Alva Noto and Ryuichi Sakamoto
"Insen artfully interweaves delicate Satie-like piano motifs and elegantly distressed electronic textures... [the on-stage LED screens] added a sublime audiovisual dimension, with abstract sound paintings triggered by the music" – The Times
Insen is a live collaboration between critically-acclaimed German composer and visual artist Carsten Nicolai (Alva Noto) and multi award-winning composer and pianist Ryuichi Sakamoto.
Insen brings together two different generations of artists to create a new synergy between acoustic piano and electronic music. Sakamoto’s elegant acoustic piano phrasing is manipulated and counterbalanced by Nicolai’s subtle digital processing, creating vivid dialogues between melody, rhythm and texture. Insen demonstrates these artists’ aspirations to explore the idea of electronic music as inspiration for new musical structures.
Insen was created by Alva Noto and Ryuichi Sakamoto in 2005. Produced by Forma. Co-produced by Romaeuropa Festival 2005 / Santa Cecilia It’s Wonderful.
The album Insen, released in 2005 on the raster-notion / Asphodel label, received critical acclaim around the world. The live production featured an on-stage video installation by Nicolai that featured dynamic, real-time visualisation of the sound, and was presented in major venues across Europe, including the Opera House in Chemnitz, Nicolai’s home town.
Carsten Nicolai is a Berlin-based artist whose work comprises images, installations and music. Exhibited and performed in major galleries and festivals world-wide, Nicolai's works captivate consistently through elegance, simplicity and cool technicism. As Alva Noto, his compositions combine pared-down electronic sounds with the rhythmic groove of hip hop and R&B.
Ryuichi Sakamoto is an award winning composer and musician who has made a career of crossing musical and technological boundaries. He has experimented with, and excelled in, many different musical styles, making a name for himself in popular, orchestral and film music. In 1987, he won the Academy Award, Golden Globe and a Grammy for his score for Bernardo Bertolucci's film, The Last Emperor.
New Vision Arts Festival, Hong Kong, China
Holland Festival, Muziekgebouw, Amsterdam, Netherlands
Casa da música, Porto, Portugal
Sonar Festival, Barcelona, Spain
Teatro Nuovo, Giovanni da Udine, Italy
Teatro Comunale di Modena, Italy
Palazzina Ex-Gil, Bari, Italy
Teatro Manzoni, Milan, Italy
Romaeuropa Festival, Auditorium Parco della Musica, Rome, Italy
Cinema Tatro, Chiasso, Switzerland
Volksbühne, Berlin, Germany
La Cigale, Paris, France
Barbican, London, UK
Opernhaus, Chemnitz, Germany
Background image: Performance of Alva Noto and Ryuichi Sakamoto's Insen, 2005