Statement of N.G.O.
-Nakatani Gong Orchestra-
creates a new concept of music with gongs from his life experiences.
Tatsuya has born and raised in Osaka-Japan. He currently resides in Easton, PA,
where he has settled the headquarters of his home: a small house with a small shed.
He has been recognized as a Percussionist/Drummer, performing and touring all over
the world for international Creative Music festivals and New Music festivals. He has
published over sixty CD recordings in the USA and Europe.
He has been performing SOLO percussion for the majority of his shows since the late
1990ʼs. These include countless SOLO shows, all over the USA and overseas- small or
large audiences, any age, and any type of venue. He has taught as a guest Master
Class Artist for a number of Universities, also giving workshops and lectures.
Around 2006, he started to deeply philosophize about percussion instruments and their
sounds, specifically in their relation to physical weight and size. A certain amount of
density makes more sound than something that is just light and small. With this in
mind, he began collecting and playing heavier gongs, even as the of car manufacturing
world was moving toward smaller cars. At the same time he started making bows and
mallets to suit these weightier instruments, as the equipment available was no longer
sufficient for his needs.
Nakatani is also interested in the unconventional, uncontrollable, and uncertain qualities
of the gong. Having performed solo percussion using bowed gongs for over 10 yearsthat
is hundreds of performances-he still cannot control the sound as perfectly as he
might like to. Instead, he mostly floats around the sweet spots gong’s sound. Although
his gongs are not for made to sound like pitched or other conventional instruments,
Nakatani is excited by the infinite possibilities underneath and beyond traditional ideas.
In 2011, after many days and years of preparation and experiments, he finally
commenced his Gong Orchestra project, which he calls “N.G.O” for short.
The project will start off with five people performing on 5 gong kits (usually about 5-10
gongs will be set up on the stage, depending on the venue’s situation and capacity). In
contrast with a solo percussion setting, where he is limited to two arms and two legs,
this 5 person group is capable of simultaneously striking or bowing ten gongs. Nakatani
will be the ensemble’s conductor.
Generally, the gongs will be bowed and softly struck with mallets to produce a
comfortable sound level for all in the room.
No need for you to prepare ear plugs or afraid of loudness. Sound of N.G.O., is not
typical GONG image as usually people have been hearing over the TV.
Audience and performer will experience a new world: the drone of deep space and inner
The music of N.G.O. creates a metallic temple of deep harmonies, a beauty of spaces.
The sounds are unlike any existent music categories. An over 40-inch large gong
creates extreme Lo-frequency wave forms. These cross-vibrate with the tones of all the
other gongs, and give us a sound ebbing from the deepest frequency pool, which can
be very deeply felt in the body.
All of the stands, bows and mallets are assembled or hand-made by Tatsuya Nakatani
as an important phase of the composing process of N.G.O. and its music.
Tatsuya Nakatani expands N.G.O. ensembles to perform nationwide.
He travels with the instruments in his van, and rotating orchestra crews perform in their
respective cities all over the USA.
For far too long we have loved things in the name of “guilty pleasures.” What is, and what is not cool can be so fickle. To protect ourselves, we have reinvented irony to serve as a silly suit of armor that says: “I’m just kidding around, so don’t get all judgy-pants on me.” Of course, this type of behavior just made accusations of hipster-ness fly off the handle. When it really comes down to it though, we all know that having fun shouldn’t be a crime. That is why Captain Ahab has declared The End of Irony. In fact, that’s what their fucking new album is called! It’s called The End of Irony.
Do you love Powermetal even though it is just for thirtysomething LARPers? Well, good for you! Shout it to the sky! Do you like shaking your ass to some Electro-Clash even though your neighbor scoffs because you forgot it’s called Nu-Rave now. Well fuck names! Do you want to cuddle in the morning sunlight to some 70’s Soft Rock, but your sweetie-pie thinks you’re making fun of him/her? Dude, making love is awesome, and sometimes being sappy isn’t a bad thing! Captain Ahab knows how you feel. They love all these criminalized sounds and many more, and they combine them in a way that irony would never permit. There is serious commitment going on here. Commitment to making epic songs that defy expectation, trends, and any sort of cool-factor. But we’re not talking about some lazy mash-up album, here. They have composed these songs from scratch. The album creates a meticulous and sweeping cosmology that would satisfy even the headiest of 70’s prog heshers. Captain Ahab is fucking committed to freeing your soul! No short cuts on this album. Is that a live guitar player? Yeah, duh! Every band has one of those. So what do you think of this live orchestra then? How about this master sitar player flown out from India to play in a room next to a guy with a modular synthesizer the size of the WOPR. These songs are the real deal, passionate and unafraid. They’re the result of Captain Ahab’s dedication to their audience. If you are ready to be set free, then your lucky day has come. All you need to do is LISTEN!
Captain Ahab is Jonathan Snipes and Jim Merson from Los Angeles, CA. Jonathan writes, records, performs and produces the music, while Jim physicalizes the songs in live performance with aggressive “take off your pants” dancing action. In 2011 Captain Ahab have toured Australia and New Zealand, and will embark on their eighth tour of the USA in April-May.
Yellow Crystal Star
Mark Billings (electric guitar)
Albuquerque-based, infinite drone activation of expanding dimensional perception. Progressive guitar trance, collaged tape prism of portals in/out/in neverending. A seemingly chaotic interpolation of chants, sources, samples, melodies, and lyrics, pieced together as a more complex vibrational language filtering down through the transforming dream.