Improvised Music from Japan / Hoahio


Hoahio is a female project that was founded by Haco, vocalist and composer for both Happiness Proof and After Dinner. An Italian friend of Haco's is responsible for Hoahio's funny name. This mysterious word was written at the bottom of one of his faxes, and, thinking that it was an onomatopoetic expression in Italian, Haco decided to use it as the group's name. Later, she found out that he had meant to write the Japanese word "ohayo" ("Good morning").

In 1997, Haco started collaborating with Michiyo Yagi, a contemporary koto player formerly of Koto Vortex, and Sachiko M, samplist for Filament, and released their first CD, Happy Mail (AMOEBiC). In May 2000, their second album, which was released under the title Ohayo! Hoahio! on John Zorn's Tzadik label. This CD has received overwhelming praise from many Japanese and English music magazines, which have called Hoahio "charming, mysterious and delightful."

Hoahio's work consists half of composed pieces and half of improvisations, and contains elements of a wide variety of genres (punk, minimalism, ethnic, techno, pop, noise, ambient), all of which are cooked up instantly with the unique Hoahio flavor to create a new musical vocabulary from their skewed understanding and nearly fake renditions of a variety of sources.

In 2000, Haco (vocal, electronics, electric mandolin) and Michiyo Yagi (koto, voice) performed as a duo in three festivals: Le Weekend, Stirling, Scotland; LMC Festival, London; and City of Women, Slovenia. The audiences at these concerts too were won over by Hoahio's striking performances.

Since 2002, Mari Era (percussion, vibraphone, marimba) has been working with Hoahio to form a new trio with Haco and Yagi. And with a bold yet witty flair, the three call up a world of almost unbearable beauty. In December, 2003, Hoahio's third album, Peek-Ara-Boo was released on Tzadik.

Last updated: December 11, 2003