11/7/22 I've been pretty awful about updating this section. Short recaps on a few things and upcoming things:
Several recordings have came out since the year began, all of them I am very proud of. The most important to me is my latest solo work, a digital only release called Evergreen that was released on Touch. This was recorded at home with the field recordings from Evergreen cemetery, a place where several generations of my family are buried. With most of my solo releases I tend to touch on and honor my ancestors...although I don't mention anyone by name, this release continues that tradition.
I had the honor of traveling to Europe in support of Sumac and it was a great time, it's been years since I went over there and the first time I was able to play as a solo musician. A lot of love to Sumac for allowing me to hang and explore new places with them again.
Also took my first visit to Chicago where I was able to play and record and meet so many wonderful people. I was really blown away by everyone's kindness and can't wait til the music that was made be released into the world...one day.
Before the year ends, I'll be embarking on a east coast tour with good friend Che Chen. We'll be releasing a tour only release that we recorded last year...I think it sounds incredible but of course everything Che does is top notch. In the spring, I'll be on tour to support the lovely Emma Ruth Rundle on both sides of the country. Hope to see some familiar faces out there.
2/18/22 Tomorrow is the Day of Remembrance and the 80th anniversary of Executive Order 9066. I'll be getting to take part in a presentation of work and discussion about being a grandchild of the camps with Kimiko Tanabe, Brynn Saito, Jami Nakamura Lin & Brandon Shimoda presented by Colorado College. I'm honored to be part of this group of talented individuals and excited to learn more about their work. In addition, Dylan and I will be releasing No-No 2, a follow up to our body of work that we put out last year on 2/19.
Since Hidemi has dropped, a couple of beautiful collaborations has come to live. A duo with local legend Devin Sarno, duo with Jeff Tobias (which we hope to tackle different duo settings together in the future), and a collaboration with Christian Lovers. Chris Williams also debuted his quintet record that includes myself, Joshua White, Eric Revis and Gillermo Brown. I'm honored to be a part of this group and hope we can do more in the future.
I'll be going on a short tour in support of Sumac and I couldn't be more excited to be on the road with such heroes. I'm currently writing a new set that will debut and possibly turn into a record...if all goes well. Speaking of things going well, hopefully i'll have a new tape to bring with me on tour....I'm not going to say a lot about the music except that it is inspired by Mick Barr's Octis project.
10/29/21 I'm so very proud to say that Hidemi is out today. A long time coming, I recorded this music a little while back and for a variety of reasons kept the music to myself...I'm glad it is out today. American Dreams was also kind enough to allow me to put together a chapbook as part of the record. I asked peers, mentors and heroes that are Asian American to talk about their journey in any form they wanted, whether it be an essay or a poem and the end product is one of my favorite things I've been a part of. I want to thank Rob Sato, Dylan Fujioka, Jon Irabagon, Kozue Matsumoto, Lesley Mok, Paul Lai, Tashi Dorji, Mai Sugimoto, Dustin Wong, Eyvind Kang, Amirtha Kidambi, Sharon Chohi Kim, Pauline Lay, Susie Ibarra, Jason Kao Hwang & Che Chen for being so vulnerable and a part of this.
I also was lucky to be a part of two other recordings that came out recently that are very different from each other. The first is a collaboration with noise group Christian Lovers, I love the energy that they bring and it was really great to be able to do this with them. The second is Fuubutsushi's longform composition Good Sky Day. It was a great exercise to have the parameters set by the label and helped push the music...which speaking of the group, we will finally all meet in person (!!!) and be playing our first show together at the Columbia Experimental Music Festival next weekend and are super stoked! I will also be playing a solo set as well as a trio set with Chaz & Thom Nguyen,
I don't think I'll have anything else to report before the year ends, I hope everyone takes care. More music next year.
7/7/2021 And just like that, summer is here....well I'm a month behind, but the heat has really starting hitting these past couple of days.
Speaking of summer, Fuubutsushi will be releasing our summer record next month completing our cycle of albums on the seasons. It's incredible to think of our output in the the short year that we've known each other, but I am very happy and proud of the music that we've created. Leor at the Chicago Reader did a extensive writeup on how we met and how we work, I'll put that at the bottom of this update.
