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TENKO

RIO/Avant-Prog • Japan


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Tenko biography
Tenko is a Japanese musician who has been performing improvised music for the past thirty years. She started music in 1979 as a member of the rock band Mizutama Shobodan which was formed by five women. In 1981 she encountered New Music in New York, and started an improvising voice duo The Honeymoons in Japan. After she appeared on the N.Y. music scene as a soloist in 1984, started to work with N.Y. improvisers such as Fred Frith, John Zorn, Christian Marclay, and David Moss. Touring Europe, America and Japan, she has performed in many festivals since 1985 to now (Moers, New Music America, Mimi, Taktlos, Music Action, Angelica, FIMAV, Nickelsdolf, Tampere, Wels etc.)

Tenko is best known in Japan as co-founder of Mizutama Shobodan (Polka-Dot Fire Brigade), a group describing itself as "five women who make their own songs and play guitars, keyboard, bass, and drums." They made two LP's "The Virgin's prayers - Da! Da! Da!"(1981) and "Sky Full of Red Petals"(1985), both on Tenko's own Kinniku Bijo label. Parallel to this work was The Honeymoons, an improvising voice duo. Their album "Laughing Myth" was released in 1982. Their two shows at the International Women's Music Festival in Montreal in 1988 were among the highlights of that event.

In 1984 she appeared in the New York music scene as a soloist. She toured Victoriaville, Moers, Zuric, and Vienna with the David Moss's Dense Band, performed with NY vistors to Japan (John Zorn, Elliot Sharp, Ned Rothenburg, Christian Marclay and others), and is no stranger to clubs like CBGBs, The Knitting Factory, Roulette and Kitchen. It was these ties that led to her first solo LP "Slope/Gradual Disappearance," which brought together musicians from all of her activities and linked her song-writing and improvising in unusual ways. "Slope," a unique and powerful statement, introduced Tenko to a much wider audience. Her 'Uzo Muzo' group was invited to Strasbourg's Musica Festival in 1987, and she toured as a duo with Fred Frith in 1988 and 1989, including performances at the Taktlos Festival in Switzerland. 1989 also saw shows at Moers, Glasgow Jazz Festival and London's Queen Elisabeth Hall (with Fred Frith's Keep the Dog), return visit to Montreal for a women's improvised music festival, and made appearances in various contexts at New Music America's tenth anniversary in New York. Also in 1990, she performed "Legend of Rain" at New Music America in Montreal, wh...
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TENKO discography


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TENKO top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

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Slope - Gradual Disappearance
1987
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At The Top Of Mt. Brocken
1992
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La Légende De La Pluie - w/ Hétu / Labrosse / Parkins / Roger
1992
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Death Praxis w/ Ikue Mori
1993
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Dragon Blue - Hades Park
1998
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Death Praxis / Mystery - w/ Ikue Mori
1999
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Microcosmos - Pilgrimage - w/ Otomo Yoshihide
1999
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Etage 34 With Tenko
2004

TENKO Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

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Dragon Blue
1993

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