30 Jul, 2010

Tokyo radio: J-Wave 


Posted at 23:43 under MUSIC, JAPAN


yesterday i had a wonderful surprise.

a friend in Tokyo heard my song "Passion" on her favourite radio station, J-WAVE, and told me about it in an email. it was a coincidence, as she was just home for a short time on her day off, and during that short time they played my song. i was very happy!

here comes the funny part - the host and DJ of the show, Rachel, also sent me an email, inviting me to join her show next time i come to japan!

=)

i performed 3 songs live at J-WAVE in 2007. it was the first time i was in Japan - the second day, after four hours of sleep after 2 evening gigs the night before, and enjoying my life's first jetlag, i did my first japanese radio performance.

with the view from the radio studio in Roppongi overlooking all of Tokyo that lovely sunny november day, it is a memory for life.

i'm very glad to be able to visit J-WAVE again. "Rendez-vous" is a daily program, monday to thursday at 81.3 FM hosted by Rachel Chan. maybe you can hear it online if you're not in japan. i enter their website sometimes and listen to their podcasts. it's good practice for my japanese, and of course they play lots of good music!

next time, maybe i'll even be able to answer some questions in japanese =)


J-WAVE 81.3 FM:
j-wave.co.jp

Rachel Chan's blog:
ameblo.jp/rachelchan

Rendez-Vous @ J-WAVE:
j-wave.co.jp/original/rendezvous


J-WAVE - "the best music on the planet".

i'm thankful to be heard under that slogan!

=)





14 Jul, 2010

Crane 


Posted at 23:09 under MUSIC


the Tokyo paper crane reached the Swedish summer skies.....


photo taken about 22:30, the skies are still not dark....



this is the music of today, japanese singer/songwriter YUICHI OHATA:



=)





14 Jul, 2010

Concert photos 


Posted at 21:42 under MUSIC, JAPAN


i've just received lovely photos from my gig with YOSHINARI NAKAMATSU at Daikanyama Loop in Tokyo (June 13th).

there's a live recording from this gig, which will be broadcast on a japanese internet radio channel sometime in August. i'll make another post with updates.

all photos by Sunao Honda.

honto ni, awesome photographer, ne!?




before....



me and yoshi during the gig....



with the band....



jun.



ruy.



shinya.
















=)





12 Jul, 2010

Dallven 


Posted at 02:05 under OTHERS


this weeked i visited my aunt's family and my grandmother, and we spent a lovely saturday at my aunt's cabin in the "river" of Dallven, about one hour north of stockholm.

i post some photos here to share the spectacular scenery.



almost 30 degrees warm in the air, i sat down to rest, but fell asleep after 5 minutes.



the sun began to set in the distance.



as there is no electricty on the island, we went back to land when the sun set and the mosquitoes arrived. we returned in the same way as we got there - by boat.



steering a boat for the first time in his life - my nephew Anthon did a great job!



actually we took an extra cruise to try to spot some beavers, but we didn't have any luck.

but there were LOTS of mosquitoes. i got about 30 bites in 2 days...



self-portrait.



here you clearly see the currents in the water in front of the boat.



peaceful



.....



coming back to land, the boat made a beautiful turn in the water, perfecting this last photo.


=)





05 Jul, 2010

Last thoughts on Japan, for this time 


Posted at 21:00 under MUSIC, MUSICAL, JAPAN




so...

i'm back in sweden after a hectic last week in kobe, kyoto, osaka, himeji and tokyo (all at once!), and for once i could actually sleep on the plane. I actually fell asleep before the plane had left japanese ground!




but the skies were crying when i left ;)



the 27th's live performance with TAISUKE TSUGIMATSU was really wonderful, BAR MUSIC was sold out and the atmosphere was great. many people said they thought the night was magic or miraculous, and i think that especially the 4 songs i performed together with Taisuke went really great.

we did my song passion, TAISUKE's song natsu no numa, HIROMI UEHARA's song green tea farm (taisuke played lovely piano and i performed my first song ever in Japanese!) and BOB MARLEY's waiting in vain:

youtube.com/watch?v=mu7b3PuM30w
youtube.com/watch?v=BMrpGg1aJ2g
youtube.com/watch?v=YiQ6CU7QqVM
youtube.com/watch?v=YroJlgsWMxU

taisuke-kun yoroshiku onegaishimasu!


