:: HACO :: bio_en


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© Haco 2023. All rights reserved.

Vocalist/lyricist-composer/multi-instrumentalist/sound-artist. At her studio, Mescalina, in Kobe, Japan, she has created numerous recordings both as producer and engineer. As a musician and sound-artist, Haco has also given performances and created live installations throughout Japan and the world. With her unique sensibility, Haco has developed her own genre of art based on principles of post-punk, electroacoustics, the avant-garde, improvisation, post-rock, environmental sound, and technology. Haco also frequently lectures and gives workshops on various sound-related topics. In 2005, her CD Stereo Bugscope 00 was awarded a prize in the digital music category at Prix Ars Electronica in Austria.

In the 80s, Haco formally studied acoustics, electronic music, and recording technology. She earned a large following for her recorded work and performances as the composer/lyricist/vocalist of After Dinner (1981-1991), one of the first Japanese indie bands to tour abroad. In 1990, Haco appeared in the film Step Across the Border, a documentary on Fred Frith, which was selected as one of the top 100 films of all time by Cahiers du Cinema. One of Haco’s songs, which she played on piano, was also included in the soundtrack CD. A DVD version of the film was released in 2003.

In the 90s, Haco worked as a sound exhibition and installation curator at Xebec, an innovative hall and presentation space for computer music and sound art, which was profiled by the writer David Toop and others. In 1995, Haco released her first solo album HACO. Around the same time, she began performing improvisations with compact samplers, self-produced electronic units, electric mandolin, percussion and toys along with voice. Her “howling pot” performances, which make creative use of feedback, have been compared to sound art. Since her first solo tour of Europe in 1996, her live performances have been hugely successful at the LMC Festival (London), Le Weekend (Scotland), Vooruit Geluid Festival (Belgium), Isole Che Parlano (Italy), and other events.

In addition, she is involved with the guitar improvisation duo Mescaline Go-Go (Christopher Stephens), the odd-song unit Happiness Proof, and the all-female collaboration Hoahio (Yagi Michiyo: koto, Era Mari: percussion, and Sachiko M: sine wave). She has collaborated on recorded work or in performance with numerous musicians, including Ash in the Rainbow (Hiromichi Sakamoto), Yesterday’s Heroes (Terre Thaemlitz), Kam-pas-nel-la (Kazuhisa Uchihashi, Samm Bennett, Zeena Parkins), Synapse (Ikue Mori, Aki Onda), Peter Hollinger, Pierre Bastien, Carl Stone, Seiichi Yamamoto, Otomo Yoshihide, Martin Tétreault, Diane Labrosse, David Toop, Fred Frith, Chris Cutler, Tim Hodgkinson, Yoshimi P-we (OOIOO, Boredams), Nobukazu Takemura, Makoto Kawabata (Acid Mothers Temple), Mobile Radio (Knut Aufermann & Sarah Washington), Giovanni Venosta & Sonata Islands, Stefan Schneider, Anthony Moore, Gurun Gurun, Takako Minekawa, Dustin Wong, and Jesse Perlstein. Her original style of vocalizing, experimental pop sound and improvisation surpasses conventional genres and national borders, and continues to attract new listeners.

In a sound-art context, Haco established the “sound collection and observation organization,” View Masters, an environmental sound project which seeks to select, extract and define sounds from daily life. In 2002, she began to curate and produce a four-year series of View Masters lectures, concerts and workshops at Aka Renga Soko (Red Brick Warehouse) in the Osaka Port area. In the first installment, she premiered a performance of “Stereo Bugscope,” which captured oscillating sounds emitted by the circuitry of an electronic device, and thus, established herself in a new genre of art. In 2003, she gave her first performance using the “Pencil Organ,” an instrument created from a home electronics kit that uses test leads (+/-) to produce sound, at the Festival Beyond Innocence in Osaka.

