Congratulations Cecil Taylor!

Kyoto Prize

Congratulations, Cecil Taylor!

It is my pleasure to share with you the news that Min’s long-time friend and “big brother” Mr. Cecil Taylor has received Kyoto Prize. ( )

Below : Excerpt from a program “Cecil Taylor and Yosuke Yamashita Duo Concert” Febluary 21, 2007, as a part of the series “Tokyo Opera City New Year Jazz Concert 2007”
(Please note that Min has made a little revise on the letter for posting on Facebook, or rather to reflect himself as of now.)

“Dear Cecil,”
How are you! Cecil, my dear big brother, I have not seen you a quite long while, but I suppose you have been facing to the world with extraordinary velocity, and confronting the magma of human beings with your remarkable tolerance , as you had been before. You aren’t feeling cumbersome to walk around the society, are you? Hope you are all right. It’s been a few years since I stopped going to NY. Excuse me! Many times after times, I made it hazy for others and myself to come to NY, and time passes by. Derek Bailey passed away. People die, really. My moment to moment is stumbled and perplexed by the wonder/impossibility of being. The ground has more than ever surrounded by the weather of disharmony. America…Japan…I can’t be sitting doing nothing, so recently I have been living with nearing my face to the ground, which should be no one’s property. I picture you, my big brother, becoming a piano, with your face nearing a worn-down keyboard like spoons, and you, who live the purity of the human lusts for music instruments, so I can be on board with your sound and your nothingness any time without any contract. One day, I was watching the back. It was Cecil Taylor’s back. A piano shining black behind the back. The piano shining black behind the back. While watching the back, I see waves, small, big, and big. It was as if craving for ever-unsettled form, the big and small waves move around. In the little while, the sky arise among the waves. The sky rises swaying. The back is my favourite nature. My eyes and ears are paired, but they show me separate environment at the end. I am fine, because I am dance. Joy not to be united / Impression not concluded / Collision / of Waves / of Vibration / Smashed / Necessity / Reconstruction / Who did / doesn’t matter / where is the heart / better not know / or? One day, I was at near by your piano. You did not know who I was. At the stage in the middle of the pool of the people at the huge brick warehouse, I jumped up without permission, I was there. Dance impossible to see, and music impossible to listen. Not that I did not have a hidden intention; however,my body was longing for my other half. Dance is ever-deficient. That is why dance is not a meaning but the significance and the revolution. My dear big brother, I wonder how you saw my immersion at the young. We have not talked about it yet. Your voice reading poems to the piano, and the sound deeply at the bottom of the fresh which permeates through the piano: It is impossible to replay. You are a piano man. Your courage to walk the society has surely arrived to me. Allow me to say this selfishly and additionally – Cecil Taylor is a dancer, and he is dance itself!


My teacher Min’s first encounter with Cecil was in 1987, during Cecil’s Solo performance in Yokohama Red Brick Warehouse, where back then was almost abandoned, bare, and forgotten building, unlike now, a beautifully renovated multi-cultural space. Min Jumped into the performance and danced, without Cecil’s prior permission. Cecil furiously asked after the performance, “Who are you?”

In March 1988, they officially performed together in “Botoh Festival,” organized by Nikkatsu Corporation, a film company. Interestingly enough, it was Nikkatsu, the film company which presented the performing arts festival with sincere respect to the spirit of Hijikata’s Butoh. The genre “Butoh” per se was well-received overseas already at the time; however, it was also the name of Tatsumi Hijikata’s avant-garde deeds which would have been impossible to be translated into any other ways completely, even with Japanese language, though his creation was deeply rooted in Japanese-ness.
It made the event symbolic of the era that art was not made to fit into genres or categories to have Cecil and Min perform together in one stage.

Since then, they have performed in numerous places-
At Koma Shrine in Hakusyu, Yamanashi where Min’s former base of activity
At “plan B” in Tokyo, a small space for alternative performances…

In 1994, they co-starred on the opening of the exhibition “Japanese Art after 1945: Scream against the Sky,” organized by Guggenheim Museum in NY. Mercer Street was closed temporarily for the performance and estimated audience were 3hundred people. Min visited Cecil’s small home in NY, and saw his piano with worn-down keyboard…

Min has always admired him and adored their relationship. When Yosuke Yamashita, Japanese prominent Jazz pianist and Min’s friend, finally performed Duo with Cecil after having longed decades, Min wrote that letter for their program. As I wrote above, the letter has slightly revised on this occasion, and I hope to share our best wishes and congratulations to Cecil with this letter.

Writer:Rin Ishihara
Translation:Risa Ikeda


2013年 第29回 京都賞受賞




1994年グッゲンハイム美術館主催「戦後日本の前衛美術」のオープニング企画で共演。SOHOのマーサーズ ストリートを閉鎖し、推定で3千人の観客が集まった。



東京オペラシティ ニューイヤー・ジャズ・コンサート2007
2007年2月21日「セシル・テイラー&山下洋輔  デュオ・コンサート」


元気にしてますか! セシル、ずいぶんと久しくお会いしていませんが、大兄のことだから、相変わらずの並外れた速度で世界に向き合い、度はずれた耐久力で人間のマグマに対峙しているのでしょうね。世間を歩くのが面倒に成ってはいませんね。大丈夫ですね。ニューヨークに行かなくなってから、幾年も経ちました。スミマセン。幾度も幾度も、ニューヨーク行きを、人にも自分にもうやむやにしたまま時がすぎています。デレク・ベイリーが亡くなりました。本当に人は死んでゆくのですね。私の時々刻々が、存在の不思議・不可能につまづきとまどい、しているのです。地上は昔にいや増して不調和の気象に包囲されています。アメリカ……日本……座っているわけにもいかないので、誰のものでもないはずの地面に、顔近づけて私、この頃暮らしています。サジのように薄く成った鍵盤に、顔近づけてピアノになっている大兄が眼にうかび、人間が、楽器を欲情した純粋を生きている兄から発せられる音と無に私は、だから、いつでも契約なして乗船できるのです。ある日、背中を見ていました。セシル・テイラーの背中です。背中の向こうに黒く光るピアノ。背中の向こうに黒く光るピアノ。背中を見ているうちに、小さな大きな大きな波が見えてきます。永遠に定まらない形を求めているかのように大波小波がうごめきまわる。しばらくすると波の間から空が立ちのぼる。ゆらめいてのぼる。背中は私の好きな自然だ。私の眼と耳は対でありながら、ついには別々の環境を示すのだ。私はダンスだから、平気だ。一つにならない歓喜/完結しない感動/波の/振動の/ぶつかりあい/くだけ散る/必然/再構築/誰が/そんな事どうでもいい/心はどこにあるのか/知らない方が良ろしい/ か? ある日、ピアノのそばに私は居た。あなたは私が誰かは知らなかった。巨きなレンガ倉庫の人の海の中の舞台に、私は許可なく跳びあがり、居た。視えないダンスと聞こえない音楽。私に魂胆が無かったわけではない、が、私のからだは片割を欲していた。ダンスは常に不足だ。だからダンスは意味ではなく意義・革命なのだ。若い私の夢中は大兄にどのように映じていたのでしょう。未だにその事は話されていませんね。大兄がピアノに向かって詩を読んで聞かせている、又ピアノを透過する肉体の底の底の音これらは再生できません。ピアノ人なのです。あなたの世間を歩く勇気は確かに私に届いたのでした。最後に勝手についでに言わせて下さい。セシル・テイラーはダンサーだ、そしてダンスだ!