Known for its unusual mix of Western and Japanese instruments Okeanos was formed in 2000 and retains a primary focus to reach out to new audiences, create opportunities for young composers and initiate pioneering performance events, often collaborating with other art forms. Okeanos have premiered over 100 works and commissioned composers including Robin Holloway and Howard Skempton, as well as performing in renowned London venues including the Barbican, Kings Place and The Warehouse. They feature on the recently released NMC Debut Disc series with music by Dai Fujikura, including his Okeanos cycle composed especially for them, which has been acclaimed worldwide.
‘…never less than intriguing, and often entrancingly beautiful…Okeanos Breeze is a brilliantly virtuoso use of Okeanos's rich palette…’ Ivan Hewitt The Telegraph
Okeanos' primary focus is to reach new audiences and initiate pioneering performance events whilst collaborating with other art forms and artists. Known for their fascinating mix of Western and Japanese instruments (oboe, clarinet, viola, koto, sho, shakuhachi), the ensemble has premiered over 100 new works and featured regularly on BBC Radio 3, Classic FM, Resonance FM and Australian radio. Okeanos have performed extensively in the UK including performances at the Warehouse, the Barbican (BBC Total Immersion: Japan) and Kings Place. Okeanos have recorded for Metier and NMC. Their most recent recording (NMC Debut Discs: music by Dai Fujikura) attracted worldwide acclaim achieving a 5 star review in the BBC Music Magazine and was heralded by the Guardian as ‘...a private utopia well worth exploring’ as one the Critics Choice CDs of 2012.
Collaborative projects include: Japan 2001 Textural Space exhibition, a Dartington Summer School Japan-UK150 residency with Somei Satoh, an SPNM/Asian Music Circuit tour, and collaborations with artists Katherine Dowson and Junko O’Neill. Okeanos have also worked with the koto soloist Etsuko Takezawa, storyteller Kumiko Mendl (Yellow Earth Theatre) and Japanese drumming group Taiko Meantime.
Okeanos have been at the forefront of many young composers’ careers - Lynne Plowman, Dai Fujikura, Chikako Morishita, Basil Athanasiadis - most of whom they first met through composer workshops and later went on to champion their work. Okeanos have also commissioned work from established composers Robin Holloway, Howard Skempton, Judith Weir, Nigel Osborne, John Joubert, Sadie Harrison, Nicola LeFanu and Judith Bingham.
*See the panel above for details of the ensemble's début appearance in the 2014 LDSM festival.