Friday, December 07, 2012

1. How did the New Museum compare to other places you’ve performed?

   There was warm atmosphere in the space and audience.

2. Any notable moments from your Get Weird performance?

   Playing with a dancer, who was a black woman, was a lovely experience for me.

3. What’s your favorite exhibition or performance you’ve seen at the New Museum?

   Calder, and the architecture itself, standing among other buildings in that area.

Who would you like to see play Get Weird in the future?

   Mary Halvorson.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009


Toshiharu Osato(1958-2009) lived entire decade of 70's and was not a musician in this 15×decade-long human history.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

What inspired your original vision for C’est La Dernière Chanson ? Did you have specific sonic textures or thematic ideas that you wanted to capture?

It was kind of "at sight" project for people who happened to be present there. While "blues du jour" format was for rigorous collective improvisation, this project was for rather orthodox ensemble. Irrespective of reading ability, players can chose whether to read or to ignore the score, after each song is explained.
Any textures should have been seen as the result after recording this time.
As for the theme, at first in my mind I had just got an English title "XXsongs of maher shalal hash baz", like "49 Americans" that had a sunny image.
Being in France at that period I preferred such English title, while I had adopted "L'autre Cap" being in Olympia, USA.

Since you recorded over 200 songs in six days, did it seem like you were being rushed?

On the 6th day we recorded until 4 a.m. That is why the sound becomes getting thin as the end of the cd comes to a close. Many songs to be recorded were still left.

What was the mood like in the studio? As the band leader, was it difficult to get everyone on the same page creatively?

The studio called Chaudelande was in beautiful rural area near Cherbourg. We were happily fed. Though it was a challenge to keep unrepeatable "at sight" discipline, we all were getting acclimatized to it gradually.

Is there a particular reason that you composed these songs to be so short? What draws you to that aesthetic?

Short songs themselves have been always written since early 80's, like my diary. Those short pieces had often been abandoned behind longer songs so far, but this time picked up.

With so many different styles and moods on the album, was it difficult to know how these songs would fit together into a coherent album?

Without thinking any total image, I just automatically recorded my pieces written from 2005 to 2007, after "L'autre cap".
While "L'autre cap" songs were about sin, this album mainly shows the upper layer of my life, like impressions about places, people, creatures, and mourning.

Words like "amateurish" and "naive" are often associated with your music. Do you agree with that interpretation or is that a misunderstanding of what you are doing?

If I were a Cornelius Cardew, I would write minimalist-ish piece under an error principle that should make its result richer. I am not a socialist designer for amateurs or shamateurs but just an egoist who is trying to realise own inspiration. It is just a economical reason why my music sounds shabby.

Since you also work as a ceramicist, does your work in the medium influence your work as a songwriter? Is there a unifying thread through all of your creative work?

As well as I do not like mixing clays taken from different places, I dislike blended inspirations and blended coffee beans. As for pottery, I prefer quick-inevitable throwing of Liao Dynasty than famous Song Dynasty.

Seeing that you have been making music for many years now, do you think your songwriting aesthetic has changed since you started? What continues to inspire you as an artist?

I think everyone are pursuing to grasp a solid substance. Lou Reed once called it "reality" on his liner note for metal machine music. Just as a punk, I have been doing it within the scope of my ability.

How did you come to record for K Records? Is your music received differently in U.S. than in Japan?

My colleague McCloud Zicmuse introduced me to studio Chaudelande, then my friend Arrington de Dionyso talked to Calvin Johnson about this release.
I have not known even how many maher cds are sold so far in U.S.

Finally, what would you like your listener to take from C'est la Derniere Chanson?

When you go to a museum, you would spend one or two hours there. You will see one drawing reading its caption. It could take about 10 seconds to walk down to next drawing. To listen to these pieces may become similar experience for the visitor.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

-Is there a particular work of art that has moved you?

Jan Fabre's "Warrior of despair"

-What is it and can you describe the experience?

It is a sculpture made from beetles. When I saw it in a museum, I thought it was the most beautiful thing ever.

Monday, May 21, 2007


1/ What are you doing in daily live? What's your day like?
I am doing...nothing...doing nothing worth to do... just sittin' on the dock of the bay, wastin' time.
2/ People ask you many questions, many mysteries, about MSHB as a band or loose network. But what's the truth? How does it work?
MSHB has not ever existed. It has been my solo with many "me". I am so childish that I can not distinguish others and myself.
3/ How do you feel yourself as a musician in Japan? How do your look to live and music?
I am a small musician in Japan.
(4/ small question: You toured in the past in Hokkaido playing tradional music with the local Ainu people. Was that part of your political mission?)
Not in Hokkaido. I once played and danced with a man who was Ainu in a slum area in Tokyo, as a part of my political activity. It was an orchestra for homeless people.
Recently I displayed my celamics at Oki's concert in Tokushima.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Q:For your live band at least, it seems your band members are younger than yourself. Why do you surround yourself with younger musicians?

My father worked in a pottery workshop doing designs. He would teach ceramics painting to the wives of the mandarin farmers during their off-season, and they would mass produce handmade items. They made some good works, but they also produced some that were rife with inconsistencies.
...Perhaps I should've formed a band with a bunch of proper musicians like The Beatles did, but in my experience, it's difficult for me to make music with these types.

Q: Was working with this band what you expected?

I had no expectations. We just stuck this expensive mic up on high which could pick everything up, spread ourselves around it and recorded.

Q: On occasion, during live performances it looks like you're scolding your band members....Do you think you are a difficult person to work with? Why do you think the lineup of your band has changed so much over the years?

Two of the original members died, one became an alcoholic and entered hospital and one quit music.

Q: Could you tell me briefly about your background in jazz music?

I wasn't analysing the cords or practicising for hours on end and playing along to the sax player's bop cliches. ... I used to improvise.

Q: On occasion, during live performances it looks like you're scolding your band members....Do you think you are a difficult person to work with? Why do you think the lineup of your band has changed so much over the years?

When I tried playing an unannounced song with my band, I ended up going over to the bass player and plucking his strings while I played guitar and sang.

Q: Do you now think that recording mistakes, putting these mistakes on the record has become a cliche?

Even if I know I've made a mistake, I've arrived at some sort of conclusion. [On "L'Autre Cap"], I wanted to make an album to encapsulate this."

Tuesday, December 05, 2006


Q1.You told me that your lifework is write scores on our previous interview. Is it still the same on you ?

I ought to scan and keep them in a hard disk, but now I would rather throw them away.

Q2.Did you see any difference between writing scores and composing ?

Scores left behind are just frames, while composing includes all experiences concerned. I need friends who are kind enough to play my scores, while composing is just a personal affair.

Q3.Tell us about your impression of current line-up for MSHB.

Their hearts are not strong enough like current youngsters.

Q4.Tomorrow maybe a sunny day and good for go out. Where would you go with or without your family.

I could go anywhere for someone else but can not go just for me, because I have kept working until now and I keep working.

Q5.Orchestrated MSHB, how come ?

It might not sound new among degenerated famous musicians.

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