[Tomita Logo]

[Concerts]

London Tale of Genji

Images · Reviews



Tomita arrived on stage at 7.30 PM resplendent in a white suit with gold trim to perform what was called a "Future Space Fantasy".

A voice announced that the music would be accompanied on a 48-screen video wall with the first high definition pictures of the Earth and images of the night sky taken from a telescope in Hawaii.

There was a six-channel speaker setup (double speakers at each location), two at the front, two at the sides, and two on stage.

The set began with "Mars" from the Planets, and the vocal countdown was matched on screen with the space shuttle launch sequence. This was followed by Ivesí "The Unanswered Question", Prokofievís "Violin Concerto No. 1 (Andantino/Allegro Moderato)" and "Scythian Suite". The half-an-hour set concluded with "Jupiter" and the Firebird "Finale".

Tomitaís all-digital equipment setup for the first section consisted of a Roland JP-8000, a PowerBook, a desktop computer, Roland VS-1680 digital studio workstation and hard disk recorder.

After the interval, the orchestra came back on followed by Tomita dressed in a tuxedo for conducting mode. The music followed the same format as the recent "Genji" Japanese limited release CD, followed by a five-minute encore. It was also accompanied on screen by traditional video images shot to complement the suite, and flower petals rained down on the performers during the final rendition of the main theme. Motokazu Shinoda (the synthesizer part of the orchestra!) used a Roland A-90 and some kind of oval keyboard during the "Genji" recital.

Click on the smaller images below for the full size versions.



Images

Top of the Page

[London Tale of Genji]
The 48-screen video wall used for both halves of the concert.
[London Tale of Genji]
John in front of the stage at the interval. Moto's Roland A-90 in background.
[London Tale of Genji]
"Future Space Fantasy" equipment being taken away.
[London Tale of Genji]
More equipment, if you recognise any of it let us know.
[London Tale of Genji]
Ben at the stage, just before we got moved along!
[London Tale of Genji]
Following our interview with Tomita-san.
[London Tale of Genji]
John Breslin, Isao Tomita, Ben Ward.
[London Tale of Genji]
Taken with Ben's digital camera.
[London Tale of Genji]
After the interview... Sleepy.
[London Tale of Genji]
My signed copy of Genji.
[London Tale of Genji]
Ben's signed Sound Creature LP was too big for this shot!
[London Tale of Genji]
Erwin Stok's photos of the Royal Festival Hall.
[London Tale of Genji]
The RFH, site of the London Genji concert.
[London Tale of Genji]
Isao Tomita leaving the stage after the performance.
[London Tale of Genji]
The London Philharmonic Orchestra and Japanese guests.
[London Tale of Genji]
Erwin, his friend Phil, and their souvenir of the night.
[London Tale of Genji]
Front of brochure, signed by Tale of Genji author.
[London Tale of Genji]
Middle of brochure.
[London Tale of Genji]
Back of brochure.
[London Tale of Genji]
Postcard.
[London Tale of Genji]
Front of programme.
[London Tale of Genji]
Tickets!
[London Tale of Genji]
Tale of Genji CD signed by Isao Tomita.




Reviews

Top of the Page

"In the Moog", The London Independent, 24 June, 1999

Abba and Tubular Bells we recognise, but what about Isao Tomita? In the 1970s, his synthesiser versions of the classics were huge: first out of Japan was a Debussy album, Snowflakes are Dancing, then a spectacular re-imagining of Holst's Planets swept the west. Later he disappeared into film and television studios. The recordings vanished too, their technology soon sounding quaint. Now here he was in London, back not only with updated equipment but with the full London Philharmonic Orchestra, a line-up of Japanese string and wind instruments, and a 48-section video wall. This new toybox was partly a showcase for Pioneer, sponsors of the concert, which drew a large and inquisitive audience, not all from the audio business. No doubt about it, the wall was the highlight. It blasted into action with the launch of a space shuttle and for the next half-hour showed brilliant, high-resolution, slow-moving shots of planets and nebulae. For this Future Space Fantasy Tomita took the stage alone, adding live sampling to the pre-programmed sequence.



[Up Button]
Back to Main Index





Biography · Images · Recordings · Concerts · Sounds · Sound Creature · Technology · Links