Dear all,

I am excited to share that I was awarded a 2017 Individual Artists Program Grant from the City of Chicago. Just this morning, I signed all of the necessary paperwork and completed the final steps. I remember living in the rural countryside of Japan as a teenager and admiring the beats of techno-house music. I remember, with nostalgia, the trial and error of my college years, when I strived to replicate those beats. So it is an incredible honor, and a great joy, that today I find myself creating electronic music in Chicago, the birthplace of House music, while being influenced by the talented musicians that surround me.

With this Grant, I will finalize “Radial Categories,” an electronic music project I have been working on since last year, and will put on several concerts in Chicago. The project, simply stated, is an experimental music project that focuses on rhythm.

In “Radial Categories”the beat and the melody slip slightly out of sync as they progress, overlap one another, play from different speakers, or, at times, go silent. Using the format of dance music as an understructure, I create musical art that sounds ordinary and yet a little strange--music that makes you think, “Huh?” as you hear it play on.

“Radial Categories” is rooted in early Chicago House music, a type of minimalist electronic music that emerged out of the innovative use of relatively inexpensive music tools in a harsh economic and cultural climate. Chicago House, alongside Detroit techno, can be said to be an originator of the dance music that we hear today. Even after 30 years, House music has not lost its mysterious and funky spark. The root of all art, not just music, is deeply connected to the human spirit, and regardless of the way it was produced, art always provides us with new ways of seeing the world and therefore gives us hope.

The recording phase of the project will begin at the end of May, but until then I plan to do research at the Frankie Knuckles record collection archive. I can’t believe it myself, but the archive is only a bike ride away, in my very own neighborhood. When I was a teenager, I enjoyed riding my bike to a record shop every week. Though several decades have passed and my location has changed, I can’t help but laugh to think that not much has changed in what I spent time doing in the past and what I do now. Life is so full of curious overlapping experiences!

May 2017


 (English translation by Aozora Brockman)




この助成金で、昨年から取り組んでいる電子音楽のプロジェクト Radial Categories を完成させ、市内のいくつかの場所でコンサートをすることになります。一言で言えば、それはリズムを重視した実験的な電子音楽です。


Radial Categories の根本にあるのはシカゴの初期のハウスミュージックです。それは困難な経済、文化的背景の中で、比較的安価な音楽ツールを工夫して使うことによって生まれたミニマムな電子音楽の形態の一つです。デトロイトテクノとともに、シカゴハウスは今、僕たちが耳にするダンス音楽の生みの親といえるでしょう。それは30年以上たった今も、不思議で怪しい輝きを失っていません。音楽に限らず、根本の部分で人間の魂に深く寄り添った芸術は、製作方法のいかんに関わらず、いつも私たちに新しい物の見方、すなわち希望を与えてくれます。