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  • Pamela Z METALVOICE
    PAMELA Z performance excerpts Back to Video Index Back to Repertoire Index Pamela Z Voci excerpts Voice Samples BodySynth Video ODC Theater San Francisco 2003 repertoire index available recordings home

    Original URL path: http://www.pamelaz.com/VociMov.html (2016-02-10)
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  • Nihon ni imasu! (Japan Letter #1)
    was more than worth it When I flew Monday the 11th I think it was the first time in history that I flew anywhere with a full night s sleep I arrived at Narita Airport on the 12th and got through customs without a hitch The customs officer spent more time puzzling over my earrings than he did with my computer or other equipment I took the Japan Rail Narita Express to Tokyo and a cab to the International House where I spent my first night In the morning I met Naoko Shimamura who took me to my apartment and showed me around a bit I bought a biligual Tokyo atlas learned where the bank is and enjoyed a delicious sushi lunch at a modest little restaurant like dozens of others that line the main strip in my neighborhood I really lucked out with my apartment It is in a nice neighborhood Nishi Azabu centrally located in Tokyo and close to the International House the organization that administers my grant A previous fellow Beliz Brother from the program emailed me about a month before I came saying she hated to give up such a great sublet and would I care to take it over She saved me probably a week of hotel rent and searching for a place It is modest by American standards but very roomy by Tokyo standards It has a bedroom of about six little tatami mats a living room with a little dining table that has become my recording office work station a small kitchen and a small bathroom with a tub and laundry in it A few blocks away there is a little shopping street with many little convenience stores shops and restaurants I am also not very far from a larger street that has

    Original URL path: http://www.pamelaz.com/nihon1.htm (2016-02-10)
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  • Tokyo no Ongaku (Japan Letter #2)
    store Yohji Yamamoto and the figures where amazing larger than life Urban Dwellers fashioned from aluminum mesh The faces on these figures were amazing and full of life The clothing also mesh was made to resemble designs by Yamamoto but the figures were not the typical waiflike willowy fashion models They were large bulbous ample figures with aged looking visages I was very taken in by this show It s amazing how expensive things can be here The concert at Fuji for example was free but the train and taxi fares I paid to get there added up to almost 8000 yen so the concert wound up costing me almost 80 I ve been trying to include a lot of fresh fruit in my diet but a package of 4 oranges can cost between 600 and 800 Yen about 6 or 8 The other day I paid Y700 for a package of dental floss Yikes One thing I ve been told by other people who have come here is that it takes several weeks but eventually you learn to stop doing that yen to dollars conversion in your head and just accept the prices as they are I m working towards thinking that way 800 yen is 800 yen and that s the cost of a basket of strawberries Take it or leave it Another difficulty that a gaijin such as my self encounters here is finding clothing and shoes that fit I ve seen many beautiful shoe stores but typically they don t have my size It turns out that my size is just one size over the largest size usually available Occasionally I find one or two pairs that might just fit me but its slim pickings I kind of need to find a pair of shoes here because the shoes I brought with me are mostly sort of high top lace up boot styles This was a grave mistake You have to remove your shoes sometimes several times a day This means I spend an inordinate amount of time lacing and unlacing my shoes I have one pair of shoes that zip but they have a bit of a heel so I don t like wearing them daily I m on a quest for a handsome flat comfortable affordable pair of shoes or low boots with zipper or elastic closure I have yet to find them I have seen numerous inexpensive pairs of the trendy Japanese style which is enormous shoes that look almost like clown shoes with incredibly big rounded platforms Unfortunately I think they look rather silly on me and ironically although there is more than ample room in them width wise they are of course always a little too short for my feet Ah well I m learning to get around on the Japanese subway and rail systems The trains are extremely efficient and priced sort of in the BART kind of range My Japanese is improving slightly but I think I want to

