March 18th

ONIBABA with live score by Gene Coleman and Ensemble N_JP

Gene Coleman, composer, bass clarinet
Evan Lipson, double bass
Joo Wan Park, electronics
Kenta Nagai, shamisen

Bowerbird Presents GATE
@ The Rotunda
4014 Walnut Street
8pm; FREE
Using a combination of western and traditional Japanese instruments, Ensemble N_JP will perform a live original score by composer Gene Coleman to the visually stunning Japanese horror film "Onibaba" (1964).

Onibaba is set within the wind-swept marshes of war-torn medieval Japan, where an impoverished mother and her daughter-in-law eke out a lonely, desperate existence. Forced to murder lost samurai and sell their belongings for grain, they dump the corpses down a deep, dark hole and live off of their meager spoils. When a bedraggled neighbor returns from the skirmishes, lust, jealousy, and rage threaten to destroy the trio’s tenuous existence, before an ominous, ill-gotten demon mask seals the trio’s horrifying fate. Omnibaba is often cited as a preeminent example of the jidai-geki, or period drama, an enduring Japanese film genre that refers to any Japanese film set before 1868, the first year of the Meiji Restoration, which initiated Japan's modern era. Often employed as a way of retelling traditional stories or recreating epic historical events, the jidai-geki has evolved over time to encompass a broad range of styles and perspectives—from bloody samurai swordplay adventures to searching social and political criticism.

Gene Coleman is a composer, musician and director. He has created over 50 works for various instrumentation and media, often using complex notations and improvisation in the same score. Innovative use of sound, image and time allows Coleman to create work that expands our understanding of the world. Since 2001 he has focused on the global transformation of culture and music's relationship with other media, such as architecture, video and dance. He studied painting, music and film making at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, with legendary experimental film artists Stan Brakhage, Ernie Gehr and others.
The Rotunda
4014 Walnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104

The Rotunda is a West Philadelphia community-gathering place that is fueled by the belief that art is a catalyst for social change and that the arts can lead to the formation of meaningful partnerships between the University of Pennsylvania and surrounding neighborhoods. Over 300 events are offered every year, including live music, film, spoken word, theater, art, dance, education, youth programs, arts incubation, and various experimental genres. As an alcohol-free, smoke-free venue, The Rotunda provides a critical social alternative for all ages. At its core, The Rotunda is a shared space fostering learning, enrichment, and community support while empowering the public to present, produce, and promote their work.


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