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“Her light touch, calm focus, devotion to chance, and reverently ceremonial performances makes it seem like these curious and magical sounds have always existed (just outside our threshold of hearing) and were patiently waiting millennia for an especially sensitive channeler to turn up and finally bring them to our attention. In some ways that is true, but there is also a great deal of intelligence and ego-less artistry in how they are harnessed and presented here. …. Musique Hydromantique is a work very much in the tradition of visionary folks like Alvin Lucier and La Monte Young: it is an album that only Sauvage could have made and it is hard to imagine anyone else taking this direction any further, yet this simple, pure, and meditative work is a beguiling self-contained world that reveals a wealth of intriguing new possibilities.” – Anthony D’Amico – Brainwashed
“The wobbly, chiming vessels turn tuned water into a sort of natural synthesizer, complete with organic forms of envelope, modulation, pitchbend and decay. …. The result is soothing and sensual, like a long hot bath. I could soak in it forever.” by Momus, The WIRE
“Dispositif à fois virtuose et désarmant de simplicité, il a la beauté des choses élémentaires, des choses premières, et évoque une fascination quasi enfantine pour le son de l’eau sous toutes ses formes, la pluie, les vagues, le ressac… La musique qu’en tire Tomoko Sauvage, calme et méditative, appelant, sans jeu de mot, une forme d’immersion…. Il nous replonge dans des situations où notre perception du monde est modifiée, filtrée, par l’élément aquatique.” by Benoit Deuxant, La Sélec
“Tomoko Sauvage se lance dans l’exploration d’un espace sonore où la lenteur invite à l’écoute attentive, presque au recueillement. Son instrument, elle l’élabore elle-même, au fil des expériences. Elle fait vibrer l’eau (dans des bols en porcelaine) et l’air (jeu subtil autour des limites de l’accrochage Larsen).” RTBF
© Yoshihiro Inada
Tomoko Sauvage is a Japanese musician and artist who is best known for her long-time experimentation on unique hybrid instrument combining water, ceramics, sub-aquatic amplification and electronics. Sauvage’s research is grounded in live-performance practices embracing unpredictable dynamics of materials while incorporating ritualistic yet playful gestures, improvisation with environments and the use of chance as a compositional method.
Sauvage’s performances have been presented internationally including RIBOCA (Riga), V&A Museum (London), Manifesta (Palermo, Marseille), Museo Reina Sofia (Madrid), Roskilde Festival, Centre Pompidou Metz and Nyege Nyege Festival (Uganda). Her installation piece has recently been exhibited at Sharjah Art Foundation (UAE) and Galerie Chantal Crousel (Paris). Her third solo album Fischgeist was recorded in a water tank in Berlin and published by bohemian drips in 2020. She lives and works in Paris since 2003.
*Supported by La Pommerie/ CRAFT (creation of the porcelain bowls, Limousin, France) and Aquarian Audio (Hydrophones, USA)
_ story of waterbowls
Born and raised in Yokohama, Japan, Sauvage moved to Paris in 2003 after studying jazz piano in New York. Through listening to Alice Coltrane and Terry Riley, she became interested in Indian music and studied improvisation of Hindustani music. In 2006, she attended a concert of Aanayampatti Ganesan, a virtuoso of Jalatharangam – the traditional Carnatic music instrument with water-filled porcelain bowls. Fascinated by the simplicity of its device and sonority, Sauvage immediately started to hit China bowls with chopsticks in her kitchen. Soon her desire of immersing herself in the water engendered the idea of using an underwater microphone and led to the birth of the electro-aquatic instrument.