Up-and-coming Japanese artist Ohgetsu Fujita visits the U.K. especially to present her unique take on the art of calligraphy. The result is an evolution of tradition which focuses on spatial beauty. Hundred Years Gallery is proud to showcase her collection of Emoji-inspired artwork, fusing both traditional calligraphy (*1), Zenei-Shodou (*2) and her own creative techniques, which Fujita-san has mastered over the course of her career.
In addition to the free daytime exhibition, Fujita-san will be creating live artwork in tandem with omnipresent British jazz artists Séb Pipe (alto saxophone), Kevin Glasgow (electric bass) and Will Butterworth (keyboards). Live jazz performances will be presented in the form of two duos: the Pipe/Glasgow duo (Saturday 28th July / 8pm / £5) showcasing original melodic concepts, interspaced with chordal bass playing and unorthodox approaches, whilst the Pipe/Butterworth duo (Sunday 28th July / 5pm / £5) creates wondrous harmonic landscapes, singing melodies and dynamic subtlety.
(*1) It is a lesser-known fact that Chinese or Japanese calligraphy has nothing to do with writing pretty characters, but instead it is all about expressing oneself through art. Traditional calligraphy uses Kanji characters (漢字) which are adopted logographic Chinese characters used in the Japanese writing system. They convey a meaning and at their origin are derived from pictures created thousands of years ago.
(*2) Zenei-Shodou seeks to deviate from traditional calligraphy boundaries and create new aesthetics based on the appreciation of the beauty of Chinese characters by excluding the idea of characters and focusing on the art of space (or “the void” (空, kuu) from the Japanese philosophy of five elements).
Fri 27th July 12-8pm Ohgetsu Fujita Emoji Exhibition (free)
Sat 28th July 4-11pm Ohgetsu Fujita Emoji Exhibition (free) +
8pm (£5) Live avant-garde calligraphy with live jazz from
Séb Pipe (alto saxophone) & Kevin Glasgow (electric bass)
Sun 29th July 12-7pm Ohgetsu Fujita Emoji Exhibition (free) +
4pm (£5) Live avant-garde calligraphy with live jazz from
Séb Pipe (alto saxophone) & Will Butterworth (keyboard)
Ohgetsu Fujita was born in Kawasaki, Japan. As a young child, she quickly became enthralled by the fast-paced execution of the calligraphy art form whilst studying the art form after Elementary school. Following 10 years of study, in 1998, Fujita-san met a new calligraphy master, Tamura Kukoku, and entered the unorthodox world of Zen-ei-sho. As Fujita-san delved deeper into the art form, she soon realised the creative potential of the Zenei-shodou world, which lead her to create her own unique style of Emoji-inspired artwork.
Fujita is a fellow member of Mainichi shodo-ten (a calligraphic exhibition named Mainichi), a regular member of Keisei-kai, and a member of Shimbi-sha.
Séb Pipe is a London-based half British, half French jazz alto saxophonist, performer, composer and teacher born 23rd August 1982. He leads his own group, Séb Pipe’s Life Experience and also performs numerous jazz ensembles including the Will Butterworth Quartet and Max Luthert’s Orbital.
Séb first blew an alto sax aged seven and later also studied piano, guitar and drums at school. In his teens, he received saxophone tuition from London teacher James Knight, who introduced him to jazz music and inspired him to create his own individual sound and musical approach. Julian Argüelles and Jean Toussaint were among his high-profile teachers at Trinity College of Music, London, where he graduated in 2005 with 1st Class Honours, the Silver Medal award and was also awarded the Services to Jazz prize.
Séb worked with Portuguese group Pequenos Mundos in 2004 and again in 2006 when they played Portugal’s Estremoz Jazz Festival. Later that year, Pipe formed Life Experience. The group played at the London Jazz Festival along side fellow jazz alto saxophonist Tony Kofi, and went on to win a £1500 development prize from the Musicians Benevolent Fund, which set its recording career in motion. In 2009 Séb was awarded a recording and touring Arts Council grant from Jazz Services to record Life Experience’s second album, Shoot for the Stars.
Pipe spent influential periods with American pioneer Steve Coleman and his Five Elements band at workshops in France in 2001, 2007 and a masterclass with his own group and Coleman’s Reflex trio during the London Jazz Festival in 2011 (with pianist Dave Virelles and drummer Marcus Gilmore).
In 2016 Séb was commissioned to write music for Japanese calligraphy artist Ohgetsu Fujita for her Emoji exhibition in Tokyo. The music comprises both electronic music composed using wind synthesizer and acoustic music for trio featuring pianist Will Butterworth and double bassist Tim Fairhall.
