Once more, with feeling. The Red Bull Music Academy has taken its series of music festivals and workshops to cities around the world over the last 15 years, with previous stops including NYC, Toronto, London, Madrid, Melbourne, and Cape Town. We’re very glad to announce that the Academy will be hosted in Tokyo in October 2014.
Tokyo is one of the world’s most iconic cities – a place that tends to inspire mythic reimagining. It’s also a city of contrasts: a place where J-pop stadium spectacles abound, but where collector culture thrives and connoisseurs of obscure funk, soul, audiophile equipment and electronic music abide. Japan is a country that has long embraced the soul in the machine, whose composers, equipment designers and game soundtracks have had an inestimable influence on modern music. Need we mention Roland drum machines, Akai samplers and Pioneer mixers? Perhaps Tokyo, the original urban jungle, with over 13 million inhabitants, is a place where the ancient past and the recently imagined future are deeply entwined, and vestiges of old Edo underlie the city’s sprawl. If you were to draw a map of Tokyo’s cultural spaces, it would be like a circuit board made up of myriad connections and switches: You’re just as likely to find an eye-opening contemporary art exhibition in a quiet and nondescript suburb as you are among the neon canyons of Shinjuku.
Whether through music, literature, or post-war architecture, modern dance and robotics, this country has always produced beautiful art inspired by challenging events. That’s why, as the country hits its stride, we’re very glad to bring the Academy to Japan in 2014 – to bring visionary artists from around the world together with their local counterparts, and explore the country’s most current cultural offerings.
Red Bull Music Academy held its first session in Berlin in 1998 and has since taken its kaleidoscopic array of events, workshops and studio sessions right around the world. For each event, a building is fitted out with specially designed workspaces, high-end recording studio, radio studio and communal spaces – and installed with an exhibition of local established and emerging visual artists. By night, Red Bull Music Academy presents a festival of ground-breaking signature concerts and parties held in the city’s cult venues, cultural institutions, and hidden spaces. Exchange between genres and generations has always been central to the Academy philosophy. Former lecturers include Bob Moog, Nile Rodgers, Steve Reich, Kim Gordon, Flying Lotus, Giorgio Moroder, Erykah Badu, Bootsy Collins, Brian Eno, Richie Hawtin, Tony Allen, Q-Tip, Sly & Robbie, Chuck D, M.I.A., James Murphy, and Moodymann, to name a few.
For a taste of what’s to come in 2014, take a look at the pictures from the Red Bull Music Academy Weekender, held last weekend in Japan’s capital. Over the course of four days, we hosted eight shows, conceptual performances and in-depth seminars in Tokyo’s galleries, museums and premier clubs. From the Walk Music performance of Henrik Schwarz’s work by the Young Symphony Orchestra to the eclectic DJing of Gilles Peterson, it was a varied set of events. Highlights included Damo Suzuki’s Network, Japanese synth wizard Yann Tomita, Ninja Tune’s favourite dandy Daedelus, the Japanese master of abstract beats and experimental hip hop DJ Krush, the thumping experimental techno of Diamond Version and a book, art and record fair in the heart of Harajuku.
Also, take a look at the following links from the most recent Academy, held in NYC this year. And stay tuned for more info on redbullmusicacademy.com! Apply: January 15 – March 18, 2014.