Toshi Makihara

2013 Pew Fellow

Toshi Makihara, 2013 Pew Fellow. Photo by Colin Lenton.

“When I am completely focused on my sound exploration, I lose my self-consciousness and begin to experience the process I call ‘becoming the sound.’”

Toshi Makihara’s (b. 1960) performance work effortlessly blends percussion with dance-like body movement. Through a rigorous, systematic, and practiced process of experimentation and repetition, Makihara seeks out sounds that he and others have never heard before, experimenting with touch, force, and speed, and always remaining aware of sound’s relationship to the body. He uses a variety of percussion instruments, as well as objects found in nature and everyday items, such as metal or machine parts. Makihara first studied percussion in his home country of Japan, learning the importance of breathing and posture. He has also studied Japanese butoh—a performance style that involves playful, grotesque imagery and slow, controlled motion—with dance master Kazuo Ohno and others. After years spent performing with dance and music ensembles, Makihara seeks to collaborate with Philadelphia-area choreographers and to go beyond binaries of movement and sound. “The intention is to transcend the traditional dancer-musician paradigm,” he says, “and to realize a truly integral sphere.”


Toshi Makihara, solo drum improvisation, January 16, 2013. Video courtesy of the artist.

References

Grants & Grantees

Ars Nova Workshop’s six-concert series featured the music of trumpeter Don Cherry and saxophonist Tim Berne.

Grants & Grantees

Two-time winners of the Chamber Music America/ASCAP Award for Adventurous Programming, PRISM Quartet has become known as one of the foremost chamber ensembles.

Filmmaker and Pew Fellow Rea Tajiri on documenting the aging process, her affinity for storytelling, and her most treasured possession.

An actor, director, stage designer, and playwright, Thaddeus Phillips “creates visual spectacles that take audiences to new frontiers.”

When asked about his sense of ethical responsibility in creating work, Whit MacLaughlin of New Paradise Laboratories responded with a reflection on his place in the performance world.

Grants & Grantees

The world premiere of Tony Award-winning playwright John Guare’s Lydie Breeze Cycle, an epic trilogy about an American family, set between the Civil War and the birth of 20th-century industrialism, will be performed in a consecutive cycle for the first time.

Interdisciplinary artist Martha McDonald presents a site-specific installation and performance at RAIR’s recycling facility and artist space.

Grants & Grantees

People’s Light will collaborate with the National Theatre of Scotland to develop research and the building blocks for a theater piece that explores the question: What is meaningful work in the 21st century?

Grants & Grantees

A series of ten concerts featured eight Philadelphia premieres and two world premieres.

Grants & Grantees

An outgrowth of the anti-graffiti network, Mural Arts Philadelphia has produced over 3,600 murals since 1984, making it the largest public art program in the United States and earning Philadelphia the nickname “City of Murals.”

Grants & Grantees

Hilary Harp is a sculptor and installation artist, and a 1995 Pew Fellow.

In this month’s Pew Fellows news highlights, photographer Emmet Gowin shows his work at the Morgan Library and Museum, and jazz pianist Matt Mitchell and choreographer Susan Rethorst are awarded Doris Duke Impact Awards. Bassist Jamaaladeen Tacuma will pay tribute to the late Ornette Coleman, and visual performance artist Kate Watson-Wallace gives an interview on the evolution of her practice.