The next year in 2017, Séb performed throughout the U.K. within the heart of Will Butterworth’s quartet. Together they reenacted Oscar Wilde’s classic children’s story the Nightingale and the Rose through specially composed music and were joined by celebrity readers including Giles Brandreth and Ian McMillan.
Séb’s most most high profile performances to date have taken place at the London Jazz Festival, Estremoz Jazz Festival in Portugal and Opera City, Tokyo, Japan.
“The sounds of great alto saxophonists like Ornette Coleman, Charlie Parker, Steve Coleman and Lee Konitz are sometimes suggested in Pipe’s serpentine lines and persuasive use of tonality and space. The leader’s serpentine melodic fluency, improv resourcefulness and controlled freedom with pitch all confirm that the early accolades he has received were well deserved..” – John Fordham (The Guardian)
“The talented young altoist Pipe has the kind of self-assured confidence of an emerging star, but the good sense to simply play how he wants to play. While the harmonies are angular and the rhythms fractured, Pipe’s flawless technique and witty ideas make him one to watch.” – Jazzwise Magazine
“I’m impressed..this is good stuff…it’s deep” – Jack Massarik and Claire Martin
(BBC Radio 3 Jazz Line-Up)
“Seb is pushing the boundaries and experimenting with some very innovative concepts…it is individuals like him who move the art form forward.” – Jean Toussaint
Kevin Glasgow was born in Inverness in 1983 to musical parents Dick and Sabine. When he was 9 years old the family moved to Northern Ireland, where he started learning guitar and playing traditional Irish music sessions with his parents. At the age of 16 Kevin began playing bass guitar and later moved back to Scotland to study Popular Music at Napier University in Edinburgh. Whilst there, he played regularly on the Edinburgh jazz circuit.
Since graduating, he has played internationally at venues such as Ronnie Scott’s, the 606, Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola (Lincoln Center, NYC) and festivals such as Glastonbury, Xerox Rochester International, Jarasum International Jazz Festival, Edmonton International Jazz Festival, Beishan International Jazz Festival, Hong Kong International Jazz Festival, Edinburgh Jazz & Blues Festival, the Isle of White Jazz Festival, the Glasgow International Jazz & Blues Festival, and the London Jazz Festival.
Kevin has performed and recorded with many different artists including Tommy Smith, Tim Garland, Tony Monaco, Clark Tracey, Joe Locke, Asaf Sirkis, Gareth Lockrane, and the Scottish National Jazz Orchestra (featuring soloists such as John Scofield, Bill Evans, Randy Brecker, and Peter Erskine). Kevin has also performed on BBC Radio Scotland and BBC Radio 3.
In 2008 Kevin moved to London where he now resides. He currently plays in a number of projects, including Tommy Smith’s ‘Karma’, the Asaf Sirkis Trio, the Sirkis/Bialas IQ, Séb Pipe’s ‘Life Experience’, the Nicolas Meier Trio+, and Preston-Glasgow-Lowe.
“This kid is a freak. He plays a six-string bass, and he does everything — taps, sweeps — and that’s sweeping on a six-string bass” -Frank Gambale
Will Butterworth was born in Edinburgh, his father is a classical violinist and Will grew up playing classical music on the cello and improvising on the piano. In 2000 he began to play jazz professionally in Scotland, and in 2004 he moved to London. He studied harmony with Dominic Spencer in Edinburgh, and then later with Steve Lodder in London.
Will has worked with many of Britain’s finest musicians including Asaf Sirkis, Andy Shepherd, Steve Lodder, Martin Speake, Julian Siegal, Bill Bruford, and Dylan Howe.
In 2010 he formed the Stravinsky Duo with Dylan Howe, which reinterpreted the works of Stravinsky and their album ‘The Rite of Spring part 1’ achieved great critical acclaim.
In September 2017 Will released his 4th album as leader entitled ‘The Nightingale and the Rose’. This original suite of music for Quartet is based on Oscar Wilde’s short story of ‘The Nightingale and the Rose’ and will be released on Jellymould records in 2017. Starting life as a solo piano composition by Will, for a story book for his niece many years ago, it has since grown both in the studio and on the road, into a suite both delicate and dynamic, translating Wilde’s story of love and sacrifice. The Quartet have played together for many years in various guises and their ease together allows the melodies to be starting points for freewheeling improvisations.
The Quartet toured UK in February 2017 with the project, and returned for album launch gigs from late August through September – with their album launch at Pizza Express Soho on 11 September – and a London Jazz Festival date 12 November. In June they presented The Nightingale and the Rose at the Belfast Book Festival, Crescent Arts Centre with actor Adam Turns narrating Wilde’s text during the concert.
“…words and music dovetailing in sympathetic symmetry…Butterworth’s suite captures some of the poetry, pronounced rhythmic cadences and vivid colors of Wilde’s text” -Ian Patterson All About Jazz review of Belfast concert.