Otomo Yoshihide

Japan Cultural Envoy FY2017
Otomo Yoshihide
  • Worked in Argentina, Chile, Brazil, Mexico, the United States, Italy and France
  • Active Period:From October 31 to December 13, 2017 and from February 1 to February 15, 2018
  • Birthplace:Kanagawa Prefecture
  • Birth:August 1, 1959
  • Academic background:-

Musician and producer. He is a cross-genre music maker actively performing free improvisation, noise-like works and pop, simultaneously and independently, on a global scale. As a film composer, he produced over 80 pieces of music for visual and film works. In recent years, he has been making musical pieces and organizing a unique style of concert, mainly in collaboration with various artists and regular citizens under the name of “Ensembles.” Furthermore, he has been committed to music workshops with challenged children and participatory projects. He also attracts his activities beyond the borders of music, including “Project FUKUSHIMA!,” which started after the Great East Japan Earthquake in 2011.

1980s Started his music career mainly with free improvisation.
1990 Organized his band “GROUND-ZERO” and started to release music pieces and make live performance in and outside Japan. Disbanded the band in 1998.
1993 Composed his first film score for “The Blue Kite,” a Chinese movie directed by Tian Zhuangzhuang, which won the Grand Prix at the Tokyo International Film Festival.
2005 Held the exhibition of installation works “without records” (shin-bi Gallery in Kyoto). Dynamic works presented in an open space, using all the concepts of noise, improvisation and ensembles based on the experiments through his live performances and recordings.
Started “Asian Meeting Festival,” a project for musicians in Asia to interact, which was independently held three times by 2009 and, since 2014, several times a year together with the Asia Center of the Japan Foundation.
Composed scores for “The Climber’s High”, a TV drama at NHK.
Participated in “Otoasobi no Kai (The Playing Music Project)” organized with challenged persons (ongoing)
2008 Held the exhibition “ENSEMBLES” (Yamaguchi Center for Arts and Media)
Started “Far East Network,” an interaction project for musicians in China, Korea, Singapore and Japan to interact (ongoing)
2011 Launched “Project FUKUSHIMA!” with Michiro Endo and Ryoichi Wago after the Great East Japan Earthquake. Their activities in Fukushima are still ongoing.
2012 Received the Minister of Education Award for Fine Arts in the category of Promotion for his Project FUKUSHIMA! initiative.
2013 Received the Special Awards of the Tokyo Drama Awards, 55th Japan Record Award; Best Composer Award, and many other awards for his wide-ranged activities, including the music score for “Amachan,” a popular morning TV drama at NHK.
2014 Launched “Ensembles Asia” together with the Asia Center of the Japan Foundation to promote music-based interaction in various areas in Asia.
2015 Assumed the position of an art director for the Sapporo International Art Festival 2017. 
Started “Ensembles Tokyo,” a music festival made up of workshops with people involved.
Started “Time Line,” a musical produced with Takahiro Fujita (producer), Naoki Ishikawa (photographer), Yukina Sakai (dancer), and junior-high and high school students in Fukushima Prefecture. He has visited to Fukushima and produced the work to this day.
[Website URL] http://otomoyoshihide.com/profile/

photo by Rui Sato