I've also done quite a lot of writing, which I'm not used to at all. It was nice to practice how to articulate myself as i rarely do...the first is an interview on improvisation with 15 Questions. The second was for the Inner Sleeve column in The Wire. The column asks the individual to write about a cover art that was influential to them. I decided to go a little left field and asked if I could write about a photograph taken by Takay of Yuka Mannami in Yohji Yamamoto's clothing....they luckily obliged. If you would like to read it, it is in issue 447.
Finally, the summer will see two more releases, both distanced recordings. The first is a longform recording with Noel Meek from New Zealand, our second duo record. I feel like it is a very different record than our first one but in the same vein. It was also very different as the first was recorded when we were together in the same room.... The second is a duo recording with Camila Nebbia from Buenos Aires. I first heard Camila's music in the middle of quarantine, it was so honest and soulful, it really struck something in me and hoped that one day we could make music together. After Fuubutushi starting recording remotely, I reached out to Camila about making a duo record together and here we are now.
This fall will be pretty quiet as far as releases as I'll be gearing up to release a full length record on American Dreams. I'll be visiting New York again in October to record in a couple of quartets that I am so so excited to be a part of. Until then.
4/15/2021 In what feels like an intense quick four months, this year continues the brutality of last year...hope everyone is staying safe.
Some new projects came together in quickness these past few months. The first being a split with Luke Stewart released on Profane Illuminations. Happy to note that we were able to raise close to $1000 dollars that will be going towards Red Hook Community Justice Center. The second was a trio of myself, Tashi and Thom that saw us combine our love for free improvisation and black metal. A cassette of the music will be coming out through American Decline in the coming months. Third, a follow up collaboration between Zachary Paul and I came out through the Tapeworm. We recorded it the week that Zachary was moving away from Los Angeles and when the fires were coloring the sky red and grey from smoke.
The amount of violent racist acts towards Asian Americans have seen a surge since the coronavirus appeared, but is definitely peaking now. The murders on 3/16 hit me differently and in response and to help me process, I wrote a record called "i shouldn't have to worry when my parents go outside." Thanks to word of mouth, I was able to raise and donate $1650 to Asian Americans Advancing Justice Atlanta. Further donations will go towards the nonprofit as well. The music will have physical manifestations, cassette through Distant Bloom and vinyl through Family Vineyard.
Next month will see the spring album from the Fuubutsushi quartet again through Cached Media. I absolutely love this record and hope you'll check it out. We hope to complete summer and release the music before the leaves change. I'll also be releasing a duo record between myself and claire rousay that will be coming out on her new imprint...gorgeous music for the spring.
1/2/2021 And with that, the insane year of 2020 is over. A year of inner growth, battles...and music. I was able to wrap up the fourth quarter of the year with some of my favorite collaborations I've been able to be a part of.
The first was a quartet comprised of myself, Dylan, and Tashi and Thom (who make up the incredible Manas). Through individual conversations of what's been going on politically with Tashi and Thom and attending protests with Dylan, I thought it would be a great group of colored musicians making a strong stand in solidarity with our more active colleagues. We've been talking about making our own protest music as early as March and finally able to put the music together and release it via Sige. A physical release is planned later this year.
The second was also a quartet completed with Matthew Sage, Chaz Prymek & Chris Jusell. I don't really recall the actual origins of how we started making music as a group, but it was incredibly organic and very fun. We released our record Fuubutsushi on Matthew's Cached Media label and intend to follow up in the future with three other records based on the seasons. Our second record will be called Setsubun and will be coming out on 2/2, the actual setsubun holiday.
The final two were duos with some dear friends. The first was with Eldar Tagi, an incredible modular synth musician who we've talked about recording for some time as well. The record was even better than I had hoped it would be, with Eldar processing my sounds in real time through his system. It was a joy to put this out with Fort Evil Fruit. We also are planning on releasing an expanded follow up (which we recorded before the year ended) with the inimitable Sarah Belle Reid & Ryan Gaston (who together make up Burnt Dot). Finally was a long planned duo with Jessica Ackerley. We recorded this duo after meeting in person maybe a couple days prior, but we brought out the best in each other and I truly love this record. It was so great to finally work with Notice Recordings to release it as well.
