This video is a record of the last concert held at the Hara Museum, a pioneering institution in contemporary art and modernist architecture that will soon call a close to its activities in Tokyo. It was given by the first Japanese singer to be signed by Verve, akiko, and keyboardist Masayasu Tsuboguchi, and directed by the up-and-coming filmmaker Sayaka Kai.
Performers: akiko (vocals, recitation), Masayasu Tsuboguchi (piano, synthesizer, xylophone)
In 2001, akiko made her debut with Universal Music as the first Japanese female singer on the prestigious jazz label Verve. She has released 23 albums to date over a wide range of expression not confined to the the existing jazz framework, and is active in both Japan and overseas. She has won numerous music awards including the Jazz Disc Award and the Billboard Japan Music Award. In addition to her music, she is active in a wide range of areas such as fashion collaboration, production, song selection and writing. She also holds voice-based sound meditation sessions, jazz workshops for children, Ayurveda workshops and retreat tours. She has become an icon for many not only for her music, but also for her fashion sense and life style.
Masayasu Tsuboguchi is a pianist, synthesist and creator whose work straddles the world of jazz and electronics and whose unique character encompasses the traditional and the radical. After graduating from the University of Fukui with a degree in applied physics, he moved to Tokyo in 1987 where he headed the bands Ortance, Tokyo Zawinul Bach, Radio-Acoustique, and TZBOLABO. He was responsible for the music for the movie Lily and animated feature ReLIFE. His sidemen include DC/PRG, RM jazz legacy, Tomoyo Harada and others. He writes for intoxicate and many other music magazines and is currently associate professor of jazz at Shobi University.
Born in 1979 in Tokyo and graduated from Joshibi University of Art and Design, she worked as an assistant director and art director for stage and film productions from the time she was a teenager. Her film Ondine’s Curse was screened at the Yamagata International Movie Festival (2014), SKIP City International D-Cinema Festival (2015) and Maison de Culture du Japon in Paris. Her movie Red Snow, which she wrote and directed, was nominated for an award in the Competition category at the Marrakesh International Film Festival in 2018 and won Best Film at the Japan Film Festival Los Angeles in 2019 and the top prize in the Emerging Directors Grand Prix at the Takasaki Film Festival in 2020. Her novel Red Snow was published in 2019 (Kadokawa Shoten) and Shelter in the supplement to the July 2020 issue of Bungei Shunju (Bungei Shunju Bessatsu).