Ensembles Tokyo, which began in 2015 under the direction of musician Otomo Yoshihide, is a music festival where all participants transcend their individual positions and ways of being to create new musical platforms with their own hands.

In the view of the current situation of the corona pandemic, this year's Ensembles Tokyo has decided to cancel the event at Tokyo Tower.

We thought about what we could do in this situation.we will conduct a new type of workshop online via the Internet. In the era where it’s difficult to gather at a place together, we will gather with our performances via the internet from all over the world and Tokyo.

We will be releasing videos and a book data on how to play music together using the hand signs that we have developed at the Ensembles Tokyo so far.

Workshop dateDecember 6 - December 28, 2020
The ensemble video and book will be streamed onlineFebruary 2021 (tentative)
Participation fee Fee for Videos and book data: Free of charge (You are responsible for your own Internet connection and data transmission costs.)
Past events


The year 2020 will mark the final year of Ensembles Tokyo, which began in 2015. In the midst of the global pandemic, we regretfully refrained from holding our cherished workshops and events such as the Bon Odori dance which would have brought people in close contact with each other. However, we are still organizing an online program that would be fitting to crown our final year.

The concept remains the same: everyone is invited. This year, you can join us from anywhere in the world, as long as you have access to the internet. Playing skills and experiences are not required. Musical instruments are not mandatory, as long as you can make a sound in some way. And as always, all ages, genders, and nationalities are welcome. All you have to do is send us a recording of your performance with your smartphone or other devices as instructed by the workshop facilitator. Let's create a composition together!

