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E-P No.07

Mono no Aware

Mono no Aware

abel > hands
dj Leif

sensitivity to things

22h | 5 € | Limes 1 €

[ flyer ]

in cooperation with Noize.Info

The Sensitivity of things

Mono No Aware feilen seit 1996 an ihrem Sound, und transponieren erfolgreich lärmige maschinenähnliche Geräusche in ein treibendes, tanzbares Konzept, das sie in einer elektrisierenden Live-Performance umsetzen.

Nach zahlreichen Auftritten in Mittel-Europa und einer USA-Tour mit den Spaniern Proyecto Mirgage, freuen sie sich auf Ihren ersten Auftritt im Süden Deutschlands.

1992 fingen Stefan Böhm und Leif Künzel an mit Soundcollagen zum Thema gemeinsame Jugend in der DDR und reichlich bescheidenem Equipment. (geborgter 4 Spur Recorder, MS 10, Micro und eine Effektgerät). Sie nannten sich Kaanbalik. Neben Kaanblik fing sie 1996 an experimentelleren Sound als Mono no Aware zu machen. Um zu Erfahren was Mono no Aware bedeutet empfehle ich das Genji Monogatari von Murasaki Shikibu! [ historic background ] Seit 1999 Stefan dazustieß besteht Mono no Aware aus der ursprünglichen Kaanbalikformation.


2000 "Kianai Yatsu"
2002 "Kika no Sekai"

Historic Background of the ´Mono no Aware´
(from Murasaki Shikibu)

The most energetic cultural project of the Tokugawa period (1603-1868) was almost certainly the attempt to define the basic Japanese character by the scholars and poets who called themselves the kokugakushu , or National (or Japanese) Studies scholars. This diverse movement, which affected Japanese poetry and music and led to a revival of Shinto and later, in the Meiji period, the revival of Tennoism, saw as its main goal the purification of Japanese culture from foreign accretions. In order to effect this, the kokugakushu refused to study all cultural practices, from government to art to poetry to philosophy, that they believed derived from China, Korea, Southern Asia, India, or Europe. In the end, the artifacts that they believed most defined Japanese character were early Japanese poetry, represented by the Manyoshu poetry (the first collection of poetry in Japan) and by the Shinto religion. Shinto, however, had been greatly influenced by Buddhism to the point where it was not possible to extract Shinto from Buddhist ideas and practices.

The most influential of the kokugakushu was Motoori Norinaga (1730-1801), a literary and linguistic scholar. He invented the crucial concept of mono no aware to define the essential of Japanese and Japanese culture. The phrase, derived from aware , which, in Heian Japan meant something like "sensitivity" or "sadness", means "a sensitivity to things." Motoori wanted to show that the unique character of Japanese culture (and he considered Japanese culture to be the "head" of the world; other nations were the "body") was the capacity to experience the objective world in a direct and unmediated fashion, to understand sympathetically the objects and the natural world around one without resorting to language or other mediators. The Japanese could understand the world directly in identifying themselves with that world; in addition, the Japanese could use language to directly express that connection to the world. This, for Motoori, is the aesthetic which lies behind the poetry of the Manyoshu . The poetic and historical texts present the "whole of life," which has meaning because all of nature and life is animated by the "intentions" of the gods. People experienced this wholeness of life by encountering things (mono); these encounters "moved" or "touched" them ("aware")—hence the unique Japanese character: "sensitivity to things" (mono no aware ). This concept became the central aesthetic concept in Japan even into the modern period.

Perhaps the most crucial piece of cultural vocabulary to come out of this period is aware, which was originally an expression of surprise, somewhat like "Oh my!" in English. When it is used in the Heian, it means "sensitivity," and in particular, sensitivity to the sadness of impermanence. The Manyoshu poets use the term whenever they talk about the songs of birds or the falling of leaves, which evokes in the poet an abiding sense of the sadness of the world. It is this sadness at impermanence that pervades the battle scenes in the Battle at Mikusa from the Heike monogatari. In a wider sense, aware is used to describe any deep emotion evoked by some external object.

Richard Hooker