Movie director swaps screen for musical stage

Japanese film director Shunji Iwai is briefly abandoning his traditional role in the movie chair to join his band on stage and play live music.  

Ti Gong

Shunji Iwai (second from right) and his Hectopascal band

Japanese film director Shunji Iwai is briefly abandoning his traditional role in the movie chair to join his band on stage and play live music.

Iwai and his band Hectopascal will take to the Shanghai Oriental Arts Center stage to perform several of his movie scores, such as “Swallowtail Butterfly,” “Vampire,” “Love Letter,” “Mysterious Transfer Student” and some of his original music away from the celluloid screen.

The 55-year-old has been fascinated by the piano since childhood. That is why Iwai has devoted as much time on the musical score of his movies as he has with his directorial duties.

“I have not officially studied the piano, but tried to compose since I successfully created melodies for the ‘Swallowtail Butterfly.’ Most of the melodies were first created leisurely, based on the atmosphere. I hoped that these melodies could be shared live rather than just through a record one day,” he said.

Founded in 2011, Hectopascal is composed of singer Kotone Sheena, pianist Mako Kuwabara, violinist Momoko Arai, cellist Jumpei Hayashida and guitarist Yosuke@HOME. Iwai is responsible for the music and lyrics, or in his words, “the pictures.”

Performance details

Date: May 13, 7:30pm

Tickets: 80-880 yuan

Tel: 6854-1234

Venue: Shanghai Oriental Arts Center

Address: 425 Dingxiang Rd, Pudong New Area

Ti Gong


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