Will most likely slow down a bit this year, but have a handful ready that I can't wait to share. The first being a solo record of live recordings that were captured when shows actually were real (remember that?). That will be coming out on Triptick Tapes in late Feb/early March. A photograph of my mom with her siblings and mother will grace the cover and I absolutely adore that photo. Next will be a duo with Chris Williams coming out on the mighty Astral Spirits. We've explored a lot of ground together in a short time as a duo, but I really love this snapshot of when we recorded.
Be well and see you sooner than later...
9/2/2020 Hope everyone has been staying safe and sane. After several months of not playing saxophone and attending (and still attending) protests, I have finally gotten back to being creative and it's been incredibly nice to come back to. That said, a lot of material that was completed before Covid has materialized.
Dylan and my first (if you can believe it) duo record, Neba Neba through Orb Tapes & Cacophonous Revival. It's been really nice to have this document of just the two of us as we have done many things in other configurations. Danketsu 9 saw the addition of Amber on clarinet and tenor sax making us Danketsu 10. Warm Winters Ltd in London released our latest effort From a distance, everything shines, our stronger work as a group yet. Finally, a saxophone trio of Gerrit Hatcher & Rob Magill, recorded last year when Gerrit came into town on tour, will be released through his Kettle Hole label.
A couple of solo releases have also sprung up, the first being the studio version of Benkyou on Radu Malfatti's B-Boim. It was incredible to share the stage with him and get his feedback, I am so proud to have it officially out on his label. Lastly, a very Fluxus inspired record that was born from the first weeks of the quarantine, (holy alone), was released via Never Content. More of a sound diary than anything, it captures the environment and uncertainty of what was coming and what we are still experiencing.
Keep each other safe and keep fighting.
5/4/20 A lot of things have changed since a couple of months ago...hope if you are reading this you and your family are safe and healthy. Unfortunately due to the virus, the record release show for Descension was postponed...we are all hoping to have the same lineup perform once things are back to normal. Damn I miss shows.
Regardless, some news. Descension and Eye for an Eye both released the same week at the end of March. It feels real good to have both of these out in the world, I'm extremely proud of them and hope you'll check them out.
Three trios have also release these past few months. The first was with Kyle Motl and T.J. Borden on Confront Recordings. We recorded the record last year at UCSD on a whim! Celebrated with some good pizza after. The second was with Daniel Wyche and Ted Byrnes on Astral Editions/Astral Spirits. It was also recorded last year and was also celebrated with pizza afterwards. Finally the third was with Joe Baiza and Corey Fogel on Personal Archives. Joe is a huge inspiration and hero, I'm so excited this recording is out and that he drew the cover for the release.
Finally, a pair of interviews I was lucky to be a part of. The first is with Joshua Minsoo Kim for his Tone Glow series. We talk about collaboration, family, and of course music. The second is with Rob Sato where we talked about how we connected for Descension and how we insert our family's history into our works.
2/11/20 After a slow start to the year, things are starting to ramp back up. Nakata will be releasing our second full length via Atlantic Rhythms next week!! Consisting of one long improvisation after our tour, the amazing artwork will be hand-screened in an edition of 100.
Descension will be released in the coming months with a record release show at Zebulon on the 28th of March. I am planning on playing the pieces with an extended ensemble including Pauline Lay, Mark Kimbrell, Ken Moore, Marta Tiesenga, Rebecca Lawrence & Noah Guevara. Copies of the vinyl have come in and its nothing short of perfect.
Eye for an Eye, a solo sopranino record, will also be coming out in the coming months via Armageddon Nova in Japan. More on that soon...
Lastly, an interview with Cisco Bradley that took place in 2018 was published on his site. A wonderful conversation into growing up in LA and the music scene here, shout out to Pehr and the Smell
11/22/19 This year is about to close and it's been another great one with new collaborations and music and I'm so grateful. The two day stint with GY!BE was so much fun and all of the tour cassette sold out. Thank you to everyone who was at those shows, I hope to join them again someday!
