342 High St
Full price: $30
VENUE: JOLTED Theatre
Combining contemporary sound art and traditional Noh theatre performance with state-of-the-art 3D volumetric visual projection, Hagoromo tells of an angel of the moon and her cloak of invisibility.
The Hagoromo performance is developed with research funding from the Australia Japan Foundation, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, and The Toyota Foundation.
The story Hagoromo tells of an angel from the moon, who travels to earth only to lose her cloak of invisibility. Sonically the production entwines avant-garde ambient electronics with the remarkable tradition of Noh singing. The marriage of old and new art forms is further celebrated through the visuals of this production, which overlay state of the art projection and 3D volumetric film technology with traditional Noh aesthetics.
Researchers A/Prof. Jonathan Duckworth , and A/Prof. Shigenori Mochizuki have digitally captured Aoki’s performance so that it can be presented entirely as a digital holographic avatar alongside The Amplified Elephants in the live theatre space: technology transforms the human artist into a celestial digital form.
Another key feature in our telling of this mythic story is the use of Disruptive Critters (Duckworth Hullick Duo): an interactive touch screen interface which is then digitally mapped through the performance space by Ritsumeikan University researcher Shigenori Mochizuki.
Ryoko Aoki – Noh Singer and Performer
Ryoko Aoki holds a unique position in the field of Noh theatre as a female singer and performer. She has performed in several traditional Noh plays, historically the reserve of male actors. Above all, she is the pioneer of and inspiration for a new artistic form combining Noh with contemporary music. More than 50 works have been written for her by various composers including Peter Eötvös, Toshio Hosokawa, Stefano Gervasoni and José María Sánchez-Verdú.
The singer and performer has made appearances in Tokyo, Kyoto, Long Beach, Paris, Rome, London, Dublin, Bilbao, Budapest, Berlin, Munich, Cologne and Karlsruhe among others, and at festivals including the Asia-Pacific Weeks Berlin, Bartok Festival Szombathely, Xenakis Festival in New York and the Takefu International Music Festival. She has performed with ensembles and orchestras including the Arditti Quartet, the Quatour Diotima and the Münchener Kammerorchester.
In 2013, Ryoko Aoki gave her debut at the Teatro Real de Madrid in Wolfgang Rihm’s opera The Conquest of Mexico in the role of Malinche, in a production directed by Pierre Audi. In 2016 she premiered Noriko Baba’s “Nopera” AOI with the Ensemble 2e2m in Paris. During the 2017/18 season Ryoko Aoki performed the world premieres of two works composed for her: Toshio Hosokawa’s Futari Shizuka (The Maiden from the Sea) with the Ensemble Intercontemporain at the Philharmonie de Paris and Kölner Philharmonie as well as Federico Gardella’s Two Souls at the Teatro del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino. She also gave her debut at the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra in a concert conducted by Matthias Pintscher.
Highlights of Ryoko Aoki’s 2018/19 season include performances of Toshio Hosokawa’s Futari Shizuka at the University of Toronto in January and during the TIMF Festival in Tongyeong/Korea in March as well as the world premiere of Peter Eötvös’ Secret kiss with the Gageego Ensemble at the Konserthus Gothenburg in January, followed by performances at Tokyo Bunka Kaikan, at Casa da Musica Porto with Remix Ensemble, in Madrid with Plural Ensemble and in Berlin, Cologne and Budapest with Ensemble Musikfabrik (September).
As part of her Noh x Contemporary Music project, Ryoko Aoki has commissioned a series of new works for Noh singer. In 2014, she released a Noh x Contemporary Music recording, including Peter Eötvös’ Harakiri. As a workshop leader, she has worked with the dance company Sasha Waltz and Guests.
Ryoko Aoki obtained a BA and a Master of Music from the Faculty of Music at the Tokyo National University of Fine Art and Music with a focus on the Kanze school of Noh theatre, before obtaining a PhD at the University of London, School of Oriental and African Studies, with a thesis on “Women and Noh”. She was appointed “Japan Cultural Envoy” by the Agency for Cultural Affairs of the Japanese Government in 2015 and was a featured artist at the Aichi Triennale in 2016.
