Gulliver was 19 years old when he created Cinematic Illumination at the dance club Killer Joe’s in Ginza, Tokyo.
That moment—the late 1960s—was a turning point in postwar Japan. The country arose from the devastation of war and overcame many difficulties. EXPO 70 in Osaka was a spectacular event that created a strong vision of the future in the Japanese people’s consciousness. At the same time, the US-Japan Security Treaty was about to be renewed, and vigorous student protests were held around the nation; as they became more violent, campus riots intensified.
Now a half-century has passed, and all of this made me think about the situation we are in today—COVID-19, the Black Lives Matter demonstrations, the Hong Kong protests, an impending presidential election in the US, etc.
When researching Gulliver’s piece, I thought about a quote by Lewis Carroll: “It takes all the running you can do, to keep in the same place.”
What am I going to feel when I experience his Cinematic Illumination now? In putting together this playlist, I wanted to channel the feeling of the late ’60s in Tokyo and New York, along with my personal experiences in Tokyo during the early ’90s when I lived there (neo-psychedelia/rave music was popular), and also to place my feet in 2020. It was a profound journey.
As I compared two different eras, one thing moved me: the journey of humanity and its innocence from the late ’60s to today. Maybe we still listen to songs from the past as a reminder to stay grounded. Maybe we look at art from the past for the same reason.
I am glad we all are still here to resonate together.