Interview with 10 in France

interview - 11.12.2007 07:00

KoME had the chance to meet with the group 10 on the 26th of September, during their first European tour.

KoME had the chance to meet with the group 10 during their first European tour.

It was late afternoon, during a beautiful rainy day, when KoME met the Japanese-Korean experimental duo 10 in a Parisian cafe. The group arrived the day before and were leaving the following day for Marseille, where they would take part in a festival. The interview was conducted in English, in a very good atmosphere. A young Korean student, who is a friend of the group, was present to translate the answers that the group could not give in English from Korean to French.

Hello, is this your first time in France? What are you first impressions? What sights have you seen?
itta:Yes, it is our first time, we only arrived yesterday night so we haven't had a lot of time to visit places yet. We have been to the Chaillot Palace, the Eiffel Tower and the Champs Elysées but it was raining and was cold.

Yes, these aren't the ideal conditions to visit places. It's a shame, the weather was beautiful last week.
itta: Really? Oh no! What about next week? (laughs) (Note: the duo will perform in Paris on the 3rd of October, at the "in famous Carousel" festival)

Do you understand any French words?
Marqido: S’il vous plaît! (laughs) ('please' in French)

How would you describe your music?
(The group stop to think, suprised by the question, then itta consults with Marqido and thinks for a long time, visibly embarassed)
itta: Marqido does the noise and I do the pop! So it's a mix of noise and pop!

Is all your music based on improvisation?
itta: Yes, it's always improvised.

How did you meet?
itta: It was during an event called Bulgasari, which is essentially based on improvised music. I saw him play and, immediately, I said to myself, "I want to play with him!" Then I invited him to Jejudo, to play at a street festival together. That was the birth of 10.

itta, what do you like most about Marqido?
itta: His eyes! (laughs)

And you Marqido, what do you like most about itta?
Marqido: Her voice.

It is your first time in France, but have you been to Europe before?
itta: No, it's our first time.

What do you expect of the French and Spanish public?
itta: During the lives in Asia, there are a lot of Europeans and Americans present, I know that they appreciate our music and I can communicate better with them. I hope that I can convey my emotions to them through my music.
Marqido: I hope that they will have a sense of listening, that they will understand and appreciate our music.

And have you planned anything special for these lives?
itta: No, we haven't planned anything special. Because our music is based on improvisation, all of our lives are different. It's always new, always special.

You have already played in numerous different countries. What was your best experience?
itta: Bangkok! The people were very open minded and we got on well. In Korea, it's different, more difficult, our music isn't greatly appreciated.

Can you give us some more information on the CDs you have released up until now?
itta: Our first album, LIVE, was released last year. It was recorded at a live in Tokyo by our assistant. The second release, UFO EP, was also released last year and our most recent, UFO, was released this year. The tracks on this album were recorded live in Korea, Japan, China and Thailand, during our last Asian tour. You can now buy it in Bimbo Tower, Paris.

Do you plan to release something in Europe soon?
itta: Why not? We would like that a lot, particularly in Ireland where our music is appreciated a lot.

Who are your favourite noise/experimental artists?
Marqido: Magical Power Mako, it's "avant-garde" music from the 70s.
itta: Keiji Haino

Which more "mainstream" artists do you like as well?
Marqido: Beck
itta: Jane Birkin! I just bought her CD. (laughs) (Note: she will proudly show us the CD at the end of the interview)

And in the Korean scene, are there any artists you would recommend to our readers?
itta: Youn Sun Nah, do you know her? She's a jazz musician and well known, she's also worked in France with a lot of French artists.
Marqido: As I'm Japanese, I don't know a lot of Korean artists.

We then decided to concentrate on itta's solo career.

itta, can you please describe your music to our readers?
itta: I wanted to do something poetic, where the lyrics are a song in their own right and things are continually changing.

What are your sources of inspiration?
itta: I am generally inspired by nature but also by books.

You use a lot of instruments and toys in your music, how do you choose these?
itta: By chance. For example, that (she takes a bottle of water and mimes), I take it, I shake it, I play a little bit and "Oh, I like this sound!"

You started making music 12 years ago. Has your music evoled since then?
itta: At first, my music was more poppy, I was inspired by Korean pop and, little by little, I found my own style. Today, my music is very personal.

Can you tell us about the release of your new solo album?
itta: Yes, I took sentences from Korean pop songs and stuck them together to make lyrics. After that, I added a melody and somebody drew manga to fit this music, the drawings tell a story. That is so the album will tell a story. It should have been released this winter but I am very busy at the moment so I have had to move the release back. It will probably be released in January.

You have collaborated with numerous musicians throughout your career, which has been your favourite collaboration?
itta: As I am here with Marqido, I would say that it was him (laughs). But, apart from him, there was Jane Ha (PIKA) who has a voice that I like a lot.

You have also collaborated with non-musical artists, dancers for example. Could you tell us a bit about those experiences?
itta : Yes, I like to play with non-musical artists, and to perform with them. For example, there was this performance were I was sitting at a desk with photos of our Asian tour spread on it and a cake with lots of whipped cream on it. My colleague had set all this up for me. I took an electric dog, you know, the little fluff toys that move alone and skip when you put them on the floor, I broke its legs and put it on the cake. Then, I connected a thread from my wrist to the dog's neck and my colleague was standing a little farther, on the right, with a star drawn on his hand. He was looking at what I was doing and that made a performance quite similar to the ones made by contemporary artists. This performance's name was Travel Journal.

Do you see yourself coming to play on your own in Europe?
itta: Yes, I would love to! I would really love to return, why not do a coupling with other artists? If you see something interesting, please let me know! (laughs)

Any final messages for our readers?
itta: Marqido has made an album with Japanese, Korean and Chinese artists which will be released next month or in November. Me, I would love to return to France with more time to visit places! I hope that we will be able to return soon!

Thank you very much!
10: Thank you!

KoME would like to thank 10 for their kindness as well as Hyonyoung for her help throughout the interview.
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