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How Can We Play Music by 1010 People in This COVID-19 Situation? : The Challenge of “Senju Dajare Music Festival”

Paper Presentation
25 August 2020
11:00 - 11:30 hrs (GMT+7)

Kotaro Ishibashi, Speaker


This presentation explores possibilities for music practice during this COVID-19 situation through a report and demonstration of the participatory music event “1010 People in Senju” which will be held on October 31, 2020.


“Senju Dajare Music Festival” is a project led by the composer Makoto Nomura and “Dajare Music Community Band,” which was formed through open calls. “Dajare Music” is the fusion of puns, or “dajare” in Japanese, and music. In this music, we combine words with words, or find out words from words, and find ways of playing music from these words. “Senju” is the name of an area in Tokyo, which also means the number “1010” in Japanese.


Since our start in 2011, we have created music through collaborations with diverse people, including musicians, children, people with disabilities, and people in Thailand and Indonesia. In 2014, a concert called “1010 in Senju” was held, in which 1010 performers gathered and played music together in a big fish market in Senju. On May 31, 2020, the second “1010 people in Senju” was scheduled to be held, making use of various places in the whole Senju area.


However, due to the influence of COVID-19, the concert had to be postponed to October 31, and the content of the concert had to be reconsidered. Further expanding the concept of spreading the music from a single location (the first concert) to the entire city (the second concert), we are now in the midst of a trial-and-error process to find a way to make it possible for 1010 performers to play music without many people gathering in one place.


What are the difficulties in preparing a large-scale participatory project when the future is uncertain? How can we create a system for diverse people to participate? How can we create new music with a mix of online and offline performances? In this presentation, we will report on the progress of our experimentation with a demonstration.

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