EXHIBITION @ Jiyugakuen "requiem d'une marionette" - Tokyo September 2009


“requiem d’une marionette” was a culmination of the collaboration between artists Benjamin Skepper (music) and Michiko Suzuki (fashion).

Working in close collaboration from creation conception to completion, the artists’ set out to unite their respective art-forms of music and couture.
Skepper would travel to Suzuki’s atelier with violoncello in arm and improvise and perform compositions while Suzuki would cast her patterns and sew the garments. Likewise, Suzuki would travel to Skepper’s studio and gather inspiration for her design from listening to his music.

Ultimately, Skepper’s violoncello composition “marionette” became the soundtrack for Suzuki’s design inspiration for her Spring/Summer collection Fantastical, whimsical, ephemeral and spell bound, the music and couture behind the creation “requiem d’une marionette” recalls the memory of children free to express imagination and emotion in a limitless world.


Aria Sinai, is the second violoncello composition on Skepper’s solo violoncello LP “eika 詠歌”, and is a composition for eight violoncellos. Suzuki and couture milliner Rachel Skepper (Australia) both crafted their respective creations from the inspiration the musical composition.

Suzuki’s couture dress is hand-sewn and created from Japanese silk and tulle. Gold hand painted detailing on the bodice was also painted by Suzuki.

The couture head-piece by Rachel Skepper is also completely hand stitched and features 22 pure crystal chards, silk rosettes, pearl stamens and antique French lace embroidery.


"Eika 詠歌" is Benjamin Skepper's debut solo violoncello 12" vinyl record album. This vinyl album contains three original violoncello compositions inspired by and recorded in Tokyo.
All three compositions were are an example of layering of multiple violoncello melodies to form the composition. The compositions purport to explore the range of sounds that may be drawn out of the violoncello, not all of which are conventional or even technically permissible in a “classical” context.

The reason underpinning the production of a vinyl record as compared to a CD lies in dedication to analogue production process and its industry, enhanced sound quality, longer life of the sound recording, and also an ongoing artistic collaboration with graphic art director Ito Keiji of Unidentified Flying Graphics (UFG).
"Eika 詠歌" is a limited edition 500 records only, pressed to 140 gram vinyl.

Skepper also composed and arranged original music for harpsichord which was performed live along with the compositions on "Eika 詠歌". The harpsichord was crafted by Luther Akira Kubota, and is a model of a 16th century Flemish harpsichord.


Keiji Ito of Unidentified Flying Graphics (UFG) designed and directed the artwork for the 12” record jacket cover for Eika 詠歌. Ito created the montage based on the music of Eika 詠歌, rather than creating in response to verbal direction from the composer. The artwork becomes a visual reflection of the musical compositions. The collaboration between the artists is a testament to the depth of understanding and respect Ito and Skepper share for the art of meaningfully combining graphic design and musical form.

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