Skip links

A rare chance to hear a geiko performance

A rare treat for you today, with the opportunity to listen in to an authentic geiko performance from Kyoto, Japan, as recorded by Giulia Biasibetti.

“As a Westerner, it is rare to see a performance by authentic Kyoto Geiko as only a few groups remain who still train and perform traditionally – so it was a real privilege to be able to watch their show.

“Geisha and Geiko are quite misunderstood in the Western world – they study for years to be able to entertain their clients with music, singing, dancing and poetry. It’s an extraordinarily skilled performance.

“In the recording you’ll hear the Geiko enter the hall and walk around clacking traditional sticks together – a very eerie atmosphere to Western ears. They proceed to the stage and begin a full performance with singing, dancing and musical instruments.”

City version:

Nick St. George reimagined the geiko performance, with his piece “OK Geiko”:

“‘OK Geiko’ is another step along my road towards more abstract composition, moving away from narrative and the use of spoken word.

“This is an exercise in pure sound (dare one even say “music”?!) and features a new piece of software (for me) which I learnt about via the Cities & Memory website. Cherry Audio’s oddly-named ‘Voltage Modular” (Modulator, surely?) has provided me with a whole host of synth sounds for the first time, and you will hear some of them in this piece.

“The starting point was the percussive sequence that came from the Geiko performance  – the field recording then reappears throughout with samples from the vocal elements of the show. A couple of Japanese instrumental ‘flavours’ and beds from our old friend Apple Loops were also added to the mix.”

Memory version: