Syzygys has been on the cutting-edge of the Tokyo avant garde music
scene since 1985. The group has been called a “microtonal pop band” and
has two main members.
Hitomi Shimizu, a film, TV and game soundtrack composer, plays a standard acoustic reed organ which she has modified following Harry Partch's 43-microtone scale.
Hiromi Nishida, an internationally acclaimed violinist, plays an instrument suffused with Arabic tonalities derived from her lengthy apprenticeship in Cairo with the legendary Egyptian master Abdu Dagher.
Syzygys' Japan albums have been re-issued on the Tzadik Label, including the live album “Eyes On Green” (TZ 7236) and “The complete Studio Recordings” (TZ 7240). The most recent album is “Otona” released in 2013, with purely instrumental violin and the 43-tone organ duets. They also have worked for animation soundtracks, such as Koji Yamamura's “Mt. Head” (Atamayama) which won the Grand Prix d'Annecy in 2003. Syzygys'music is placed in various films including Kirstein Johnson's documentary films.
Syzygys plays “just intonation” microtonal music. The intervals of just intonation are fixed, atomic realities. This gives the music an objective quality, a voice of its own that calls on musicians to be fully engaged in the living present. Harry Partch calls this “corporeal” music and contrasts it with modernist tendencies toward intellectual abstraction. Whether Syzygys is playing upbeat “pop” tunes or exploring classical music conundrums, the aim is to engage the audience in a communal experience and have a lot of fun.
Syzygys comes from the word “syzygy,” which means the “union of opposites.” Shimizu and Nishida use the medium of “microtonality” to bring together ancient musical modes and modern musical improvisations, Eastern and Western styles, the keyboard and strings, percussion and melody. As you are in yourself an original harmonic opposition, music brings that opposition into harmony with an extreme sphere of ecstasy.
HITOMI SHIMIZU = 43microtone organ
Composer (Manual Of Errors Artists),
Born in NARA .
Majored in music composition at Toho-Gakuen Conservotry.
She wrote a lot of film scores, TV music, and Playstation games such as "Siren" series.
Won The Best Film Music in Japan Academy
Award 2002 for Toho Cinema "WATERBOYS".
Violonist,born in Tokyo.
Studied arabic style violin under Abdo Dagir in Cairo (1995〜1998), played in his ensemble.
Performed with Fathy Salama in Egypt and France, played and recorded with Nubian singer Mohamed Mounir.
In 1999, played with German Oud player Roman Bunka group at the 1st
oriental Jazz festival in Beirut.
In 2001,toured in Tunisia with the classical arabic music group "Le club bachraf" supported by Japan Foundation.