The Japanese composer and dramaturge Tomoko Momiyama was on a study visit to Rijeka for the purpose of preparing a project that is to take place as part of the art programme of the European Capital of Culture in June 2020.
Her project, entitled Workers’ Songs of The Worlds to Come, implemented under the Dopolavoro flagship of Rijeka 2020, deals with workers’ songs and songs that were sung while working, and it was organised in cooperation with the Domino Association and in partnership with the Rijeka Educational Centre.
Tomoko Momiyama visited the Rijeka Waldorf School’s permaculture garden and Rijeka’s Museum of Natural History. She spoke with the pupils and educators at the Rijeka Educational Centre and attended a lecture by Ante Cukrov on the history of music in the regions of Istria and Kvarner at the Krk Town Hall.
Music has always been a part of work routines as, for example, people would sing songs before going fishing, shepherds would communicate with their flocks using songs, and peasants would sing songs to their yoked oxen while ploughing the fields. However, as the nature of work and lifestyle in society changes, so does the role of music. The questions that Tomoko Momiyama raises in her work are: how can we envision music as an integral part of work in this day and age when people are able to move freely around the globe, freely communicate with virtual spaces, actively cooperate and interact with robots and artificial intelligences, and when they are faced with unprecedented environmental challenges? Or, on the contrary, how can we envision ways of working and living that could be an integral part of music?
During her visit to Rijeka, Tomoko Momiyama is working closely with a group of young people of varied abilities and ways of thinking about the alternative meanings of work and of creating music that may become necessary to enable all of the Earth’s living beings to work together. The pupils and employees of the Rijeka Educational Centre, along with artists, scientists and other experts from a variety of fields, as well as philosophers from Japan and Croatia, will participate in a series of Philosophical and musical dialogues, which will result in interdisciplinary performances in June. At these performances, members of the audience will get the chance to creatively envision the work songs of times to come.
Tomoko will be staying in Rijeka on two more occasions, one from 17th February until 8th March 2020 and another in April.
Tomoko Momiyama is a Japanese composer, dramaturge and producer of multi-disciplinary art events, installations and performances. She is based in Tokyo and works internationally. She graduated from Stanford University in the USA with a B.A. in Music and Human Biology and further studied composition at the Royal Conservatoire of the Netherlands in The Hague under the Japanese Government Overseas Study Programme for Artists.