my last 2 days in tokyo was great, but as always time goes too fast. monday evening i experienced a private HANABI (fireworks) session in a park in naka-meguro with Taisuke, Hiroko and Toru. later i went to shibuya to have a last drink with Masa and Gen, drummer and guitarist from FROG. i went back to gakugei daigaku at midnight and when i got there my clothes were SOAKING WET. i guess it was the most humid and hot day so far in tokyo - around 31-32 degrees and a humidity that stuck your clothes like glue to your body.


taisuke and me preparing the miniature fireworks...
i love the fact that "hana" means Flower and "bi" Fire.

i've had several life-altering experiences this my fourth time in japan. i've initiated several collaborations with musicians in tokyo and really think something great will come out of it all.


last week i also met japanese NIHONGA artist MASAKO KUROKAWA, and after a tempura lunch with her and her husband, novelist HIROYUKI KUROKAWA, we went back to their house where i could see many of Masako's lovely paintings of maikos and japanese young women, sketches and drawings. the reason i wanted to meet her was to see if she can make the artwork for my coming MUSICAL album, for which i am now composing the songs. i really think we can have a good collaboration.

masakuro.exblog.jp



while still in tokyo i was lucky to find a NOH theatre workshop in english, which gave a brief but really perfect introduction to the art of Noh, so i could better understand the performance i had long planned to see. both tokyo and kyoto have Noh theatres, but i chose the tokyo one. NOH is really a wonderful artform, like all japanese traditional arts it's refined to perfection. the expression of the masks which seem to change depending on the angle of the actors head. i want to include some small, scenic elements of Noh in my musical, so i will try not to break any rules hahaha




one of the most peaceful places i have experienced in japan, together with the temple at MOUNT SHOSHA, was KOKO-EN - the japanese gardens next to HIMEJI CASTLE. the incredibly beuatiful, big parks really washed away all stress and worries from my city soul.





i have really improved my japanese during my stay. some of my friends barely speak no english, so it leaves no other choice than to understand eachother in japanese. i have been introduced to new japanese music, and often listen to music in japanese now.

since my first visit in japan, in 2007, i really felt at home with everything, and maybe i am destined to live in japan. the last month, many threads have crossed as if to bring me back as soon as possible. many people say that my music is very well suited for a japanese audience, and i always get a wonderful welcome by the audience wherever i perform.



from the live performance at Roman Records Cafe.



and the (vietnamese?) lunch close to Gakugei Daigaku station. of course, without meat ;)



me and three members of FROG - Reiji, Gen and Masa.



Toyono, me, and Yoichi Okabe, at Praca Onze.



at NARITA airport (tokyo) i found this funny sign outside the gate:



To "samurai" - no sword allowed into aircraft.

To business person of the world - sharp objects are prohibited on board except for your sharp brains.


=)


new doors have opened and i may return to tokyo already this autumn. i was really sad to go back to sweden.


passing through stockholm...


this weekend i went to a wedding party outside of lmhult (south sweden), a wonderful party, and i'm happy for Anna and Anders and wish you a continued happy life together!

when i went to bed at 3:30 in the morning, the sun was about to rise over the lake. a very peaceful scenery.




the day after, i was completely exhausted and fell asleep on the beach. when i woke up, i had company by some tired ducks. they were quite friendly though.




after all, sweden is SO BEAUTIFUL in the summer. just check these blue and yellow fields i photographed yesterday.



it's time for relaxation and "recharging" of batteries.

=)





02 Jul, 2010

Youtube clips 


Posted at 10:12 under MUSIC, JAPAN


i'm back in sweden, but will update my state of mind in a few days, i just want to post these youtube clips from last sunday's gig with Taisuke Tsugimatsu and me. for just having rehearsed all songs twice, i think we did a helluva job, and many in the audience called it "magic" or "miraculous". both taisuke and me want to do more gigs and collaborations together, so we'll see when that can be.

here are the clips:


NATSU NO NUMA - taisuke's amazingly beautiful song, i join him for some lines (in japanese).





