An Introduction from… Naomi Kashiwagi

21 Aug

So today I had my first session learning how to DJ with the latest cutting-edge turn-tabling technology- I usually DJ with wind-up gramophones and 78rpm records. Wow, what an insight into this new world of looping, beat matching (this is really, really hard!), scratching, visual sound waves and  using headphones!

But before I continue my enthusing musings, let me introduce myself. I’m Naomi Kashiwagi and I am an artist and work in the Learning and Engagement team at the Whitworth Art Gallery as Student Engagement Coordinator.

I’m working as Whitworth’s Host Producer with Matthew Krysko for PRS New Music Plus. We have been working together for the past 5 months (he is in residence for a year at the Whitworth) and a lot has happened in that time! For both of us, it was exciting and daunting to be working together, because art & galleries and DJing & clubs don’t usually mix! So how were we going to start!?! From the very beginning, we decided that we would show each other glimpses of our worlds, go to gigs together- Chris Cunningham vs Trio Atem– both intensely extraordinary experiences!, share music and email links to inspiring and influential stuff.

Matthew comes to the Whitworth- When we first started this project, Matthew was given a tour of the gallery by Dean Whiteside (House Services Manager), including behind the scenes where the collections are stored (and where staff play ping-pong!- Matthew and I had a brainstorming session over a game of ping pong- great for bouncing ideas- seriously!) and Heather Birchall (Curator of Historic Works) showed him the Whitworth archives in the Print Study Room including amazing old architectural plans of the Whitworth.

I went to Warehouse Project for the first time! What an amazingly fun night! I loved it! Matthew showed us around the venue, an unused multi-storey car park by Piccadilly Station. It was great to see Matthew in context, seeing him DJ in front of thousands of people!

I think the most astonishing thing I realised is that he manages to engage so many people and through playing music enables people to immerse themselves in music and dance and suspend everything else that usually occupies their minds. It’s totally about being in the moment and the now, and that’s something that’s really hard to do, let alone catalyse.

As part of my art practice, I DJ with wind-up gramophones, so out of mutual curiosity, we both decided that we would show each other our ways of DJing! The video below is me drawing/sketching with gramophones!

We had this as an idea that we would try out for fun, but we were given the opportunity for this to become an event as part of Manchester Weekender.

So, that is why we have been DJing today! Krysko & Kashiwagi…In The Mix…

Anyway, more musings soon… now, for some current exciting news…

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