A Japanese Noh Play Reimagined for the 21st Century. Presented by Slow Label Japan, RMIT University, Ritsumeikan University, JOLT Arts & Hullick Studios.


Having toured to Japan on many occasions, The Amplified Elephants were delighted to be invited by Director Yoshie Kriss of Japanese production company, Slow Label, to work on a new live-streaming project with internationally acclaimed Noh singer Ryoko Aoki.

In 2021, Aoki and The Amplified Elephants performed a 15 minute live-streamed work exploring the Japanese Noh play Hagoromo. The performance was a resounding success, and inspired all of the collaborators involved to develop the project into a full length interactive audio visual production.

The story Hagoromo tells of an angel from the moon who loses her cloak of invisibility. A key feature in our telling of this mythical story is the use of Disruptive Critters (Duckworth/Hullick/Eldridge): an interactive touch screen interface, which is then digitally mapped through the performance space by Ritsumeikan University researcher Shigenori Mochizuki.

Although isolated by COVID-19 and separated by the vast distance between Australia and Japan, this remarkable project brings together the timeless beauty of Ryoko Aoki – Noh singer – and the electronic sonic wonderland of The Amplified Elephants. Through a process of sophisticated online streaming, the Melbourne-based Elephants and Japan’s Aoki will translate the music of the Noh play “羽衣 -HAGOROMO-” into a cross-cultural expression of creative solidarity. The project features the Disruptive Critters interface created by Jonathan Duckworth, James Hullick and Ross Eldridge at RMIT University.

Funders: The Toyota Foundation, Interactive Arts and Disability: Creative Rehabilitation and Activity for Individuals with a Disability (Representative: Shigenori Mochizuki); Australia Japan Foundation. The development of a 15 minute version of this work was assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body. The development of a 15 minute version of this work was supported by the Victorian Government through Creative Victoria.

Singer: Ryoko Aoki (Noh singer)

Performers: The Amplified Elephants (electronics & the Disruptive Critters Interface)

Media Artists: Jonathan Duckworth (Interactive designer/Associate Prof. from RMIT Uni.), Shigenori Mochizuki (Media Artist/Associate Prof. from Ritsumeikan Uni.)

The Amplified Elephants

James Hullick

Jonathan Duckworth

Ryoko Aoki