During ten years you obtained a lot of satisfactions and aknowledgments: you have attended with success the conservatory of Berklee, in 1996 you received the award as better guitar player during the Atlanta jazz and had the chance to release a wide number of cd's. What would you say to summarize shortly your career, from yours first steps in the world of music?
My first steps in music started at the age of 13. My parents gave me a small acoustic guitar for my birthday. The moment I touched this instrument for the first time, I felt in love with the guitar. Since then I've been a guitarist before a musician. The first years I played in a lot of local bands. From folk music, rock, pop, to jazz. Basically, I learnt how to play a guitar in these bands. In 1993 I got a chance to go to Berkeley, and I went to America. These three years (1993-1996) represented a great experience to me, not only in Berkeley but also living in America itself. Now I am playing guitar in Japan. Mostly Jazz or improvised music, but I wonna be a borderless musician.
With Six North you have been involved in a project which departed from a classic jazz perspective in order to subsequently expand its own borders towards heterogenous and rather not conventional musical solutions. Can we still expect a second cd or 6-North is to intend, unfortunately, as a closed chapter?
Yes, We are still making efforts to expand our possibilities in music. Maybe you can find some of new aspects in our new CD, which will be issued by Musea Records in winter 2004.
Still under Musea records, with the bassist Naoki Terashima and the percussionist Takashi Moors you formed Priority, with which you recorded Light is Decomposed into Fragments, a beautiful album of abstract-minimalist jazz rock that suggested me a great feeling of deepness of contents, not closely musical. How did you think to associate every songs to a particular color? I imagine that the Priority has been an important step for your artistic life...
Thank you, this is really nice question. I think music is a kind of visual art. When I play, I always fall into some visual images. I can't help it. Each note has its own color. It seems to me, sound is very similar to light. Like the light through a prism is decomposed into spectrums, I tried to decompose sound into small fragments of simple musical ideas. Each tune based on repetition of very simple model melodies. The order of the tunes, red to violet, is according to a rainbow(spectrum). It starts with the shortest wavelength (red) and then shift to the longer ones step by step. Each sound changes from dark interval to brightness. Two tunes titled Invisible means infrared light and ultraviolet rays.
Another cd that particularly made me curious was the recent, totally improvised, exploit-rock of Budderfly. Was it anyway a momentary vent to relive the accumulated creative tensions or does it represent a more specific and ambitious plan?
I think, or hope, it was not a vent. I play an improvised music in a daily life, solo or ensemble. Personally, playing improvised music is a serious action. Anyway at this recording session, bassist Hideyuki Shima indicated some images to us, and we tried to catch it.
I imagine that your artistic points of reference are rather heterogenous. Tell us, if possible, about your past and present artistic infuences... currently you have some interests for any particular music and do you feel a particular admiration to any groups? I must say moreover that some of your compositions could be used effectively as soundtrack for some movies; do you ever have thought to write music for the cinema?
Of course, I was influenced by many wonderful musicians. It is very difficult to list them. But also I was influenced a lot by reading books, mostly European literature. And yes, I am really interested in soundtracks.
A curiosity: although your nationality, as composer and artist you seem closer to typically western expressive shapes; being a jazz rock musician in Japan has it ever created you any difficulties? Is in Japan jazz-rock, and jazz in a more generalized manner, enjoyed by a wide following or is it seen with indifference or even like a curiosity, so to speak, exotic?
It is a difficult and deep question. Honestly, my kind of music (especially improvised music) is not so popular in Japan. People loves Rock and Jazz very much, but it's more american infulenced music. On the other hand, there is much serious audience too, I believe.
And now a small provocation: if you was forced to define some way your music to a person who hasn't ever had the occasion to listen to it, in wich way would you describe it?
Ok. If possible, I want to play my music in front of an audience live. That's because I think music should be a momentary thing; and I hope my music could fire someone's imagination. It is impossible to describe it with my poor English.
Your last official cd, if I'm not wrong, was entitled Flow and was published in 2002 but without arousing, at least in Italy, the right attention. For your next work will you try to lean to a more important level of record distribution as it happened for cd's publishes by Musea or at present the problem does not concern you?
Flow is good cd but more improvised comtemporrary Jazz type music than Priority. So I thought this is not for Musea. VOS Record is my private label, and the way of distribution is very limited. I seriously have to do something for the problem!
Let's finish this interview in the most classic way: if you have any message to our readers don't make you any problem... this space is all yours!
Someday, I really wish to come to your country and play my music, if there is any chance. See you when the time comes! Thank you very much for reading this.