoshihide on the Ftarri, Hitorri, Meenna, and Improvised Music from Japan labels

Last updated: October 29, 2019


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