Excerpts from Houses of Zodiac
Presented in conjunction with The Broad’s special exhibition Takashi Murakami: Stepping on the Tail of a Rainbow, an iteration of the film that appears in the live theatrical production of Houses of Zodiac will be screened monthly on the second Saturday from July to September, following the world premiere performance of Houses of Zodiac on June 4 and June 5.
Houses of Zodiac is a collaboration among composer Paola Prestini, cellist Jeffrey Zeigler, Sankai Juku dancer Dai Matsuoka, New York City Ballet dancer Georgina Pazcoguin, and filmmaker Murat Eyuboglu that explores the intersection of mind, body, and nature—themes mirrored in the artwork of Takashi Murakami which express his interests in spirituality and ecological and manmade disasters. Murakami elucidates these issues by imitating traditional Japanese painting styles which he imbues with alternative contemporary truths.
This collaboration is a series of cello solos, dance, lush filmic visuals, and poetic interludes by Pablo Neruda, Anaïs Nin, Brenda Shaughnessy, and Natasha Tretheway underscored by Zeigler along with musicians such as Nels Cline and Tanya Tagaq.
Composer Paola Prestini has collaborated with poets, filmmakers, and scientists in large-scale multimedia works that chart her interest in extra-musical themes ranging from the cosmos to the environment. She has created, written and produced large scale projects such as the largest communal VR opera, The Hubble Cantata, and the eco-documentary currently on PBS, The Colorado. As an immigrant, many identities, cultures, and values have collided and interlocked within her helping create a synthesis of both unique and universal ideas that naturally manifest into music. On a more granular level, folk melody is infused into the creation of original melodic lines that are deconstructed then supported with complex harmonies, rhythms, counterpoint and electronic worlds. Her work incorporates improvisation, live electronics, foley, and spatial elements. It is of the moment, political, ambitious, and always curious. Paulaprestini.com
Jeffrey Zeigler is one of the most innovative and versatile cellists of our time. He has been described as “fiery,” and a player who performs “with unforced simplicity and beauty of tone” by the New York Times. Acclaimed for his independent streak, Zeigler has commissioned dozens of works, and is admired as a potent collaborator and unique improviser. As a member of the Kronos Quartet, he is the recipient of the Avery Fisher Prize, the Polar Music Prize, the President’s Merit Award from the National Academy of Recorded Arts (Grammy’s), the Chamber Music America National Service Award, and The Asia Society's Cultural Achievement Award. In fall 2021, Zeigler released the album Houses of Zodiac: Poems for Cello with music by Paola Prestini to critical acclaim. Jzcello.com
Dai Matsuoka is a Butoh dancer/choreographer. He graduated Sophia University, the Faculty of Comparative Culture and Kuwasawa Design School. Matsuoka has has appeared in nine pieces of Sankai Juku since 2005, including “Kinkan Shonen,” “Unetsu,” “Kagemi,” “Tobari,” and “ARC.” He has also been the artistic director of LAND FES since 2011, organizing various dance performances and producing dance movies. He has collaborated globally with artists such as Phantom Limb Company (NY) for Falling Out, and with Paola Prestini (NY) for Houses of Zodiac. In 2021, Matsuoka served as a curator of “Tokyo Real Underground,” the Tokyo Tokyo FESTIVAL Special13 program. Daimatsuoka.com
Georgina Pazcoguin is a soloist in the New York City Ballet. She started as an apprentice in 2001 and was promoted to soloist in February 2013, becoming the New York City Ballet’s first Asian American promoted to an upper tier. georginapazcoguin.com
Murat Eyuboglu started photography as an apprentice to Josephine Powell in Istanbul. After attending the Academy of Fine Arts, School of Photography (Istanbul), he transferred to Bennington College, Vermont. He lived in Paris and returned to New York to pursue studies in music history. His dissertation was on the utopian aspects of Gustav Mahler’s works. Since 2000, he has focused mainly on portraiture and collaborative projects. In 2007, he participated in the documentary Claude Lévi-Strauss: Return to the Amazon as assistant director. He directed, filmed, and co-authored the script of The Colorado (2016), a music-based documentary to which five composers contributed original music. His photographs have been published by the French edition of the National Geographic Magazine and his music videos have been released by various independent labels. He lives in New York City. Murat Eyuboglu was an artist in residence at National Sawdust in Brooklyn, NY.