Performance: Beethovens Ghostwriter

Beethovens Ghostwriter - Michikazu Matsune For Now
Beethovens Ghostwriter - Michikazu Matsune For Now | Photo (detail): © Beethovens Ghostwriter - Michikazu Matsune For Now

What does artistic truth mean? This performance about the “Japanese Beethoven” and his ghost composer questions the relevance of this artistic value in the context of the cult of genius and uniqueness.

“Beethoven’s Ghostwriter” is a lecture performance about a scandal in the Japanese music industry that caused an uproar in the Japanese and international media in 2014: composer Takashi Niigaki revealed at a press conference that for 18 years he’d served as a “ghost composer” for Mamoru Samuragochi, aka the “Japanese Beethoven”. Samuragochi had cultivated a mystique around his persona by claiming to be completely deaf and flaunting his physical infirmities, wearing black clothes, dark sunglasses and carrying a cane. He was extremely popular with the Japanese public. The multiple facets of this scandal speak volumes about the way the media treat various issues relating to “genius” and “disability” in an increasingly commercialized arts scene. In his lecture performance, performance artist Michikazu Matsune parses his way through the media spectacle around the two protagonists, Samuragochi and Niigaki. The resulting performance is about the cult of genius, the hankering after uniqueness and audience ratings. Matsune develops a current-day perspective on the many obstacles to the pursuit of artistic truth. 

Planned performances:

  • Autumn 2020 (tbc): Tokyo