Hong Kong
Yasuaki Shimizu & Saxophonettes
Date : 28/10/2011
Time : 4:45pm
Venue : Exterior balconies of the
Run Run Shaw Creative Media Centre
Free admission. No seating.
A musical performance by the world-renowned Japanese saxophone quintet "Yasuaki Shimizu & Saxophonettes". Each of the five musicians will be located on one of the exterior balconies of the Creative Media Centre, and the unique sounds of their playing will radiate from the building to welcome the opening ceremony guests upon their arrival..

The performance will feature selections of Yasuaki Shimizu’s pentatonic-scale compositions from the album Pentatonica, as well as his interpretations for saxophone of Bach’s Cello Suites and Art of Fugue.


Yasuaki Shimizu
Ryoko Egawa
Hirokazu Hayashida
Hiroshi Suzuki
Ryota Higashi

Artist’s Statement

The three-way relationship of Bach-saxophone-physical space offers limitless opportunities for exploration, throwing up multiple inter-related meanings in both performance and recording contexts. This is especially true in large venues — sites with vast enduring echoes — where we performers become vibrating bodies, playing the entire space as instruments, by means of the resonating tube of the saxophone. And as the sound hits objects and reflects off the physical confines of the venue, the resonant ambient tones fuse into the music, further expanding the auditory meanings in a gradually intensifying ascent.

For our performance at the Creative Media Center in Hong Kong, we will alternate between Bach and my own original pentatonic compositions. We look forward to sharing with the audience how each harmonic triangulates into the moment.    
―Yasuaki Shimizu, July 2011

About the Artists

Japan based Yasuaki Shimizu & Saxophonettes have been popular since 1983, but they were for many years an entirely “meta-band” — made up of no one but Yasuaki Shimizu himself. The first Saxophonettes’ album was L'Automne à Pékin (1983), inspired by the golden age of Hollywood. This was followed by Stardust (1985), Latin (1991), and Time and Again (1993). Then came Cello Suites 1.2.3 (1996) and Cello Suites 4.5.6 (1999), two landmark works whose emotional beauty won global acclaim and marked the first-ever tenor saxophone renditions of Bach’s suites for cello. Between these, the mini-album Bach Box (1997) scooped Best Production at the 39th Japan Record Awards. In 2006 Shimizu made the Saxophonettes into a “real-life” all-saxophone quintet, adding the accomplished baritone and tenor saxophonists Ryota Higashi, Hiroshi Suzuki, Ryoko Egawa and Hirokazu Hayashida. The band made its recording debut in 2007 with the album Pentatonica, featuring Shimizu's strikingly original compositions as well as arrangements of Ethiopian traditional songs, all based on the five-note pentatonic scale. It was met with glowing reviews.

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