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Goa-Based Japanese Artist Noriko Shakti Brings Chaotic Fusion on New EP ‘Within the Time and Place’

Incorporating a striking audio-visual offering that ties in choreography, electronic music and her tabla training, the composer is currently wrapping up a PhD

Anurag Tagat Oct 11, 2020

Japanese multi-instrumentalist and producer Noriko Shakti. Photo: Pratidhani Tamang

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Considering Noriko Shakti is not just a composer and researcher in Indian and Japanese music, but also a tabla artist, pianist and producer, she can definitely tell you a thing or two about the commonalities between the two countries’ music culture. “Unlike Western music, Indian and Japanese traditional music didn’t adopt written music score, which specifies rendition in detail. Instead of that, oral transmission through onomatopoeia was developed,” she says over email.

Dance music in Tokyo, an M.A. in Tabla in Kolkata, DJing in Europe and jamming with Baul singers in Goa – Noriko has done most of it all, even as she nears the end of her PhD. Whilst conducting a comparative analysis of Indian and Japanese traditional percussion instruments for her thesis, Noriko also worked on a dance production called with choreographer Ashley Lobo (from performance academy The Danceworx) called “Within” in May this year.

Watch the video for “CovidWar” below.

The music for the show led to the creation of her new EP Within the Time and Place, a shape-shifting five-track produced entirely in lockdown. Released via “communicative jamming video app” oJam, Noriko sees the project as one that aims to instill hope for those creating art. “We have showed new ways to create, connect and collaborate with fellow artists and audiences while facing the challenge of finances or limitation of expression,” she says.

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Through the run of five tracks, Noriko blends left-field electronica and Indian classical (“CovidWar,”) offers springy jazz (“Those Days,”) gets into a laidback tempo for “Summer Reminiscing” and even performs a short tabla-based India-meets-Japan classical piece called “Tensei Taal: Reincarnation.” The closing title track encompasses all her influences, making for mellow but cerebral electronic music.

The artist landed in Goa from Kolkata to perform a run of shows but decided to stay owing to the pandemic, so she’s focusing on what she can do with limited resources. This includes another single called “Joy of Dance” and an album in 2021 that brings about “more digital and analog amalgamation than Within EP.” She adds, “Because the live performance space is still limited, I’m planning to do streaming live on my YouTube channel along with my instruments and laptop.”

Stream ‘Within the Time and Place’ below. Stream on more platforms here.

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