Improvised Music from Japan / Hoahio

Concert Review (Excerpt)
Hoahio (Haco + Michiyo Yagi)

LMC's Ninth Annual Festival of Experimental Music
at South Bank Centre in London, UK, May 28, 2000

The second half of the evening was saved by the wonderful Hoahio from Japan. Made up of former After Dinner singer Haco on mandolin and Michiyo Yagi on koto, the pair produced a precisely balanced and beautiful set of songs and improvisations, some of them spiked with danger. Yagi's onstage relationship with her instrument (which looks like a flayed baby grand piano), ranged from tender embrace to violent scourging, as she flailed at its strings with a piece of wood to attain the correct notes of anguish. Haco, meanwhile, miraculously took on the persona of a young Radio Ethiopia-era Patti Smith as she moved from amplified tea ceremony to electric mandolin strum, before signing off with a squeal of Merzbow styled feedback which she magically produced from some handheld theremin-like effects unit. Hoahio were without doubt the stars of this show.

by Edwin Pouncey
July 2000 issue of The Wire

Last updated: May 11, 2001