To close out the fall, a trio of myself, Peter Kolovos & Noel Meek (Komeshi) released our cassette through Astral Spirits. Both sides were live recordings of when we played together when Noel was in town from New Zealand. We all enjoyed it so much our hope is to get into a studio and record when time permits. I was also featured on the Astral Spirits 5 year anniversary compilation on a duo track with Noel as well as a new solo piece entitled "your freedom is more important than their anger."
In addition, I released a home recording of "benkyou," a piece written by Radu Malfatti in celebration of Andrew Choate's book release last year. Radu is also coming to play in LA and I will be performing the piece on one of two nights celebrating him.
Early next year, Descension will be finally released through Thin Wrist. It's been a long time coming and I can't wait for it to be out. A few projects will also be coming out next year including a new Nakata record, a trio with Corey Fogel & Joe Baiza, a trio with Angel Deradoorian & Dylan Fujioka, and a solo sopranino record as well. Plus if everything works out, a mini tour in Japan.
8/9/19 Doctor9 recently released our tape via Weird Cry featuring two performances from the past year, one at Character Projects and the other at Art in the Park. I unfortunately cannot accompany them on tour but you should check them out if you can!
I've been lucky to have been in several recording sessions since May. The first was a duo with Kyle Motl on bass with our second session adding TJ Norris on cello. We were able to record at UCSD and utilize the beautiful space there. Currently being mixed and released sometime next year! The other two were at Jared Rodriguez's space in Chinatown. A guitar-sax duo with Jessica Ackerley was the first session, Jessica is such a great player we were able to bounce ideas off of each other with ease. The final session was a trio with Daniel Wyche & Ted Byrnes. Not only did we meet and record in a couple of hours, we also played our first show immediately after. Those recordings will also hopefully see the light of day next year.
Next weekend, I'm lucky to be opening and joining Godspeed You! Black Emperor on a song again in Los Angeles & San Francisco. Will be bringing along a "tour only" limited cassette for the occasion.
5/8/19 A few exciting things!! A double sax-drum quartet that I was insanely lucky to have put together will release our record on Astral Spirits. We will be called Borasisi and will be comprised of myself and Vinny Golia on saxophones with Dylan Fujioka & Alex Cline on drums and percussion. It will be out on both Cd and cassette this week!! Mixed and mastered by the master Felix Salazar.
Also, in collaboration with Alison O'Daniel and Darrick De La O, we will be presenting Skater's Score at Lincoln Heights Skate Park on May 17 and 18 at 6pm. It will bring together five deaf skaters from across the states together with myself on sax, Dylan on accordion, Pauline on violin & Ken on double bass. It will be a free performance so if you are free come through!
4/11/19 To mark my 32nd rotation around the sun, I will be releasing three works this month. The first is with Danketsu 9, our second live recording, titled "Towards a Walk in the Sun" through Patient Sounds tomorrow. This was a recorded at Heartbeat House in celebration of their partnership with Jacknife Records and was mixed and mastered by Felix Salazar.
The second record is another live documentation, this time in duo with Tashi Dorji during his fall tour. This will be released under the name Kogarashi and will come out through Insula Jazz, again mastered by Felix Salazar.
The final record is by Oort Smog. This marks our first full length record since creating the band and writing together for the past five years. Although only roughly 20 minutes, a lot of thought went into each second. Proud of this one and hope you'll catch a listen!!
3/23/19 Next week I will be releasing an improvised work on guitar and voice, something i have not done before, on tape via American Damage. It's been a complete pleasure working with Jordan on the release, you can hear side A on Tiny Mix Tapes now. Mastered by the incredible Felix Salazar.
April will see the release of several recordings, the first by Oort Smog (with Mark) on vinyl!! We'll be playing our record release show at the end of the month with our friends, hope to see you there. Will announce the other two as time moves forward...