    Original URL path: http://www.pamelaz.com/nihon2.htm (2016-02-10)
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  • Isogashii! (Japan Letter #3)
    place called Doutour where the coffee is actually quite good and not too expensive I also ordered a little German sausage on a baguette cheaper than the coffee and then we talked But here s the interesting part My Japanese is still not at all fluent and Chikako s English is even less proficient I met her when I attended her concert of chansons in a Buddhist temple and had noticed that her French diction was perfect so when I approached her afterwards to talk I asked if she spoke French It turns out her French is very good much better then mine in fact and my French is much better than my Japanese So Chikako and I communicate with one another in French There s just something so droll about the two of us sitting around in Tokyo chattering away in French me frequently pausing and interjecting um hmm let me see uh but er mais and she interjecting hai eto eh so o aaso o hai er eh oui It s really quite funny and it also makes me crazy after weeks and weeks struggling to speak and think in Japanese to suddenly switch to French So there we sat in this Tokyo café a Nihonjin and an Americajin speaking to each other in French when a Chinese woman approached us She overheard that we weren t speaking Japanese and thought perhaps we could speak English She spoke no Japanese and needed directions She wanted to know if there were any fashion wholesalers in the area Of course I didn t know the neighborhood and Chikako doesn t speak English So now you ve got a woman with a Chinese accent speaking English to me me translating to a Japanese woman in French the Japanese woman explaining in French peppered with Japanese and the American woman relaying the information back to the Chinese woman in English All this while drinking café au lait and eating a German sausage It felt somehow suitable for a Monty Python sketch BUTOH HEAVEN The day after my visit to Chikako s voice lesson I had another rather remarkable day I attended a workshop at Kazuo Ohno s studio in Yokohama Not only is Ohno still alive and well but he is still dancing and giving workshops People come from all over to attend them As is often true with addresses in Japan it is difficult to give directions to Ohno sensei s studio so one of his assistants came to meet people at the station When I got there there was already a little bevvy of people who were obviously dancers waiting just outside the ticket gate They called me over because they sensed I was there for the same reason they were They turned out to be members of a touring Dance Theatre company from the Netherlands I suddenly became concerned thinking there would be nothing but professional dancers and I might be self conscious When we got there Ohno s assistant put on a record of Chopin and Ohno asked everyone to dance I like several others sat on the sides because the studio seemed small for so many bodies Then when the music stopped he said with his assistant translating that people danced too much with the same tempo Why don t you change your tempo He then said I have a bad back but I will try to demonstrate This statement was followed by the most poetic willowy dreamlike performance you could imagine after which he said Now you try This time I decided it would be a waste to come all that way and only watch so I got up with the rest and began to move A very strange thing happened next Ohno gestured in my direction and said now You Please dance a solo I kept looking at all the dancers around and behind me until everyone began to tell me that he was addressing me Again the lush Chopin record was played and again I moved This time alone with all eyes on me I m used to performing solo but usually I use my voice and other sounds The gestures are always guided for me by my own generation of the sound This time I was performing without voice To give myself courage I tried to imagine that I was singing I used my hands and arms the way I often do to articulate my phrases using quick fluttery motions alternating with slow expansive gestures and sudden percussive fits and starts but I added the feet and the legs too I used the floor and I used the space and tried to get lost in this dance At the end he looked at me and said in English You are very good My heart was pounding when he asked me to do the solo but afterwards I floated through the rest of the workshop He spoke of a bridge that he and his father used to walk on together My father is dead but his memory is still with me in the flowers that grow under the bridge He put on shamisen music and asked us to be the flowers that grow under that bridge We danced he demonstrated we danced and so on At the end of the evening tea wine and refreshments were served on the floor and I made conversation and exchanged cards with many interesting dancers including an older Japanese man who had also been asked to solo that evening and who made wonderful Kabuki like vocalizations while he moved I asked him about them later and he said Oh it s all fake I just make it up I plan to attend these workshops as often as I can KAWAI DESU NE One word Cute Not cute as in What a cute guy Cute as in What a cute portable telephone holder or What a cute stuffed animal backpack It almost seems as if ninety percent of the

