Japan America Society of Colorado


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Nakatani Gong Orchestra

  • Savoy at Curtis Park 2700 Arapahoe Street Denver, CO, 80205 United States (map)
Gong orchestra.jpg

October 5, 2019 @ The Savoy Denver.

7PM Doors. 7:30 Show.

$10 Suggested donation.

The NAKATANI GONG ORCHESTRA – NGO – is a nomadic, large ensemble contemporary sound art project. Local musicians are trained in Nakatani’s technique for playing his adapted bowed Gong, and he conducts them in a performance of his original composition. In the last decade, the NGO has performed hundreds of concerts involving thousands of participants around the world in the creation of these transformative sound works.

For each unique performance, participating NGO players (musicians) are selected by a local presenter. Nakatani gives a specialized rehearsal to the players in preparation for the performance. There is no expectation of previous experience playing a gong. Nakatani instructs the players in his unique techniques for bowing the gong and following his method of conducting.

It is important to note that this project is not a traditional music program or traditional Japanese music, it is a contemporary sound art project. Nakatani’s adaption of the Chinese wind gong to respond to his percussive bowing technique in his solo work (c. 1995) led to the inclusion of other players trained in his methods to realize his compositions. The Kobo bows, mallets, and surrounding instrumentation equipment have all been developed and are hand crafted by Tatsuya Nakatani. After ten years of planning and preparation, the NGO began touring in 2011 with four adapted gongs and has grown to 17 gongs today (January 2019). It is the only bowed gong orchestra in the world.