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Play with colours: Satoyama meets the art of Lavia


Satoyama meets the art of Lavia Lin : Cross-cultural Dialogues between music and painting
Satoyama, the Italian band from Turin, with a Japanese name,
Lavia Lin the Berlin-based artist from Shanghai, with an Italian name, (La via in Italian means the way) along her way, somehow they met, they bonded, they made music and paintings together. This project is that of an international, cross-cultural friendship and an intimate cross-media collaboration.

LAVIA LIN came to Berlin in 2014, she studies art and philosophy at Bard College Berlin. She started painting at the age of 7, her artistic style is identifiable by her atmospheric abstract (often blue) paintings. She paints to remind people of the beauty in the surrounding, she gets inspired from nature, her surroundings and her personal stories. She loves to paint to jazz, the music she grew up listening to. Music speaks to her emotions and she responds with paints.When she listens, she allows the movement of her arms to flow with the melody and her heart dances to the rhythm.

SATOYAMA brought four young musicians different in styles together to create broader music. They use melody to get in contact with the soul of the people, they believe that language of music is a platform to connect musicians, artists, and listeners from different cultures. They love traveling and bringing their music to people. Their music reflects on their traveling experiences and they use music as a narrative of storytelling, as a common language to be understood by the public.

Satoyama is a non-conventional, polyhedric jazz ensemble composed by young musicians. “Spicy Green Cube” is their first record.
Satoyama, a quartet composed by musicians from Ivrea in their early twenties, was created in 2013: Luca Benedetto, Christian Russano, Gabriele Luttino and Marco Bellafiore brought their musical experimentations in the project in order to reach a new sound that would set them apart. Rock-progressive rhythmic, African suggestions and echoes from the North of Europe blend together with an expressive freedom typical of jazz.

Satoyama in Japanese stands for the borderline between plains and mountains; it is also the title of a track recorded by pianist Iro Haarla with Norwegian trumpet player Mathias Eick. The name was chosen by the band for their curiosity in faraway places, travels and discovery of new musical cultures, not to speak of their love for Northern European jazz that is synonymous with many musicians operating under the ECM brand, Jan Garbarek above all. The result is thus a “borderline” music.

The summer of 2017, Satoyama, bringing their musical instruments along with Lavia, bringing her paints and brushes, they made a tour and performed together in Ljubljana and at the Jazzit Fest in Feltre, Italy, where Lavia painted to Satoyama’s music live. On the journey of playing music and making paintings, as a music lover who paints, Lavia has found her instrument, her brushes to depict the music she hears visually. In her atmospheric abstract painting, colors represent her emotional association with the music. She says, Satoyama’s music is diverse, a mix of different sounds and influences, which makes it even more interesting for a painter to capture the movements in sound. The journey marks the beginning of the long-term friendship. More about Satoyama:

First Journey- Ljubljana & Jazzit Fest in Feltre

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First Gig
First gig in Repete- jazz & okrepčila Okrepčevalnica Repete, Ljubljana, Slovenia
Preparation for the first gig
First painting
The stage setting
Second painting
At Jazzit Fest
At Jazzit Fest in Feltre
Third painting
Stage setting

Second Journey -Berlin

In the winter of 2017, Satoyama visited Lavia in Berlin and they performed at Artist Homes, Galatea Wine & Music, Kulturcáfe Neukölln and at private resident. All photos @Martin Keil