Matej Kolenic (MK) is Ethnomusicologist & Professional musician living in Kyoto, Japan.
After graduating at CIT (Cork Institute of Technology, Ireland) with an Honours Bachelor Degree in Music in 2012 he continued his musical journey & graduated with MA in Ethnomusicology from University College Cork, Ireland.
MK is professional Fuyara ( big overtone flute from Slovakia) & Shamisen ( Japanese 3 string instrument) player, co-founder of Ethnopunk project and creative director of AFK NPO started in early 2020, in Kamakura.
It was during his classical music training when MK gradually became interested in ethnic music.
He formed a world music band Jungle Bean and started experimenting with ethnic improvisations performing at various events.
In the Ethnomusicology course MK got deeper understanding of traditional music of wide spectra and got actively involved with Javanese Gamelan group, took classes on African Eve Drumming and Indian Sitar playing as well as started to do his own research and field work that pointed his interests on Japan and India.
He loves to share with you in his classes
how to play on this specific instruments,
in a new creative way,
opening you the doors leading to deeper
understanding of ethnic & world music gerne
MKs profile in more detail
I started my music career as a teenager while playing on guitar in a Slovak Punk rock band.
When I was 23 I moved to Australia to study English. There I became a bass guitarist in an Aussie pop-rock band.
After 4 years living there, I moved to a city called Cork in Ireland, a country famous for its strong musical tradition.
There I started to study piano and after 3 years of piano lessons my teacher recommended that I pursue higher musical education.
I enrolled in a music bachelor's degree program at CIT (Cork Institute of Technology).
During my studies I received Shamisen as a present which changed my musical life.
It was a gift from a Shamisen maker in Hiratsuka, Japan.
After 4 years of studying classical music & composition, I was accepted to UCC ( University College of Cork) for a master degree in Ethnomusicology.
I graduated with a final project on Tsugaru Shamisen called, Creative Tradition,
which I finished already in Japan, where I was doing my research.
To get deeper into the Shamisen traditional techniques I started to study with Kojin Sasakawa, Tsugaru shamisen master from Aomori.
He persuaded me to join the shamisen competition and my very first performance at the prestige competition in Hirosaki city
was awarded with “Special price” for musicality and creative ideas of my tsugaru shamisen style.
For years after coming to Japan, I continued to develop my own style on Shamisen while performing with various ethnic artists in Japan and India.
The most honored experience I had so far was a collaboration with South Indian Ghatam artist, Grammy award winner and one of the greatest percussionist in the World Mr. Vikku Vinayakram, who invited me to perform shamisen with him in early 2019 in Chennai, India.
The performance was very well received by the Indian classical music community.
In 2019 I went to Europe with a project called The Jugalbandi, a music collaboration with Indian percussionist and tabla drum artist Tansen Shrivastava. It was a successful tour in Europe, in Italy, France, Netherlands, Czech and Slovakia. It was at this time that I crossed a path with Hari K.
We met many years ago in Ireland and became friends, but have only met a very few times since then. In the year of 2018,
Hari called me and was suggesting a tour in the EU, but that year it did not happen yet,
it was the next year that we managed to organize concerts and the tour went on.
During this time Hari and I talked a lot about various opportunities and started to think about activities in Asia.
The success of the EU tour led to another planned tour in Singapore, Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur and Bali, but then Corona struck and the tour was cancelled.
This situation created a new opportunity to explore Japanese traditions from within,
and the Idea of Ethnopunk was born.
*** MK was born in Slovakia and currently lives in Japan for 9 years.
His main instruments are Japanese 3 string instrument called
Shamisen and Slovakian overtone flute called Fuyara.
I will teach you how to play on chosen instruments
with a new creative approach to the traditional methods.
We will start with the roots and build them up to the mastery of your own new tree branch.
Here you can read in more detail the method and ideas behind this teachings.
Away From Known
Ethnopunk Manifesto in more languages
Here you can read methodology behind my teaching techniques and instrument approach.