GREEN TEA FARM - hiromi ueharas lovely song, i sing it completely in japanese. the first time for me, but i think i did pretty well, according to the audience's reaction hahaha....





PASSION - my "japan hit", here in a special "Bar Music" (name of the venue) version, including Fujii Toshimitsu on percussion.





WAITING IN VAIN - bob marley's song, that i never liked until i heard Taisuke's piano version that he has also recorded on the album "Long Conte" (it makes me angry that many japanese albums are never available for digital sales in the west!!!!). here i sing and Taisuke plays the piano part, and Fujii plays "congas" on a wooden chair =) - taisuke's piano part is very beautiful.




and until next time i will have time to learn the lyrics hahaha


=)





26 Jun, 2010

Japan time 


Posted at 05:26 under MUSIC, JAPAN


i wish i could have more time to write about my experiences here, but the days are just not long enough... this week i've experienced wonderful things in himeji, kobe, kyoto and osaka, and i really want to write about everything, so i'll try to make some proper posts when i get back to sweden next week.

japan time goes very fast.

tonight (after midnight!) i perform live at the MUSIQUE DESSINEE party at the club DER KITEN in kobe, and tomorrow morning i go back to tokyo, because tomorrow night i have a gig at shibuya BAR MUSIC with Taisuke Tsugimatsu.

the distance between kobe and tokyo is about 600 kilometers, so i'm looking forward to three (resting) hours on the shinkansen.



* Music is my passion *
Taisuke Tsugimatsu
J.C. Schtz

6/27 at Shibuya Bar Music.

=)





22 Jun, 2010

Kobe 


Posted at 10:50 under ART, JAPAN


yesterday i came to KOBE, and i stay in a very very very very very small hotel room near sannomiya station. the room has a bed and.... not so much more. i can barely open my suitcase on the floor, because there's no space.

today i visited the HYOGO PREFECTURAL MUSEUM OF ART in kobe, watching two exhibitions:

Five Rooms for Contemporary Paintings

and

REIKO and 100 years of Japanese Modern Art


Kishida Ryusei - "Young Girl (Reiko Standing)" (1923)


rtm.pref.hyogo.jp/eng/home.html

=)





18 Jun, 2010

Shigeru Umebayashi 


Posted at 08:22 under MUSIC, MUSICAL, MOVIES, JAPAN


this week i met film music composer SHIGERU UMEBAYASHI for the first time. i was very glad to realize that Ume-san and i have a similar way of thinking and similar opinions about many things.

i like Ume's music very much, and he has written music for some really great movies, such as HOUSE OF FLYING DAGGERS, IN THE MOOD FOR LOVE and last year's A SINGLE MAN.

as i am composing songs for a musical now - and i want to use japanese instruments such as shakuhachi, koto and taiko drums, and the chinese erhu - Ume pointed out a very important thing:

many musicians of these traditional instruments have a strictly traditional way of playing (intonation, feeling, etc) and may therefore not be suited to play on recordings where a "western" type of melody and feeling is required - such as in my musical.

we joked about finding a "punk koto player" who is not bound to tradition. Ume knows some of the best shakuhachi players in the world, and promised to introduce me to them at a later point, for the future recording of my musical (next year?).

Ume-san, i am really happy to make your aquaintance, and look forward to seeing you again.

yoroshiku onegaishimasu!


some of UME's music works:







shigeru-umebayashi.com

=)





17 Jun, 2010

Day of art 


Posted at 05:36 under ART, JAPAN


yesterday i went to THE NATIONAL ART CENTER in roppongi, central tokyo, for the big exhibition Post Impressionism: 115 Masterpieces from the Musee d'Orsay.





many lovely paintings by Monet, Cezanne, Van Gogh, Gauguin, Seurat, Toulose Lautrec etc etc, made a big impression on me.

but suddenly a quiet painting by Picasso surprised me unexpectedly. it kind of spoke to my heart:





it's a highly recommendable exhibition, but it leaves your senses quite tired, at least if you're open to the expression of these brilliant european artists.





this lovely little flying bird with a message has nothing to do with post-impressionism but i include it because i like it. it gives me good vibrations.

yesterday's theme music was:

CLAMMBON



and

KIRINJI



=)






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