This is my friend Annie. We've been creating some art together in relative secret the last couple years, and we're very excited to start to share about it.
It's called Tanuki Kintsugi. It’s an installation piece that combines song, film, shadow puppetry through speakers, a projector, and an interactive, antique, treadle-powered-sewing-machine!
Annie lives in a tiny house in the woods on the other side of a border. She sings like a bird, with an uncanny propensity for attracting literal birdsong, which she inadvertently records in the background of her vocal takes, with this incredible nonchalance, as if that’s the kind of thing that happens to everybody! I've been a fan of hers and of her music since we first met in 2014, and I was thrilled to be asked to collaborate on this project.
Since our first session writing together, we have uncovered so many parallels and overlaps in the stories we carry from our family history, and the weight of how those stories have been held. These led us to dig around an
d into more than a few hard topics while creating these songs: from the messiest, most uncomfortable parts of the Japanese-Canadian internment, to the more confounding aspects of identifying as mixed-race, to the constant impact of racism in the cities/countries/world that we live in, and the direct and inter-generational impacts of all those things. Luckily, we were able to do this work in a space we kept mostly filled with laughter and wonder.
At times during the process, it seemed as if our ancestors were working with and through us to unravel the narratives of the past, and reclaim a place in the story. Throughout, it’s been obvious this is something we could not have done alone. As we further accept that we can not appreciate the entire scope of the work we’re doing, where it will lead, and what its impact could be, there is one thing I have learned without a doubt: it is because of Annie’s invitation, and the space she created for this project, that so much of this healing has become possible. For that I am so very grateful - thank you Annie!
- Brian Kobayakawa