Maywa Denki in Paris

Maywa Denki is performing at Quartier d’ete Festival in Paris on July 21,22 and 23.

This art unit, which is produced by Nobumichi Tosa, has been inventing a number of hard-to-describe electric devices by transforming the history and culture of small electrics manufacturers in Japan’s high-growth period (about 40 years ago) into three product lines of interactive art objects: NAKI, TSUKUBA, and EDELWEISS.

[ (c)Yoshimoto Kogyo Co., Ltd. / Maywadenki Photo:Jun Mitsuhashi ]

They’ve “manufactured” various kinds of musical instruments including Pachimoku, which Nobumichi Tosa wears in the photo, and Koi-Beat, which could be interpreted as “love beat” as well as “carp beat.”

Pachimoku is operated by finger snapping motion, which is sensed and transmitted to beater bars of the two Mokugyo‘s (wodden drums used in Zen rituals) at the top, through rather thick wires, which would withstand high voltage (e.g., AC 100 Volts, commonly used for home appliances in Japan).

Koi-beat (see this page) is a carp-shaped rhythm machine with 16×4 monotonous square electric switches and it generates groovy rhythms at 100 Volts.

They play music with the various instruments they’ve invented – You’ll see if you get a chance to go to that event in Paris. For the rest of us, hopefully they’ll record the event and turn it into another “manufactured product” of theirs (in short, a CD or a DVD).