Antoni Tàpies and the music of Asia



A series of concerts curated by Horacio Curti, ethnomusicologist, lecturer at the Escola Superior de Música de Catalunya and shakuhachi master.


‘You cannot understand Abstract Expressionism without thinking of oriental calligraphy. The expressiveness of the brush strokes and dramatic gestures must be clear. We also find examples in the field of music. One cannot conceive of the music of John Cage for the modified piano without knowing the gamelan of Bali and Java. […] There is an immense influence of India and the Far East in the art and music of our days.’

Extract from Converses amb Antoni Tàpies, by Barbara Catoir. Barcelona: Polígrafa: 1988.


Some of the references and stimuli that influenced the work and thinking of Antoni Tàpies come from Asia and certain of its cultures. He himself stated that to understand the origins of modern art it was necessary to look towards the East. This was the starting point of the cycle ‘Antoni Tàpies and the Music of Asia’, which aims, through activities involving sound, to bring the legacy of these cultures closer so that they can be experienced by the public alongside the artist’s work.


In 2019 we approached India, with the help of the dhrupad singers Meghana Sardar and Federico Sanesi; China, through the sound of the pipa played by Cheng Yu; and Japan, with the shakuhachi performed by Kakizakai Kaoru. Here you will find the audiovisual record of these three concerts:


Concert I – India:



Concert II – Japan:



Concert III – China:



Amid the uncertainties of the 2020s, we propose a fourth session of the cycle with a new and different approach to the music of India, in this case performed by Shyamb Sunder, a bansuri player. Here you will find more information. [link to the activity]


Horacio Curti, curator of the cycle

Maria Sellarès, coordinator of the activity


Activity in collaboration with the Asian music programme of the Escola Superior de Música de Catalunya and Casa Asia. 

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