The Amplified Elephants – Sound Art Ensemble
“They taught us all how to listen” – The Age
Australia’s leading sound art ensemble featuring artists who identify with intellectual disabilities. Works such as Select Naturalis have consistently received high praise:
“As the voiceover says, ‘meta-listening,’ a biological feature perhaps developed by our distant ancestors, involves just such a process of shining awareness on the functional, and the willingly unseen or unheard. Select Naturalis seeks to metaphorise that awareness and, it seems, achieve real social affect: community, inclusion, technological progress and ever-better names for things.” Realtime 2015
The Amplified Elephants artists describe their sound as:
Daniel Munnery: “Glitch, drone stuff”
Robyn McGrath: “Noisy”
Megan Hunter: “R2D2”
Natalie Walters: “cars revving up the engines”
Jay Euesden: “like getting on a train”
Teagan Connor: “melodious”
Helen Kruljac: “it’s better”
Kathryn Sutherland: “spaceships”
Esther Tuddenham: “like dreaming”
Alisa Chu: “colours in sound”
The Amplified Elephants are an ensemble for sound artists produced by JOLT Arts since 2008 and incubated until 2019 as part of the ArtLife program at the Footscray Community Arts Centre. In 2015, The Amplified Elephants performed in La La Lullaby at Federation Square (Lights in Winter Festival) and SELECT NATURALIS at Bendigo International Festival of Exploratory Music, as well as touring Asia with JOLT and performing in Tokyo, Hong Kong and Macau.
Mentored by leading sound artist James Hullick and in partnership with JOLT, many Elephants’ projects have been presented internationally and in prominent Australian venues. Since 2007, these projects have been increasingly ambitious in scale, often featuring sonic technology: MachiNATIONS International Tour (London, Edinburgh, Tokyo 2014), RE:EVOLITION (Melbourne Festival 2014), SELECT NATURALIS (BIFEM 2015, RMIT 2018), LA LA LULLABY (Federation Square 2015), SELF SEEKERS (Tokyo, Hong Kong, Macau 2015, Festival of Live Art 2018), SHHHH (Meat Market 2016, Hangzhou, Hong Kong 2017).
The Amplified Elephants co-curated and performed in the JOLT Sonic Festival 2019. In 2021 the Elephants completed the new work Deep Creatures for Flash Forward and the City of Melbourne, and released the work on Heavy Machinery Records. In the same year the ensemble performed the live stream event Hagoromo as a collaboration with Noh Singer Ryoko Aoki and supported by Slow Label, Japan, Ritsumeikan university and RMIT University.
Jonathan Duckworth – Project Director and Interaction Designer Australia
Dr Jonathan Duckworth is an Associate Professor in Digital Design and director of CiART (Creative interventions, Art and Rehabilitative Technology), School of Design at RMIT, and artist in the audio-visual Duckworth Hullick Duo. Dr Duckworth has established a strong reputation for his interdisciplinary practice-based design research that forges synergies between media art, health science, disability and game technology.
His work has yielded significant innovations within acquired brain injury rehabilitation, the arts and technology field, and been recognised for design innovation as a recipient of the Victorian Premier’s Design Award and Good Design Award in Digital Design. Duckworth has exhibited at numerous major national and international venues for creative work including Craft ACT, Canberra; Melbourne Festival, and Sónar+D, Barcelona.
Ross Eldridge – Senior Programmer & Software Developer
Ross Eldridge is a creative coder and programmer who has formed a long-term extensive collaboration with A/Prof Jonathan Duckworth with over 15 years of experience developing interactive applications and digital artworks. Eldridge explores the technical side of creating real-time interactive visual and audio experiences. His primary experience is in developing interactive virtual environments, input tracking systems and real-time 3D graphics programming. He uses his expertise in programming languages such as C#, C/C++ and HLSL, along with a passion for reactive and generative visual and audio artworks, to develop and realise creative projects. Eldridge’s work also spans both arts and science in the development of software for tangible and touch screen systems, with a focus on motor function rehabilitation for people with an acquired brain injury in collaboration with the Australian Catholic University and RMIT.
