Con-Cul in 2021 and 2022 

written by Mizobuchi Kanae
translated by Shimizu Chatori

It is a more arduous task to continue a challenge than to start – this is the honest impression that we have felt upon launching this media as a new attempt. Our heartfelt gratitude goes to the authors and to those affiliated with our project. We would like all readers to take time to dive into each article, while we update our contents approximately bi-monthly. 

A total of seven articles were published on Con-Cul in 2021. These first batch of articles focus on Japanese contemporary music scenes, and were contributed by Ten Goto, Koki Fujimoto, and Teppei Higuchi. Goto, who supports the contemporary music field in Japan as a sound engineer, composer, and a videographer, introduced notable concerts in 2020. This is only possible as he himself lives in Japan and works in the forefront of the field. Classical guitarist Fujimoto, who regularly commissions composers for new works, introduced Sunao Isaji in his article. It is our hope that we can continuously put a spotlight on intriguing composers not well known outside of Japan. Lastly, Higuchi brought us the perspectives of a creator into our media. Jo Kondo, who was the subject of his article, is considered a pioneer for introducing various contemporary music from Europe into Japan through his radio program. We are pleased to be able to deliver the commentaries of Higuchi, who is known for his unparalleled activities such as founding the Keiko Yoneda International Music Competition.

Finally, we would like to put a spotlight on the sensational article written by Chatori Shimizu, where he interviewed Helmut Lachenmann – one of the leading composers of Germany. Upon studying this article, we have reflected and contemplated the meaning of “identity”. This also gave us a chance to further ruminate on our mission and directionality through our media. We are extremely honored to be able to publish this article in Con-Cul.In recent years, more young artists are coming to study in Japan, and increased attention has been allocated to the Japanese contemporary music scenes. By all means, we would like to cover the above mentioned topics in our future editions.

On top of the above mentioned, the serialized articles by Chatori Shimizu, Yukari Misawa, and Takuya Niinomi will also continue. Shimizu, who often travels with his music, suggests new perspectives to enjoy artistic expressions in his serialized articles on post-compositional expressions. Misawa, who is a Buddhist monk as well as a composer, presents us with her articles which help us to understand Japanese performing arts deeply through the lens of Buddhist cultures. Furthermore, Niinomi provides us with the history and the directionality of criticism in Japan through Hideo Kobayashi’s theory. 

As we see that all our published articles provide us with cutting-edge perspectives on Japanese cultures, we are very thrilled to bring you our next batch of articles. We also plan to expand our range of topics and cover the fields of visual arts as well. It is our wish to move forward one step at a time in 2022, and we look forward to providing our readers with intriguing and original perspectives.