    Original URL path: http://www.pamelaz.com/nihon3.htm (2016-02-10)
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  • Kaerimasu! (Japan Letter #4)
    I composed and performed music for Maureen Freehill s Bridge This was a butoh work for four dancers and an actor I later recorded a studio version of the music I made and invited Ikuko Hara the actor to come to my studio and record the text she did in the performance I then played a solo concert at the International House of Tokyo This performance included some of my old repertoire as well as three new pieces One called Akihabara Nightmare using samples I d made of some of the characteristic Tokyo noises one called Nihongo de Hanasoo using text from one of my Japanese language books and an improvised duet with Tamami Tono a sho player MORE BUTOH I have continued attending Butoh workshops I went to one at Asbestos Kan taught by Waguri sensei who studied with and documented the work of the late Hijikata but mainly I have continued going to OHNO Kazuo s studio Shortly after my return from touring I attended a performance by his son Yoshito I then began attending Yoshito s workshops He teaches on Wednesday evenings at his father s studio I enjoy attending the workshops of both Ohnos Kazuo Ohno is an amazing and inspiring presence He is a bit like Cage was in his last years So full of contentment and some kind of serene joy of having lived a life making powerful important work And he joins in and dances with us during his workshops which are mostly free in form And Yoshito Ohno is an excellent teacher He gets very specific during his workshops which generally include very focused excercises that demand growth of the participants The combination of both is very good for me I try to go to Yokohama at least once a week for one of their workshops Now that my time is running out here I feel compelled to go to both workshops each week but my crazy schedule doesn t permit it OHNO Yoshito NIHONGO I am also continuing with my Japanese language study For me this language is incredibly easy to pronounce but incredibly difficult to learn deeply The more you learn the deeper you realize the well is There are days when I feel I ve learned nothing It hurts to listen to a television broadcast or a lecture and understand literally nothing Not one thing And there are other days where I swell with pride at my achievements Like today for example when I rescued some British tourists who were trying to buy something they couldn t explain to a clerk in the bookstore I felt so accomplished when I walked over and said What is it that you want and they told me and I turned to the clerk and told him in what must have sounded to the British tourists like perfect Japanese that they wanted movie posters with Japanese writing on them Even though the bookshop didn t carry such a thing I was thanked profusely by both the tourists and the clerk I get the same sort of feeling of achievement when I go to a restaurant and order a meal from a menu that has neither English or Romaji on it go up to the counter and get quoted the price in Japanese pay without having to see Arabic numbers on a cash register or calculator display and say the meal was delicious as I leave All by myself But I still only understand people when they are speaking to me slowly and taking into consideration that I am a beginner I would like to see Japanese films for example but I can only go to films who s original language is English Because if a film has any subtitles they are of course in Japanese I did rent Merry Christmas Mr Lawarence that 80 s film about the Japanese war camp based on a novel by Van der Post I had forgotten that so much of the film was in Japanese and of course the prints published over here have no subtitles except when people in the film are speaking English So it was interesting to try and muddle my way through the film My Japanese isn t really good enough for the speeds and vocabularies used in films but because I knew the film it wasn t too bad Tom Conte s Japanese is quite good TRADITIONAL JAPANESE ARTS Last month I went to my first Noh performance in Japan I was invited by Sei and Hatsune of Visual Brains fame to see a good friend of theirs perform It was a full day of performance The final piece was a major work called Sumidagawa Sumida River which included a child performer I enjoyed the big majestic work and the formality of everything I also enjoyed seeing so many Japanese women sitting in the audience in kimono These were of course mixed with many other women wearing Issey Miyake and a few in jeans The men in the audience were mostly in western suits But on stage the performers were adorned in beautiful formal kimono and in some cases masks and elaborate wigs I was so interested in their very stylized movement that I then hastened to start taking Noh class I had originally wanted to study Noh so I could learn the singing style but I ve gotten more out to the movement part I think This month I finally got the chance to see Kabuki I went to a performance at Kabukiza in Ginza Naoko san gave me a pair of tickets that someone had decided not to use I used it as an opportunity to treat my friend Chikako the one I mentioned in an earlier letter with whom I communicate only in French to an evening out It is very difficult to repay Japanese people for the kindesses they bestow Gifts are just about the only way you can do it and even then they usually feel that

