Improvised Music from Japan / Haco

Solo Performance

Haco is known for her influential work as one of the founding members and vocalist of After Dinner (1981-1991), an eccentric group that combined elements of the avant-garde with pop music and traditional Japanese touches to establish a dramatically original genre of sound. In recent years, she has turned her attention to a number of new projects both in collaboration with others, Seiichi Yamamoto (Boredoms), Pierre Bastien, and Terre Thaemlitz among them, and in her own right.

Her solo performances make use of customized compact devices (miniature samplers, electronic percussion, and a pocket Theremin), an electric mandolin, handheld percussion, and children's toys to accompany the miraculous instrument that is her voice. Three of her four limbs are required to activate the equipment, lending both a quality of drama and magic to the music. Vocally, Haco navigates a wide range of emotions from the heartfelt to the hilarious to spirit the listener off to previously unknown lands. A particularly memorable part of her repertoire is the mysterious Howling Pot, a one-of-a-kind device that she uses to trap and tame feedback, and force it to obey the demands of her voice. In the process, it becomes clear that she has the power to befriend noise, uncooperative electrical connections, and unsuspecting audiences with her innocent manner and inventive approach to music.

Last updated: July 10, 2000