May 27, 2010

Humcrush Japan Tour

In June, Makigami Koichi organizes a Japan tour of Humcrush, the electro unit of improvised music from Norway. He will also participate in performance.

June 8th
Cinema Maebashi
Maebashi, Gunma
Humcrush with Makigami Koichi
open 19:00, start 19:30
2,000 yen (advance), 3,000 yen (at door)
tel. 027-231-8000 fax. 027-231-8006
cinema maebashi site

June 10th
Roppongi Super Deluxe
Humcrush with Makigami Koichi, FANTASTIC EXPLOSION, yudayajazz, CARRE
open 18:00, start 19:00
2,500 yen (advance), 3,500 yen (at door)
super deluxe site

June 11th
Nu Things
Humcrush with Makigami Koichi
open 18:30, start 19:30
4,000 yen (advance), 4,500 yen (at door)
for reservation, call 06-6211-8711
or contact via mail,

June 13th
Yugawara Contemporary Music Festival
"voice & electronics"
Yugawara Hinoki Charity Concert Hall
Humcrush with Makigami Koichi (voice, theremin), Jim O'Rourke (guitar), Ikue Mori (electronics)
start 15:00
4,000 yen (advance), 4,500 (at door)
The annual festival, which was founded by Makigami last year, will be held in his hometown, Yugawara. This time the unit is to be augmented by guest musicians, and play the pieces of modern composers like John Cage and Robert Ashley. Ticket is now available via e-plus or makigami office (mail at

flyer for the festival

Marching Watermelon

Danball Bat, a new wave band based in Tokyo, invited Makigami Koichi as a guest act at their gig on May 8th, 2010. (As of the band's name, it means "cardboard baseball bat")

After a solo set of voice and theremin, upon the band's request, Makigami performed "Marching Watermelon" with them.

Makigami Koichi with Danball Bat performed "Marching Watermelon" at UFO Club, Koenji, Tokyo.

Marching Watermelon
words by Makigami Koichi
music by Tobe Satoshi

marching watermelon
moved in

starting off
marching watermelon
sneaked in

being in midsummer
marching watermelon
looked happily

The Uniform

The band with the uniform

Did you notice the uniform the band used, white trousers, red jacket and white hat?

It was a replica of Japan team's uniform in 1964 Summer Olympics Tokyo. The band used it in the period of their debut, late 1979 to early 1980.

It was Chikada Haruo's idea. As the producer of the band, he made every effort for getting them exposed in media and the uniform was part of it. Although it was only time they used uniform, it worked well and certainly helped the recognition of the band.

May 13, 2010

At the End of the 20th Century (1979)

"20 seiki no owari ni" (At the End of the 20th Century) is the first single of Hikashu, released on October 1979. The record company, Toshiba EMI, promoted the single well and the song was frequently played on radio. The band also appeared some TV programs. The publicity boosted the name recognition of the band which they still enjoy.

The video quoted below is from TV program broadcasted live on December 1979. The location is La Forêt Harajuku, a department store, which is still in operation.

The emcee of the program was Chikada Haruo, who is also the producer of early Hikashu recordings. And he helped a lot for the band getting media attention. The following is a translation of the opening dialog with Chikada and Makigami.

Chikada: Next is a band with strange name ... Hikashu. [To Makigami; pretends not to know the band] You are now in recording, right?

Makigami: Yes. We are now recording a LP.

Chikada: Is there anything you could tell that your music is absolutely different from others?

Makigami: Well, probably there are music like ours ... but I could tell you, there is something in music which has been regarded as useless garbage. We took it and reconstructed it in our own way. That's our music, I think.

Chikada: So, is there any commercial potential for such kind of thing?

Makigami: Probably, yes.

Chikada: Okay. You play that song, "At the End of the 20th Century"?

Makigami: Yes.

Chikada: Now, Hikashu!

At The End Of The 20th Century
words & music by Makigami Koichi

If you are to find love at the end of the 20th century, it needs the power of the planets and the magic of death.
Try to look through the cutaway of love, then you will find hell or darkness there.

Raise your voice (hi hi hi)
Use your brain (hi hi hi)
Raise your voice (hi hi hi)
Use your brain (hi hi hi)
What is the thing you are looking for?

If you are to lose ideology and try to find love, it needs the light of the moon's surface and the preconceivance of death.
Try to look through the atmosphere of love, then you will find ruin or darkness there.

Raise your voice (hi hi hi)
Use your brain (hi hi hi)
Raise your voice (hi hi hi)
Use your brain (hi hi hi)
What is the thing you are looking for?

If you are to find love at the end of the 20th century
If you are to find love at the end of the 20th century
What is the thing you are looking for?

Chikada Haruo & Beef - Lady Hurricane

Chikada also performed on the same program with his band, Beef. In intro, there is a man talking from audience. He is Kato Kazuhiko, the producer of "Alternative Sun".

May 11, 2010

Jazz Art Sengawa 2010

Besides Fuji Rock, Hikashu will appear 3rd Annual Jazz Art Sengawa this summer. The festival is directed by Makigami Koichi, along with Fujiwara Kiyoto and Sakamoto Hiromichi. It will be held on July 9-11 at Sengawa Theatre and Sengawa Avenue Hall, Tokyo.

As always, the program of this year is quite attractive. For instance, Tanikawa Shuntaro is probably the most renowned living poet in post-WWII Japan (he has been a subject of speculations regarding the Nobel Prize in Literature for years), and Tanaka Min is one of the greatest Butoh dancer ever. All these people collected under one roof is simply incredible. Diverse, inter-genre, and prominent in a good way, it is well-representative of creative music scene in Japan.

If you are interested in jazz, avant-pop or improvised music of Japan, this is surely not to be missed. Capacity is strictly limited (Sengawa Theatre has only 130 seats and allows no standing) so get in quick.

July 9th, Friday

16:15-17:00 Art Parade

Sengawa Theatre

17:00-17:40 Opening Ceremony

18:00-18:50 Voice Space
Tanikawa Shuntaro (poetry reading), Tanikawa Kensaku (p), Sasaki Mikio (poetry reading)

Haco (vo, electronics), Sakamoto Hiromichi (cello), Arai Ryoji (live painting)

Umezu Kazutoki (reeds), Tanaka Min (butoh), Yamashita Yosuke (p)

Sengawa Avenue Hall

Komori Keiko (saxophone), Yoshino Hiroshi (b)

Fujiwara Kiyoto (b), Komatsu Reiko (per)

July 10th, Saturday

Sengawa Theatre

11:00-11:40 Voice Play for Children
Ootaka Shizuru (voice), Makigami Koichi (voice)

14:00-14:40 Warehouse
Kido Natsuki (g), Takara Kumiko (vib, per), Gideon Jukes (tuba)

15:40-16:30 Fujii Satoko Orchestra Tokyo

17:30-18:20 Fujiwara Kiyoto NY Trio Original
Fujiwara Kiyoto (b), Peter Madsen(b), Fukuke Shunsuke (ds)

Sakata Akira (reeds), Jim O'Rourke (g), Yagi Michiyo (koto), Pika (ds)

Sengawa Avenue Hall

13:00-15:00 Free Music Session for Improvisation
Moderated by Sakamoto Hiromichi

16:00-16:40 Daikokuyama
Kuroda Kyoko (p), Yamaguchi Tomo (per), Ota Keisuke (violin)

17:00-19:00 Free Music Session for Improvisation
Moderated by Makigami Koichi

19:30-20:00 Samm Bennett

20:30-21:10 Kokoperi
Saga Yuki (voice), Hayashi Masaki (p), Yamamoto Tatsuhisa (ds)

July 11th, Sunday

Sengawa Theatre

11:00-11:45 Sunday Matinee Concert: "Violin from Imaginary Country"
Ota Keisuke (violin)

13:00-13:40 Otomo Yoshihide solo invisible songs
Otomo Yoshihide (g), Abe Fuyumi (vo), Suneohair (vo), Yakushimaru Etsuko (vo)

14:30-15:10 Hikashu
Makigami Koichi (vo, theremin, cornet), Mita Freeman (g), Sakaide Masami (b), Shimizu Kazuto (p, bass clarinet), Sato Masaharu (ds)

Suga Dairo (p), Hachiya Maki (voice), Sotoyama Akira (ds)

19:30-20:10 John Zorn's Cobra: Tokyo Sengawa Operation, Otomo Yoshihide Unit #1

20:30-21:10 John Zorn's Cobra: Tokyo Sengawa Operation, Otomo Yoshihide Unit #2
Haco (vo, electronics), Yoshida Ami (voice), Yakushimaru Etsuko (voice), Suneohair (vo, g), Takada Ren (steel guitar), Sachiko M (sinewaves), AYA (b), OLAibi (per), Yamamoto Tatsuhisa (ds, per), Takada Ko (sho), Nagasu Yoka (satsuma biwa, shakuhachi), Otomo Yoshihide (prompter, g), Makigami Koichi (prompter, voice, theremin)

Sengawa Avenue Hall

12:30-13:10 Yamaneko San
Yamamoto Yama (trumpet), Kaneko Yasuko (trombone)

14:00-14:30 Ito Atsuhiro (optron)

15:00-16:30 Super Bass Jam for Free Improvisation
Moderated by Fujiwara Kiyoto

17:30-18:10 Sakamoto Hiromichi Special Dance Session

19:00-21:00 Sengawa Free Session

Ticket information:

3Days Ticket - 12,000 yen
1Days Ticket - 4,000 yen for July 9th, 4,500 yen for July 10th and 11th
for Sengawa Theatre and Sengawa Avenue Hall

1Day Ticket for Sengawa Theatre - 3,000 yen for July 9th, 3,500 yen for July 10th and 11th
1Day Ticket for Sengawa Avenue Hall - 2,000 yen for each day

All prices listed are for advance. At door, add 500 yen for the prices herein.

Tickets are available now at Sengawa Theater office or Ticket Pia.

Sengawa Theatre

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Sengawa Avenue Hall

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Tanikawa Shuntaro (reading), Tanikawa Kensaku (piano)

Tanaka Min with Milford Graves

Ito Atsuhiro (optron) on Sony Walkman ad

Related Entries:
Jazz Art Sengawa 2010: Additional Concerts
Jazz Art Sengawa 2010 update
Jazz Art Sengawa