Art director: Otomo Yoshihide


Otomo Yoshihide
Otomo Yoshihide
Born in 1959. While making heaps of music for film and television, he feels the most at home in the noise and improvisation scene. Guitarist and a turntable player. In addition to performing both in Japan and abroad, he has also produced numerous exhibitions and projects, many of which invited the general public to participate. After the Great East Japan Earthquake, he has been continuing his activities in Fukushima where he spent his adolescence.
The project launched after the Great East Japan Earthquake of March 11, 2011 with the aim of informing the world of the present and future of Fukushima, led by musicians Michiro Endo and Otomo Yoshihide, and poet Ryoichi Wago, it consists of a group of volunteers from Fukushima Prefecture and beyond. Festival FUKUSHIMA! is held every August in Fukushima. The "Fukushima Great Furoshiki (traditional wrapping cloth)" by Toru Nakazaki, Cohta Asano and others in the art department, is spread out at each festival and has become the visual icon of the project. In 2015, Seinoshin Yamagishi was appointed as the new representative. Voluntary activities have also begun in each region.
Manami Kakudo
Manami Kakudo
Musician and percussionist who was born in Nagasaki Prefecture, Japan. Using the marimba, various percussion, voice, words, music boxes, cassette tape players and other everyday objects, Kakudo’s style is free and borderless and is widely active in Japan and abroad. In addition to her own solo works, she supports the band "cero", and has participated in live performances and recordings of Tomoyo Harada, ORIGINAL LOVE, and many other artists, and is also involved with the production of commercials, films, dance and installations. Kakudo released the album "oar" (Universal Music), in which she focuses on singing for the first time. In recent years, her field has widened into expression of words and language and has provided lyrics for the songs of Tomoyo Harada and Shun Ishiwaka. In July, she scored the music for the theatrical piece "PLAYTIME" presented at Bunkamura Theatre Cocoon.
Saya (Tenniscoats)
Saya (Tenniscoats)
Alongside running the label majikick records since 1995, Saya has been one of the two main figures of the band Tenniscoats since 1997. In recent years she also has been active as a member of the band Spirit Fest which contains members from Japan, Germany and England, as well as in the instrumental ensemble band ZAYAENDO. In 2020, she has produced a compilation of Japanese indie music, has released Tenniscoats vinyl box set and a new album of Spirit Fest from Morr Music / After Hours, has launched the web service of music streaming called “Minna Kikeru” with her team, and in there, has released a new album including the leading track “Sabetsu to Kyabetsu (Discrimination and Cabbages)”. Saya is a participant/instructor for several workshop series including Ensembles Tokyo, The Otoasobi Project, Nishinari Kodomo Orchestra (Nishinari Children’s Orchestra) and others. Her main interest is how individual tone of voice carries a source of music and how each different individual perceives music differently.
JOJO Hiroshige
JOJO Hiroshige
Born in Kyoto in 1959. He has been performing improvised music for over 40 years as a leading figure of the noise music band "Hijokaidan (emergency staircase)" formed in 1979, as well as a solo artist. He mainly utilizes electric guitar to produce his sound. Hiroshige is the owner of Japan's oldest indie label, Alchemy Records. Besides his music career, he is also an augur on hand at his own shop in Shimokitazawa, Tokyo.
T. Mikawa
T. Mikawa
Born in 1960. Mikawa is a member of the band "Hijokaidan (emergency staircase)" and the founder of his own group “Incapacitants” who pursues the performance of noise music. He does not use conventional instruments, but combines effector devices, oscillators, microphones and special electronic sound generators. He has released numerous albums from the labels of Japan and abroad. He also performs solo and in sessions.
Yasuhiro Yoshigaki with Orquesta Nudge! Nudge!
Yasuhiro Yoshigaki with Orquesta Nudge! Nudge!
Yasuhiro Yoshigaki
A percussionist who spins beats and melodies that transcend genres. Born in Hyogo prefecture, Japan. In the 90s, Yoshigaki was a member of a number of groups; jazz combos to avant-pop bands, such as Altered States, Modern Choki Chokies, Shibusashirazu, Ground Zero, ROVO and DCPRG. He has performed with wide variety of musicians such as Otomo Yoshihide, Kazuhisa Uchihashi, Dairo Suga, Yosuke Yamashita, Akira Sakata, Naruyoshi Kikuchi, Yoichiro Yanagihara, Yuichi Ohata, UA, ROLLY, Carmen Maki, Hoppy Kamiyama, Leonard Eto, Jadranka Stojaković, Bill Laswell, John Zorn and many others. Yoshigaki runs a large jazz group "Orquesta Libre" and a percussion ensemble "Orquesta Nudge! Nudge!" Until this day, he has performed in numerous different countries. Yoshigaki has his series of columns in Rhythm & Drum Magazine. He also produces music for theater companies such as Bungakuza, contemporary dance groups such as Co. Un Yamada, films, TV dramas, animations and many more.
Orquesta Nudge! Nudge!
A percussion group formed in 2003, organized by the drummer Yasuhiro Yoshigaki. The group's members - Yoichi Okabe, Kumiko Takara, Mari Sekine, Taichi, Ryudai, Izpon, Kosuke Tsuji, Yohei Takada and Takashi Nakazato - come from a variety of genres to create an ensemble that mixes structured music with an improvisational approach. Their intriguing sound comes in their tribal rhythms that connect traditional and contemporary mixed culture, and in their approach that encompasses everything from contemporary music to the streets. They are mainly active in their hometown, Tokyo, and have participated in Fuji Rock events.


Ensembles Tokyo is a music festival that is created by everyone, together with the artists.

Participants will film themselves perform to a 5-10 minute video of the artists conducting/ instructing, against a big furoshiki (Japanese wrapping cloth) as the backdrop. We will take everyone's films to create a single video work, which will be posted on YouTube and this website.
The music from many different places will become one in the video!

Workshop Overview 
Be sure to read through.

Participants will film themselves perform to a 5-10 minute video (with Japanese and English subtitles) of the artists . Participants are required to film the performance with a smartphone or other device and upload the video data using the specified method. Under the supervision of Project FUKUSHIMA!, tells you about the background color. for your performance.

