This Saturday, December 21 at 7pm sound artist, percussionist and drummer Tatsuya Nakatani will perform at Bromwell’s downtown. Yes, you read that right: the store at 117 W. 4th Street, which sells luxury fireplaces and home décor, will host this intriguing event. According to his website, Nakatani “creates sound via both traditional and extended percussion techniques, utilizing drums, bowed gongs, cymbals, singing bowls, metal objects and bells, as well as various sticks, kitchen tools and homemade bows….His approach is steeped in the sensibilities of free improvisation, experimental music, jazz, rock, and noise, and yet retains the sense of space and quiet beauty found in traditional Japanese folk music.”
Saturday’s show will include both solo performances and duets with Napoleon Solo Vox, the composer, beat box artist, and front man for IsWhat?! Recently I asked Nakatani a few questions via Facebook, and he was kind enough to respond. He requested that I edit his English, which I did in a conservative manner.
What made you decide to work extensively as a solo artist using percussion instruments?
I used to play as a drummer and was in a band or group. Sometime ago (late 90s) I realized many drummers work as a member and not as a soloist. Solo is very flexible and powerful, so I moved to that direction instead of playing in an ensemble. Based on touring and moving myself to different places as a touring musician, that also makes it possible to do a variety of work.
To what extent will Cincinnati’s show be improvised?
The Cincinnati show will be solo and collaboration with Napoleon. We will be totally improvised. We have collaborated briefly, a few very short collaboration in a several years; this time should be a nice one.
You’ve made a great number of recordings. Is there a particular label that you’ve been working with primarily for the last few (or many) years? Can you tell me a little about that label?
I have been producing a small self label for surrounding my work. I have a new LP on Taiga records in Minneapolis, they focus on only vinyl. They did a beautiful job. I trust their work.
Are your influences primarily other drummers…or composers…or musicians who play other instruments?
I am influenced by day-by-day life and people. I tour, meet so many people every day, which is my influences. I used to listen carefully to drummers, but now, more to focus on what kind of sound, tone is…
I was born and raised in Des Moines, Iowa, and I see that you performed there last night. Your thoughts of that fair city…
It was good time in Des Moines for my first time show. A small but nice group of people are doing the art of sound there.
Here’s a video of Nakatani during a live performance: