Kikoe is a creative documentary with the Japanese avant-garde musician and composer Otomo Yoshihide in the centre. His particular, improvisatory style and way of thinking and playing are echoed in the style of this free-spirited documentary, which includes interviews and performances by DJ Spooky, Jan Svankmajer, Jonas Mekas, Adachi Masao, Jim O’Rourke, Keiji Haino, John Zorn, Bill Laswell, Fred Frith, and many others.
Film maker Iwai Chikara: ‘This is a document of a system observed from a fixed point, and the point is the musician Otomo Yoshihide. It is a gesture, arbitrary yet perfect, as though connecting stars with lines and giving a name to the constellation.’
Otomo Yoshihide (1959, Yokohama) was already making electrical devices such as a radio and an electronic oscillator before high school. After high school he started playing rock and jazz on guitar. It wasn’t long, however, before he became a free jazz aficionado, listening to artists like Ornette Coleman, Eric Dolphy and Derek Bailey and various Japanese free jazz artists, notably the alto sax player Abe Kaoru and guitarist Masayuki Takayanagi.
Otomo has been active in performing concerts, collaborating and recording with numerous musicians and artists worldwide, while maintaining his independent stance. He is always pursuing sound on an experimental basis in varied areas of music, such as free jazz, improvisation, noise music, contemporary music, electronic music, and film and TV drama music. In recent years, he has also been working on sound installation at museums, improvised music workshops for the children with learning disabilities,and ‘kayokyoku’; a particular genre of Japanese pop music. As a film/TV/video soundtrack composer, he has demonstrated exceptional talent for the works of Kiyoshi Kurosawa, Shinji Somai, Shinji Aoyama, Tian Zhuangzhuan and Ann Hui..