  1. Please apply for the workshop you wish to participate in by filling out the application form. A lottery will be held should the applications exceed the maximum capacity. You will receive a notification from the secretariat at the end of November to confirm your participation.
  2. If you live in Japan, Project FUKUSHIMA! will send the furoshiki (Japanese wrapping cloth) to all confirmed participants to the address filled in the application form. If you live abroad, Project FUKUSHIMA! tells you the rules about background colors.
  3. Videos of the workshops by artists will be available to the public for a limited time. Please send us videos of you performing to the artists' conducting/ instructing by using a video recording device such as a smartphone, and send them to us following the method instructed by the secretariat.
  4. Please note that the sound and image of your video will be processed and edited by the Ensembles Tokyo Executive Committee and will be uploaded to YouTube and other sites around February 2021 as a single video work.
  5. When filming your video, you are not allowed to take any action that infringes or may infringe on the privacy or property rights, including intellectual property rights, of the organizer, or of a third party.

[Image of the video work after editing]
0823 EnsemblesTokyo2020 WS test 2 1

* Multiple applications for more than one workshop are accepted.
* If the workshop reaches capacity, applications will be drawn by lottery.
* Please note that the workshop will not be held in real-time.
* Details on how to participate in the workshop will be sent to you after your participation is confirmed.

Participation fee Free of charge
To Apply

please fill out the application form: https://forms.gle/aELv5feWZTc9UQLB8

Period of application
  • October 24, 0:00 - November 22, 23:59 (JST)
  • The acceptance period has ended.
  • In case of a large number of applications, a lottery will be held and results of the lottery and details of workshop participation will be notified by email at the end of November.
Workshop Schedule December 6 - December 28
*Workshop Video Release and Participant Video Upload Period
Otomo Yoshihide

Capacity: 80 participants
Let's get rid of the "good" and "not good" and share the joy of playing with many people. Any instrument is welcome, or not even an instrument, as long as it makes a sound. All genders, nationalities and ages are welcome to join.

Time/ Parallel/ Embroidery
Manami Kakudo

Capacity: 30 participants
This is an attempt to make a particular time emerge, by spinning the time around us in our different places and times, what each of us is seeing in the present, with our voices, stories, and words.
When we connect the dots that we have struck in our individual time and space, will the fabricated time become music?
This is an experiment to feel the time together.

Singing in Unison
Saya (Tenniscoats)

Capacity: 80 participants
This is an attempt to synchronize your voice at the source. Let's sing at ease. Instrumentalists are certainly welcome to join.

Noise Music

Capacity: 80 participants
Let's try to make music together without being confined to form or formulas. Any kind of instrument is acceptable as long as it can be played. You can also participate with your voice.

Rhythm Ensemble
Yasuhiro Yoshigaki with Orquesta Nudge! Nudge!

Capacity: 80 participants
Let's play percussion instruments, self-made instruments, non-percussion instruments, and anything else that makes a sound. We will create a rhythm ensemble led by Yasuhiro Yoshigaki with the members of Orquesta Nudge! Nudge!

About the Online Big Furoshiki

In this project led by Project FUKUSHIMA!, each applicant is given a large colorful Furoshiki (traditional wrapping cloth) to be used as the backdrop for their footage, so that in the final video, they are all combined into one big patchwork of Furoshikis.
If you live in Japan, Project FUKUSHIMA! will send a furoshiki to you, and then you can spread it and shoot in your respective location. If you live abroad, Project FUKUSHIMA! will give you instructions after your registration.


Art Direction byOtomo Yoshihide
Art and Decoration byProject FUKUSHIMA!
Presented byArts Council Tokyo (Tokyo Metropolitan Foundation for History and Culture), Ensembles Tokyo Executive Committee [P3 art and environment], OMY Area Management Association and Nippon Cultural Broadcasting Inc.
Supported bythe Tokyo Metropolitan Government

* We will not use the personal information for any purpose other than the scope of the intended use for the implementation of this event, in compliance with laws and regulations.
* The content is subject to change without notice.

Arts Council Tokyo
Tokyo Tokyo FESTIVAL

Contact Us

Ensembles Tokyo Executive Committee Office

12 Nando-machi No.5 Nagamori Building 4th floor P3, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo 162-0837, Japan
Tel. 080-3153-0914 E-mail. info@ensembles.info
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