tayutau and jaaja at urban guild

04Apr13

Tayutau (たゆたう) is one if my very favorite bands.  The duo — Nishimoto Hiroko on guitar and Ikagi Akiko on violin and found percussion — play music that is haunting, beautiful, playful, and cleverly quiet.  Both of them sing and when they harmonize it’s as if a third, invisible instrument has suddenly taken the stage.  Here’s their new video, from a song on their second album, which is called 糸波 (“thread wave,” probably pronounced “shi-nami”):

I went to see them play at Urban Guild, one of my favorite venues in Kyoto, and since then I’ve seen them play again at 絵本カフェ holo holo, a lovely spot in Namba that contains a vast library of picture books.

It’s always difficult to get good photographs at shows, unless you happen to be at a small venue and get lucky enough to sit up close.  These days I often don’t even bother to shoot if I don’t have a decent seat.  The other problem with shooting live music is that if you end up shooting too much you also end up missing a lot of the music.  For this particular show I brought my Fujifilm GF670 (branded as a Voigtlander Bessa III in the States) and loaded it up with black and white Ilford 3200.

In addition to Tayutau, a band called JaaJa (ジャージャ) came down from Nagoya to play.  I’d never seen JaJaa play before, though I’ve seen quite a few of their compatriots from the Nagoya underground in other contexts, including the ever delightful ett and one-man band and instrument maker ICHI.  They must put something good in that Nagoya water.

In addition to playing music, the JaaJa collective also makes a variety of handmade goods and runs a café, which I think is called Café Jaaja.

Unfortunately, JaaJa’s old website doesn’t currently appear to be functional, though they do have an active Twitter account.  The reason it’s unfortunate that their website is down is that it used to feature lots of images of the amazing array of handmade masks that are turned out by the collective and, as in the shot below, used during performances.  I have a sneaking suspicion that the hairy mask below is an homage to the character Ira from existential hippie space epic Moonshadow by J.M. DeMatteis and Jon J Muth.



4 Responses to “tayutau and jaaja at urban guild”

  1. I saw Jaaja live a few years ago. I also went to their bar in Kakuozan last year too.

    I should take you there.

    • Oh, and たうたう are wonderful. Just checked out their website and it was EXACTLY what I was expecting after watching the video :-)

      • 3 Trane DeVore

        They play often in Kyoto and Osaka. You should time your next trip down to coincide with one of their live events — you won’t be disappointed.

    • 4 Trane DeVore

      I definitely need to make a visit to the Jaaja bar. They used to have a website up with details about the bar, as well as listings of handmade objects (including their incredible masks) that were for sale. I guess the site is defunct, because I haven’t been able to find it, no matter what search terms I used. Anyhow, take me to the solid place, the home of Jaaja, and any need I ever had for a website will totally disappear.


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