group A was formed in 2012 when art student and musician Tommi Tokyo met textile design graduate Sayaka Botanic and her friend Kaoru.
Inspired by radical art movements of 20th century, Tommi’s idea was to form a new band with non-musicians in an attempt to approach music differently. Since their first performance at gallery COMMUNE in Tokyo, the project has explored the possibilities in breaking the preconceptions of live performance. group A attempt to subvert the boundary between musical performance and performance art incorporating use of the body, live-painting, noise, acoustics, and poetry in their formative performances. This experiential vocabulary is one they continue to develop through their practice in the rejection of tradition and cliché that challenges them to expand the live music experience. The dichotomous nature of absence and presence is continuously investigated in constructing the live output of the group.
Frequent collaborations with visual artists, dancers, and scenographers of different practices are a crucial part of their experimental processes both in sound and performance. In 2018 the duo teamed up with choreographer Christoph Winkler for their first theatre piece, “Ernest Berk The Complete Expressionist” (Berlin HAU2, CTM Festival, Berlin) in which the duo recreated one of Ernest Berk’s early tape loop percussive pieces into new primordial industrial hypnotic rhythms. In Dana Gingras’ multimedia performance piece, “anOther” (Agora de la Danse, Montreal, 2018) the band performed as mysterious figures behind a wall of old televisions, playing original scores live.
Berlin based visual artist Dead Slow Ahead frequently collaborates for selected A/V performances (Roskilde Festival, Berlin Atonal), visualising the bizarre world of group A with analog macro video and 3d generative abstractions. More theatre and dance projects are in preparation for 2021.
In recent years group A have played key European festivals such as CTM-Festival, Donaufestival, Steirischer Herbst, Le Guess Who? and OFF Festival. After going on a hiatus from performing live in 2019, Sayaka Botanic will rejoin Tommi Tokyo for future performances in late 2020.