Tatsuya Nakatani | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Tatsuya Nakatani 

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Simplicity might look easy, but don't be deceived; if you don't wield what you have with skill, it'll just be weak. Tatsuya Nakatani, who was born in Japan and now lives in New York City, knows how to make a little say a lot. Every stark drum beat, lingering bell toll, or radiant scrape of bow against cymbal on his self-released CD-R Green Report 9 is articulated with immaculate clarity and set in a field of silence to emphasize the complex qualities of each sound. Nakatani often eschews rhythm per se, preferring to juxtapose elements--say, a bass drum figure that accelerates then decelerates with the stark clatter of a stick against the rim--that create a sculptural sense of space and a ceremonial atmosphere. He shades other players' sounds as acutely as he does his own; on Nmperign's 44'38"/5 (Twisted Village) his carefully suspended strikes and subtle rustling accentuate the contorted shapes that Bhob Rainey and Greg Kelley squeeze out of their horns. Nakatani is coming to Chicago for a one-week residence, during which he'll play a solo set each night, rekindle some old partnerships, and try out some new ones with local musicians. On November 1 he'll team up with Eric Leonardson, who plays springboard, an instrument of his own invention, at Splinter Group Studio. The next night, also at Splinter Group Studio, Bob Falesch will use laptop computers to generate visual interpretations of Nakatani's sounds as well as audio responses to them. On Saturday night at Nervous Center Nakatani will rock out with oboe and Mini Moog player Kyle Bruckmann and bassist Kurt Johnson, both of Lozenge. On Sunday vocalist Carol Genetti and cellist Fred Lonberg-Holm will encounter Nakatani at Candlestick Maker, a venue so small that no amplification is necessary. On Tuesday at HotHouse he'll be joined by bassist Tatsu Aoki, and Wednesday he'll finish up with a solo performance at the Empty Bottle. Thursday, November 1, and Friday, November 2, 8 PM, Splinter Group Studio, 450 S. Leavitt; 773-486-5710. Saturday, November 3, 9:30 PM, Nervous Center, 4612 N. Lincoln; 773-728-5010. Sunday, November 4, 8 PM, Candlestick Maker, 4432 N. Kedzie; 773-463-0158. Tuesday, November 6, 8 PM, HotHouse, 31 E. Balbo; 312-362-9707. Wednesday, November 7, 10 PM, Empty Bottle, 1035 N. Western; 773-276-3600.

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/Curtis G. Staiger.


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