    Original URL path: http://www.pamelaz.com/nihon4.htm (2016-02-10)
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  • Nihon Sayonara!
    key up and down till it was just right for our ranges all four of us wailed on it Mama life had just begun and now I ve gone and thrown it all away Mama oooooo didn t mean to make you cry If I m not back before this time tomorrow carry on carry on It doesn t really matter The people at the karaoke place eventually had to throw us out We sang one last round of Chanchiki Okesa and then walked back to the subway laughing Maya and Maureen were exchanging phone numbers with Etsuko and saying they wanted to learn to sing enka JAPANESE DESIGNERS I will actually really miss the fashionable Aoyama shopping area which is so near my home I often walked through it when coming home from the Omote Sandou subway station and I spent some time visiting the designer clothing shops I have always had a love of excentric garments and when I was younger I used to sew all my own clothes so that I could own extravagant fashions that I could never afford to buy In later years I became so consumed by crazy schedules that I was unable to do that Visiting these stores so frequently has reawakened that part of me to the extent that I really think I will try to carve out the time to do it again I loved visiting shops like Kenzo and Issey Miyaki but I think my favorite was Yohji Yamamoto These shops are really more like art galleries to me than stores I find the incredible and sometimes impossible garments and the way they are displayed to be very stimulating in a way similar to visiting an installation of sculpture or conceptual art objects The more impossible they seemed to wear the more intrigued I was by them and determined to create and use something like them as costumes or actual streetwear I made mental notes on Issey Miyaki s triangular and square sometimes plastic and paper garments and Yohji Yamamoto s unfinished tailored suits with huge milliner s wire hoops in their hemlines I m just brimming with ideas now I sometimes think that seeing work in other media inspires and influences me just as much if not more than seeing sound and performance works OUT OF THE CITY Kenchouji Temple During my last week and a half in Japan I finally spent some time out of Tokyo The last of my performances a shared concert with shou player Tamami Tono was held at Kenchouji Temple in Kamakura I went there a week earlier with Tamami to meet with the people who were sponsoring the event see the temple and do a little sight seeing in Kamakura We were just in time for the blooming of huge purple and blue hydrangeas that are famous there I also got to see a bamboo forest I was amazed at the tall thick elegant stalks Tamami pointed out to me the baby bamboo trees that were sprouting below and said that those are the ones we eat Kenchouji Temple itself was quite beautiful and it was a pleasure coming back there on the fourth to do a concert of traditional Gagaku music and modern electronic music Tamami and I each performed solo electroacoustic works Tamami did some traditional Gagaku pieces with two other musicians and we all performed together on a piece by Takemitsu I also had to learn two traditional Japanese melodies which I sang for the opening and closing pieces of the event I had an actual vacation albiet short in Kyoto I went with Tamami during the last weekend in June I spent the night in a ryokan a traditional Japanese bed and breakfast in the famous Gion district I was served beautiful meals at a low table in my tatami room which also had a private wooden Japanese furo bath After dinner while I was enjoying the lovely tearoom downstairs the maid came in my room and made ready a futon for me to sleep on I visited many beautiful temples and shrines including Ryoanji with its famous Zen Garden and did a lot of shopping and in the evening I took a short stroll through the streets of Gion I saw a young geisha come out of one of the teahouses and asked her if she d mind my taking her picture Just as I was about to snap two Japanese girls offered to take my picture with her All this took place in the pouring rain for it s rainy season in Japan So the photo is of the two of us she with her bamboo and paper parasol and me with my MOMA cloud umbrella An unlikely pair we definitely look like we come from two very different periods in history In my last week my friend Misako took me to Hakone Springs to spend a day soaking in an outdoor onsen Maureen also came along and Misako s husband Tomoe Akihabara King joined us later It was a wonderful relaxing day moving from one hot pool to another One of the pools was inside a cave and Maureen and I experimented with singing pitches to find the most resonant pitch of the cave In the sauna we chatted with some women who were fascinated that I was a singer and insisted that I sing something Maureen joined them in urging me on so I finally did Then to get back at her I said Well you know Maureen is a dancer Maureen why don t you dance for the ladies She was of course too embarrassed to do so naked at a public bathhouse so she sang a Noh song instead Tomoe who had been on the men s side met us afterwards and we all had dinner together at the Ten san onsen s restaurant and then returned to Tokyo for a Min Tanaka Butoh performance SAYONARA My last days in Japan were filled

    Original URL path: http://www.pamelaz.com/nihon5.htm (2016-02-10)
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  • Let’s Photo Album!
    Yum Shimoda san at Xebec Carl san with Yuko san at Xebec Shamisen Players at Kobe Station PZ with Masayuki san Noda san Yuko Nexus6 at Izakaya Dyck san et al PZ w Maestro Verrot Kaja san PZ Misako w ShabuShabu Chef Christopher Eric Tamami san plays Sho o Jean Friend Jean Friend At Ohno s Butoh Studio OHNO Kazuo OHNO Yoshito Objet s d Art Donna Ozawa s Chopstick

    Original URL path: http://www.pamelaz.com/photoalbum.htm (2016-02-10)
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  • Nishi Azabu Apaato
    on the not very deep couch I eat meals at this little table and entertain guests there as well It was very cosy and snug with three of us sitting here when I had my neighbors over for dinner daidokoro kitchen The hot water for the kitchen comes from this little gas heater above the sink When I wash dishes I push the little button sometimes it needs to be primed a few times and finally hot water comes out of the gooseneck tap Typical of a lot of japanese apartments there is no oven Just a small two burner gas range The kettle gives an idea of the scale here There is just enough room in front of this little sink and range area to turn around and face the small refridgerator and microwave toaster oven furoba benjo bathroom toilet I suppose I was being polite when I cropped the toilet My little bathroom has a small tub a sink a toilet and a washing machine where the shower should be I just shower in the tub Bathrooms furoba in traditional Japanese houses didn t have toilets in them The toilet was installed in a separate room But modern

    Original URL path: http://www.pamelaz.com/apaato.htm (2016-02-10)
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