Every Song I’ve Ever Written: Solo

Jacob Wren

Sat Sep. 17

15:30 open / 16:00 start / Pay what you can (please order one drink)


Every Song I’ve Ever Written: Band Night

Momus, Reiko Kudo, Maher Shalal Hash Baz, The Hardy Rocks and Jacob Wren

Sun Sep. 18

18:00 open / 18:30 start / 2,500 yen (one drink included)



... And enjoyment is one of the few pinnacles of humanity an individual can currently aspire towards. Perhaps all humanity can be joyously reduced to a single substance. Perhaps that is the beginning of all art. I have no idea what I’m talking about.


Say that again.


I have no idea what I’m talking about.


And again.


I have no idea what I’m talking about.


(Jacob Wren, Unrehearsed Beauty, p. 82, Coach House Press, 1998)


Montreal-based writer / performance maker Jacob Wren first visited Japan in 2003 as part of PME-ART to present Unrehearsed Beauty / Les génies des autres, a forum-theatre that examined, inviting audience to speak, the idea of “public space.” He is also an unknown singer / songwriter who wrote 58 songs without intention to have them heard by anyone from 1985 to 2004. Every Song I’ve Ever Written is a cutting-edge project of the Internet age that “gives away” these completely private songs that “no one wants” through,

  • Website, where all the 58 songs are available for listening, reading and downloading and anyone can upload their own versions,
  • Jacob’s five-and-a-half-hour Solo, where he sings all the 58 songs in chronological order,
  • Band Night, where local musicians cover Jacob’s songs,
  • and Karaoke Night, where audience sing Jacob’s songs.


The pay-what-you-can Solo is a totally new performance that is indiscernible between a humble autobiographical theatre, documentary that talks about the world from the end of the 20th century to the beginning of the 21st century through an individual’s filter, conceptual concert dedicated to all the unknown singer / songwriters in the world or something that he does because he wants to do it. It is certain, however, that the show will demonstrate an extreme of “performance” in our times as Unrehearsed Beauty did.


Band Night, where guest local musicians freely interpret and cover Jacob’s songs and talk with him about songs and related topics, invites Momus, the musician who influenced Jacob the most (he lives in Osaka), Reiko Kudo, whose Rice Field Silently Riping in the Night (2001) that he found at a record store in Montreal was an album he has come back to again and again, Maher Shalal Hash Baz with whom he has collaborated several times, and one more band (to be announced) The Hardy Rocks, Keiji Haino’s new band that covers existing rock and soul songs in English. With simultaneous interpretation.


Band Night at Baltic Circle Festival, Helsinki


Perhaps we can do Karaoke Night at a karaoke box near the venue after the shows. If you want to sing his songs, please let us know.

Photo by Sonnet J Blanton

Jacob Wren

Jacob Wren makes literature, collaborative performances and exhibitions. Much of his performance work is made as Co-artistic Director of Montreal-based interdisciplinary group PME-ART. His books include: Unrehearsed Beauty, Families Are Formed Through Copulation, Revenge Fantasies of the Politically Dispossessed, Polyamorous Love Song (one of The Globe and Mail’s 100 best books of 2014) and Rich and Poor. He has also collaborated with Nadia Ross and her company STO Union. Together they co-wrote and co-directed Recent Experiences and Revolutions in Therapy. He travels internationally with alarming frequency and frequently writes about contemporary art.

Momus and Jacob Wren


Momus is a Scottish musician, writer and artist. Since the 1980s he’s released records of artificial folk music on independent labels like él, Creation and Cherry Red. In the 2000s he concentrated mostly on blogging and a New York art career. During recent years he’s published six books of speculative fiction. He also performs an unorthodox David Bowie tribute cabaret which earned the support of Bowie’s own website in 2014. Momus lives in Osaka.

This is my song by Reiko Kudo

Reiko Kudo

Dropped out by coming upon words of Patti Smith and Johnny Rotten, and nurtured her heart with Billie Holiday. Performed mainly at “Minor,” a space in Kichijoji, Tokyo, in the late 1970s, and released her first solo album Fire Inside My Hat (ORG) in 1997. The next album Rice Field Silently Riping in the Night (Majikick / Periodic Document, 2001) was released also in the U.S. and was highly acclaimed. She has since then released Hito and Kusa, Licking Up Dust, Light, From Now On and Mikan.

Happy (Pharrell Williams) by Maher Shalal Hash Baz

Maher Shalal Hash Baz

A fluid unit summoned by musician / potter Tori Kudo. The name of the group comes from a phrase in the Book of Isaiah that translates as “quick spoil speedy booty.” Mostly amateur members that live in various places get together for each performance and play without rehearsal, where even “mistones” are transformed into richness and complexity.


The Hardy Rocks

A new band that Keiji Haino, who has recaptured and augmented the core of hard rock, formed resolutely conferring the adjective “hardy” instead of “hard” on it. The Band covers what are considered rock and soul classics in English and transforms them into meticulous and hardy contemporary rock music. They focus on “song” for this project in a trio formation with Haino (vocals), Masami Kawaguchi (guitar) and Toshihiko Katano (drums) instead of the regular five-member formation.



Production: PME-ART | Co-production and residency: FFT (Düsseldorf), Wunder der Prärie Festival-Zeitraumexit (Mannheim), Baltic Circle International Theatre Festival (Helsinki) and Inkonst (Malmö) | Presentation and residency: Usine C-Montréal | With the support of the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec, the Conseil des arts de Montréal and the Kunststiftung NRW (Germany)