In 2007, she released a whispering vocal-based solo album with acoustic instruments and electronics called Riska. This was followed in 2011 by Forever and Ever (on Disk Union’s Arcangelo label), a solo album centering on laptop electronica (including ambient sounds and glitch noises) and vocals. In 2015, her sixth solo album, Secret Garden was released on the Japanese label, Nuovo Immigrato. This internationally acclaimed album includes long-distance collaborations with Marcelo Radulovich (USA), Stuart O’Connor (UK), and Sigbjørn Apeland (Norway). ReR Megacorp offered this assessment: “Haco continues to plough her unique furrow. Small sounds, electronics, distant choirs and floating strands that coalesce into islands of harmony and song before they break apart again. If there's a secret Japanese underground, this is it. Handmade and always inventive, but light as gossamer.” In 2016, one of After Dinner's tracks, Paradise of Replica was included in the compilation, Late Night Tales: David Holmes (Night Time Stories Ltd, UK) and has been distributed throughout the world. In 2017, she released her seventh album Qoosui on the Australian label, Room40-subsidiary Someone Good, which includes work with Stabilo (Speaker Gain Teardrop) and Gallery Six, masters of the Hiroshima ambient scene, and Tarnovski (Gurun Gurun), a key figure in Czech experimental-electro music. British writer and musician David Toop described the album as “weightless, blissful, but also flightless—always connected to the body whose aurality must be blocked to survive its seduction. This tender voice calls from far away yet from a place we all know”.
In 2021, her eighth album
Nova Naturo was released on Someone Good. Haco worked alongside the French improvised guitarist Manuel Adnot, the drummer & pianist Tetsuji Matsuo, and the double bassist Makoto Inada, Stabilo (Speaker Gain Teardrop), Tarnovski, and Keiichi Sugimoto (Vegpher). Someone Good offered this assessment: “She has unlocked an utterly unique and deeply personal approach to sound.” According to Brad Rose on Foxy Digitalis (USA) , “Nova Naturo is a mini masterpiece or spectral and aural delights.” Nova Naturo has won critical acclaim from music and art magazines and has been played on numerous radio programs in Europe, North and South America, Oceania, and Japan.

Since 2004, she has used voice and self-programmed electronics as an “organic method” in her performances, sometimes accompanied by video images shot and edited with Mariko Tajiri.

Major recorded works:
1984/1991 After Dinner: After Dinner / Live Editions (LP/CD, ReR Megacorp, UK)
1995/1997 Haco: HACO (CD, MIDI Creative, Japan; ReR Megacorp, UK)
1999/2000 Haco: Happiness Proof (CD, P-Vine, Japan; ReR Megacorp, UK; Detector, US)
2000 Hoahio: Ohayo! Hoahio! (CD, Tzadik, US, 2000)
2001 After Dinner with remixes: Paradise of Replica / Paradise of Remixes (CD, Bad News, Japan; ReR Megacorp, UK; Detector, US)
2003 Haco and Sakamoto Hiromichi: Ash in the Rainbow (CD, ReR Megacorp, UK; Detector, US)
2003 Hoahio: Peek-Ara-Boo (CD, Tzadik, US)
2004 Yesterday's Heroes (Haco and Terre Thaemlitz): 1979 (CD, La Louche, France)
2004 Haco: Stereo Bugscope 00 (CD, Improvised Music from Japan, Japan) [awarded Honorary Mention in digital music category at Prix Ars Electronica 2005, Austria]
2005 Synapse (Haco/Ikue Mori/Aki Onda): Raw (CD, Tzadik, US)
2005 Diane Labrosse, Martin Tetreault, and Haco: Lunch in Nishinomiya (CD, Improvised Music from Japan, Japan)
2005 After Dinner: Glass Tube + Single (CD & mini CD, Arcangelo/Disk Union, Japan)
2007 Haco: Riska (CD, Arcangelo/Disk Union, Japan)                                                             
2011 Haco: Forever and Ever (CD, Arcangelo/Disk Union, Japan)
2015 Haco: Secret Garden (CD, Nuovo Immigrato, Japan)
2017 Haco: Qoosui (CD, Someone Good/Room40, Australia; Yacca/Impartmaint inc., Japan)
2019 After Dinner: The Souvenir Cassette and Further Live Adventures [remastered/reissue] (CD, ReR Megacorp UK; Fish Prints, US)
Haco: Nova Naturo (CD, Someone Good/Room40, Australi)
2024 Haco: HACO (*Remastered by Chihei Hatakeyama) (CD, MIDI Creative, Japan)

Major concerts, tours, art performances:

1987 After Dinner tour: MiMi Festival, St-Remy, France, International Pop, ICA, UK, Switzerland, the Netherlands
1989 After Dinner tour: Switzerland, Austria, Germany, France, the Netherlands, Denmark, Italy*
1990 After Dinner concert: Festival International de Musique Actuelle de Victoriaville, Canada*
1997 Haco & Neatopia tour: Switzerland, Italy*
2000 Hoahio concert: the Festival City of Women, Ljubljana, Slovenia*
    (*Supported by the Japan Foundation)
2001 solo concerts for Japanorama tour: UK, Begium
2002 solo concert and live collaboration with Alex Mackenzie (multi-projector film): Images Festival of Independent Film & Video, Toronto, Canada
2002 solo concerts, composition for “Upstream” - VOC (the Dutch East Indies Company): Hoorn, Amsterdam, the Netherland
2002 sound and video performance “Bugfield (Stereo Bugscope)” (for “View Masters” concert): Aka Rengo Soko (Red Brick Warehouse) Osaka, Japan
2003 sound and video live collaboration with Tajiri Mariko “Howling Rose”: The 2nd Women's Performance Art Osaka, Japan
2003 solo concerts for “String Reverb”: Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego; US - La Antigua Bodega De Papel, Tijuana, Mexico; San Francisco Alternative Music Festival, US
2004 Ash in the Rainbow (Haco: vocal, electronics; Hiromichi Sakamoto: cello, musical saw, effects) tour: UK, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Switzerland
2004 solo performances of “Pencil Organ”: Off Site, Tokyo; and Kawasaki City Museum, Kawasaki, Japan
2005 live installation of “Bugscope at Sputnik”: Trollofon Festival, Bergen, Norway
2005 sound and video performances of "Stereo Bugscope": Artspace, Sydney; West Space Gallery, Melbourne; Judith Wright Centre, Brisbane, Australia
2006 solo concert (voice, laptop, effects): Serralves em Festa, Porto, Portugal
2009 sound installation “Barrow Vibrations” for artist residency: FON (Full of Noises) Festival, Barrow-in-Furness, UK
2010 Haco (vocal, electronics) + Hiromichi Sakamoto (cello, effests) + Ryoji Arai (live painting): Jazz Art Sengawa 2010, Tokyo, Japan
2011 sound-programs of the interactive visual sound-installation “Walking on Sound” (concept/produced by Werner Penzel/Ayako Mogi): Nomadomura, Awajishima, Japan
2012 sound & visual performance with Kent Macpherson and Luke McConnell “BugLoop featuring
Haco”: International Festival of Media, Arts & Deign “Spark,” Wintec, Hamilton, New Zealand.
2012 solo concert “Forever and Ever” (Haco: voice, laptop, effects; visuals by Mariko Tajiri & Haco): CC N°1 Festival, Sophiensaele, Berlin, Germany
2013 solo concert “Forever and Ever” (Haco: voice, laptop, effects; visuals by Mariko Tajiri & Haco): The 11th Totally Huge New Music Festival, Perth, Australia
2013 sound performance: Haco and Toshiya Tsunoda “Tram Vibrations: Live in Covino”: Sonic City Festival, Melbourne, Australia
2015 Haco “Secret Garden” (voice, laptop, effects) and Mobile Radio Band (Knut Aufermann + Sarah Washington + Haco) tour: Switzerland, Germany, the Netherlands, UK, Belgium

2016 Haco & Nippon Eldorado Kabarett: Rock in Opposition Festival, Carmaux, France, solo tour (voice, laptop, effects): France, Germany, Haco & Gurun Gurun tour: Czech Republic, Slovakia
2017 Haco US West Coast Tour: solo (voice, laptop, effects), Los Angeles, Portland, Seattle; “Eurythmy” (Latifa Medjdoub + Haco), Oakland, San Francisco, US 
2017 Haco “Qoosui” album Launch + Tarnovski (Gurun Gurun) Japan Tour 2017: solo (Haco: voice, laptop, effects; visuals by Mariko Tajiri & Haco), 11 concerts in 10 cities, Japan
2018 “Qoosui” Europe Tour 2018: solo (Haco: voice, laptop, effects; visuals by Mariko Tajiri & Haco) + Tarnovski (Gurun Gurun), 20 concerts in France, Switzerland, Germany, Czech Republic, Slovakia, the Netherlands, UK
2018 solo (Haco: voice, laptop, effects; visuals by Mariko Tajiri & Haco): Synthposium Festival, Moscow, Russia

2019 Haco Europe Tour 2019: solo (Haco: voice, laptop, effects; visuals by Mariko Tajiri & Haco): Le Guess Who? Frestival, Utrecht, The Netherlands; Intermediale Festival, Legnica, Poland
2022 Haco Australia Tour 2022: solo (Haco: voice, laptop, effects; visuals by Mariko Tajiri & Haco): LIVEWORKS Festival of Experimental Art, Sydney; The Substation, Melbourne, Australia

Major lectures and workshops:
2001 voice collaboration with Carl Stone for his composition, “Adana Urfa,” and lecture: Xebec, Kobe
2002-2005 curation and direction for a four-year series of View Masters' lectures, concerts and workshops: Aka Rengo Soko, Osaka
2003 planning and teaching (with Yuko Nexus6) of “Picnic for Sound-Spotting,” a series of workshops as part of Nature Art Camp (organized by the Kobe City School Board): Mt. Rokko, Kobe
2004 documentary exhibition “Nature Art Camp 2003”: Kobe Citizen's Gallery, Kobe
2005 workshop for field recording and sound composition, and solo concert of sound-art: Yamaguchi Center for Arts and Media, Yamaguchi
2006 “View Masters Osaka-Melbourne Remix” (exhibition, lecture, concert, and workshop): Hamadera Koen Eki Gallery (Hamadera Park Station Gallery); Inside a tram on the Hankai Line, Osaka, Japan
2010-2013 workshop for improvisation and sound-art “Haco's Sound Bugscope Workshop”: Jazz Art Sengawa Festival, Tokyo, Japan
2012 lecture and workshop for field recording and direction of an audio CD (with Mariko Tajiri): “Kamitakao Hometown Project,” Mie, Japan
2012 artist talk & presentation of “Stereo Bugscope”: International Festival of Media, Arts & Deign “Spark,” Wintec, Hamilton, New Zealand
2012 “The Biotec Orchestra,” workshop-laboratory (Olivia Oyama, KH Jeron, Haco, Kaffe Matthews, Don Hill): CC N°1 Festival, Ausland, Berlin, Germany
2013 keynote concert “Stereo Bugscope” and keynote speach “The Observation and Extraction of Sound”: ICMC (International Computer Music Conference), Perth, Australia
2014 keynote speech “The Extraction of Sound and the Voice”: JASMIM (The Japanese Association for the Study of Musical Improvisation) 2014, Kyoto Seika University, Kyoto, Japan
2015 lecture, performance and workshop “The Observation and Extraction of Sound for Improvisation - Sonic Rituals (with Yumi Hara and Guy Harries) and Stereo Bugscope”: University of East London, London, UK

2016 lecture (public masterclass) “Parallel Audio Journeys - Between Sound Art and Avant Pop”: Wintec (School of Media Arts Waikato Institute of Technology), Hamilton, New Zealand
2018 workshop for improvisation and sound-art “Sound Bugscope Workshop”: Divadlo 29, Pardubice, Czech Republic
2018 “Sound Bugscope Workshop - The Observation and Extraction of Sound”: Synthposium Festival, Moscow, Russia

Major sound composition for radio art:
2012 sound composition “An Audio Adventure of São Paulo with Haco” and live session on the radio art program “Mobile Radio BSP”: 30th São Paulo Art Biennial, São Paulo, Brazil
2022 sound composition “Kagero Dial (Haco and Tarnovski): Radio Art Zone (Curated by Mobile Radio and the Luxembourg community station Radio ARA), UK/Germany/Luxembourg