2/5/19 Excited to fly out tomorrow morning to participate in this year's Seattle Improvised Music Festival. Will be performing a solo set as one of five visiting artists on Wednesday night and in trio on Saturday with Abbey Blackwell & Haley Freedlund. I am so lucky to have been selected in such a diverse lineup and can't wait to meet everyone.
A few days ago, I also dropped my first release of the year, a duo tape with Noel Meek, on Sploosh records. We'll also be releasing something later this year as a trio with Peter Kolovos, keep an eye out for that.
Happy new year.
12/16/18 After a slight delay, Sparrow's Tongue is officially out! Fort Evil Fruit did a wonderful job and printed the tankas inside of the J-card with the translations in English as well.
Also, a duo cassette with Arturo Ibarra loosely based on Masayuki Takayanagi's Gradual & Mass Projections called LA Blues was released via Public Eyesore/Eh? a few days ago. Art and I have been talking about recording this since 2007....glad we were finally able to do it.
Finally, next year will see the release of a solo record Descension via Thin Wrist as well as the release of a new double sax-drum quartet, Barasisi, with Dylan Fujioka & Vinny Golia & Alex Cline via Astral Spirits.
8/18/18 Very excited to announce that my 6th solo record, The Sparrow's Tongue will be released next month via Fort Evil Fruit!! It will feature poetry by my grandfather and recited by my mother. Recording of the record was completed a little under a year ago and mastered by Alan Jones.
In other news Danketsu 9 released a recording of our first show on Never Anything Records. I'm very proud of what we did during our first meeting and hoping we will continue playing and releasing together. Also, a vinyl release of the Simple Affections record will be out in the coming days via Recital. Finally, an improv that was done during Jasmin Blanco's art instillation with Zachary Paul, Jason Adams & Derek Gaines was released via The Tapeworm.
5/18/18 Extremely excited to be joining Godspeed You! Black Emperor during their spring tour in San Diego, Los Angeles & Santa Ana...still feels very surreal...
A couple releases since the winter. A duo improvisation with Zachary Paul was released on Touch records & premiered on BBC Radio 3. A duo improvisation with Noah Guevara will also be released on a split cassette release with Kathryn Shuman from when we all played at Roughage #2. It will be released in the coming months on KMAN tapes. The new Pinned in Place record was also released on cassette via Reflective Tapes, they'll be hitting the road in support of the record, go check em out if you can!
3/16/18 I'm happy to announce that there will be a few releases coming in the spring: The first will be a duo record with Rob Magill called Eyes in the Dirt and will be released on CD and cassette via Weird Cry. It was recorded live in the summer of 2016 in Ojai by Dustin Emery and mastered by Sean McCann. We will have record release shows in Los Angeles & Ojai to celebrate.
The second will be the first official release from Sunreader, my trio with Paul Carter & Ethan Sherman, on cassette via Auasca. It was recorded live also in 2016 and mastered by Felix Salazar.
The third and final release in the spring will be a live recording of myself, Paco Casanova & Dylan Fujioka when we performed at the Museum of Contemporary Arts last year as part of their Monument series. This was also recorded and mastered by Felix Salazar and will see a release on CD via FMR records.
12/1/17 Had the extreme pleasure of being interviewed by Jack Chuter for ATTN:Magazine, the whole thing is below as well a photo taken by Kristen Cofer (taken a loooong while ago, check her out!). Thank you Jack for the chance & the thoughtful questions.
In the Womb also finished mixing and mastering our not yet titled full length record. Hoping it will see the light of day this year. Also got to do some work with Evan Geesman. Looking forward to what the new year will bring!!
10/17/17 Incredibly proud to announce that my 5th solo record, Tulean Dispatch, the second installment in the Black Sun Sutra series, will be released on November 11th via Mondoj!! Recording of the record was completed a little over a year ago but I am very excited to be working with Janek & Paulina on the release. Huge thank you to Felix who mastered the album. Cassettes available below:
In other news, In the Womb finally recorded what will be our full length record. We've been a duo for over 6 and a half years now and the stars aligned for us to be able to record with Eddie. We're in the mixing stages now, hopefully this will see a release next year.
8/19/17 Sewing Circle's record just came today on Orb Tapes. Huge thanks to Dylan who created the cover art and Teuthis for putting it out, they look absolutely amazing. Record release show to come soon. Oort Smog also got our masters in for our full length entitled Smeared Pulse Transfers. HUGE thanks to Daniel for doing an amazing job tracking and mixing the record & Ronan for mastering. Jerkagram just put out their record Room for Dessert that I was able to play on along side a handful of great LA musicians. I also got to play on their upcoming full length that is out due late '17/early '18. Finally, I got to play on a a couple of really great records by Sean McCann, Nick Malkin & Alfred Minus. Looking forward to hearing the final products!
6/29/17 Early in the month, I recorded piano music for four hands. It is currently in the mixing phase, its not decided if it will be released into the world just yet. Sewing Circle, a free jazz trio comprising of myself, Noah Guevara & Arturo Ibarra, will be releasing our record Nausea on Orb Tapes in the fall. We've been sitting on this record for a while & already have Nausea 2 in the works, hopefully that will be completed sooner than later. Fister and Frank just released their full length album and I was able to play on two tracks. It's a fantastic record and quite different than what I've played on before, check em out!
5/27/17 Oort Smog entered the studio earlier this month with the ultra talented Daniel Zaidenstadt to record our full length record. We'll be entering the mixing stages in a couple of weeks and have this out sooner than later. It took us three years to write this material but we are very proud of it! Time and Energy recently just put out their third full length and I had the pleasure of playing on a couple songs again. Boarchucker also put out their debut record and I was able to jump on a couple songs as well. Salute to both of them. Also a huge, huge thank you to everyone involved in the Nakata tour. We were able to play with some fantastic musicians, meet a lot of kind people, record what will hopefully be our second record, and see a lot of friends we've missed. Love to you all.
3/4/17 A trio comprising of longtime friends Dylan Fujioka & Paco Casanova will be playing The Museum of Contemporary Arts as part of their Momentum series on March 16th. We're so excited to be part of the series, huge thanks to Nick & Brian for inviting us. I'll be entering the studio to play a little bit on the new Jerkagram record on Monday. The Nakata album, Bokanovsky's Process, will see it's release on April 3rd with our release show happening on that day at SSSLA. Our west coast tour will be taking place right after in San Diego, Ojai, San Francisco, Oakland, Portland & Seattle.
2/10/17 Sunreader will have our first official release on Auasca Records in the fall. More news and shows with the trio when the time comes near. Next month, a newly formed quartet comprising of myself, Rob Magill, Dylan Fujioka & Sergio Sanchez will be recording an improv record. I've always wanted to try a two sax two drum format so I'm very excited of what we will make!
1/13/17 Black Sun Sutra II: Tulean Dispatch, solo album five, has been completed and will have a tape release this year. A woodwind duo record with Rob Magill has also been completed and will have a release this year on Phinery Records. Nakata, my duo with Paco Casanova, will have a CD/tape release on Jacknife Records in the spring. We will be touring the west coast in support of the record. More info on all the albums soon. Recording and mastering for the second Pinned in Place record is completed, hope to see a release this year or early 2018. Also before the year ended, I was able to record for Evan Geesman's new record as well as Cuauhtemoc's new record.
12/3/16 Ima, my fourth solo album, is now out via Confront Recordings. This record was written during a sort of emotional time during the beginning of this year. Space is something that I use to struggle with, in and out of music, and this was my way of exploring and dealing with that. Huge thank yous to Felix Salazar for doing a great job mastering the record & Mark Wastell for once again supporting me all the way over from London. More info/available to order below. Record release show in the new year.
Corima just released our second release on Soleil Zeuhl entitled "Amaterasu" available now digitally and physically. This was a record over 4 years in the making...we're very glad it's finally out and able to share it with the world. Thank you so much to Jason, Udi, Jeeshaun, Ben & Adam for contributing to the record along side us.
Been about a month since Upsilon Acrux came back from Europe and it was a beautiful experience. Thank you to everyone who came out to a show, we will definitely be back.