Shigenori Mochizuki - Project Director and Interaction Designer Japan
Dr. Mochizuki is Associate Professor in College of Image Arts and Sciences at Ritsumeikan University, and Media artist. His research covers the field of human interface and interaction, life/health/medical informatics, entertainment and game informatics, and media arts. A recent notable work by Dr. Mochizuki was his “Wheelchair DJ”: a wheelchair apparatus that plays and manipulates sampled music. Focused areas of study include interactive digital media for people with disabilities, the elderly, and children.
James Hullick – Stage & Sound Director and Mentor to The Amplified Elephants
James Hullick is a pioneering Australian sound artist, composer, performer and artistic director. Hullick is CEO of JOLT Arts, the JOLTED Arts Space, and the BOLT Ensemble. Hullick is mentor to The Amplified Elephants and many artists with and without disabilities. Hullick is part of the Duckworth Hullick Duo.
The Hagoromo performance is developed with research funding from the Australia Japan Foundation, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (AU), and The Toyota Foundation (JP) led by Jonathan Duckworth (RMIT) and Shigenori Mochizuki (Ritsumeikan University) in collaboration with James Hullick (Jolt), The Amplified Elephants and Yoshie Kris (SlowLabel).
Since 2014, Jonathan Duckworth and James Hullick have been working toward creating opportunities for individuals with disability to jointly collaborate in the arts using interactive digital technologies through various workshops, performances, and exhibitions. Hagoromo is an outcome of the Resonant Webs project, an arts and cultural collaboration between researchers at RMIT University and Ritsumeikan University to develop a proof-of-concept live online public sound and visual performance aimed at enhancing the participation of artists and individuals with a disability in the arts industry in Australia and Japan. The collaboration includes community arts organisations JOLT, Slow Label, and artists Ryoko Aoki and The Amplified Elephants with whom the researchers had forged long term collaborations. Slow Label invited Noh Singer Ryoko Aoki and The Amplified Elephants to perform Hagoromo as a form traditional Japanese prayer for the well-being of all people during COVID-19. The Amplified Elephants created an audio-visual performance as an interpretation of the Noh orchestra to accompany Ryoko Aoki’s Noh chanting.
Ryoko Aoki and The Amplified Elephants live streamed a 15-minute performance of Hagoromo on YouTube Live on March 28, 2021, as part of the event SLOW MOVEMENT Showcase and Forum Vol 5, Spiral Hall, Tokyo. The performance was a resounding success and inspired all the collaborators involved to develop the project into a full-length interactive audio-visual production.
The outcomes of this work is published in Resonant Webs: An International Online Collaborative Arts Performance for Individuals with and without a Disability. in ArtsIT, Interactivity and Game Creation, Springer, Switzerland, pp. 261-274 ISBN: 9783030955304, authored By Jonathan Duckworth, Shigenori Mochizuki, Ross Eldridge & James Hullick.
Hagoromo is an enjoyable immersive multimedia performance for all audiences.
All audiences are encouraged to enter via the back of the building: There is a disability ramp and disability parking at the back of the building. The front of the building is not easily accessed by people with ambulation needs and wheel chairs. This is because the building is a heritage site. Within the building the access is in place so that patrons can reach the stage and audience by wheelchair or if they have ambulation requirements.
The Amplified Elephants: Natalie Walters, Daniel Munnery, Teagan Conner, Helen Kruljac, Megan Hunter, Jay Euesden, Esther Tuddenham, Kathryn Sutherland, Robyn McGrath, Alisa Chu.
Stage and Sound Director:
James Hullick (mentor for The Amplified Elephants)
Senior Programmer & Software Developer: