2015/12/31

2015年メガヒットー!!!!  

毎年大晦日(間に合ってない年の方が多いけど)恒例、年に一回だけのブログのお時間がやってまいりました笑。今年は日本の大晦日に間に合わせるべくサササッと行こう!

みなさまにとって2015年はどんな年だったでしょうか?私にとっては、なんといっても2枚目のアルバム”Time River"を創ったことがいちばんの出来事である、アウトプットの一年でした。デビューの時とは一味違う反応を各方面からいただき、小さな喜びをかみしめる日々でした。近頃はインプット欲求不満中。しっかり勉強する時間をつくって、またよいものを創れるよう努力していきたいと思います!
私のオフィシャル情報を主に載せているFacebookと、超プライベートなTwitterともども、来年もどうぞよろしくお願いいたします!!


それではまいりましょう2015年メガヒットー!去年と被らないようにしなきゃ苦笑。

・Churckey
Washington DCにあるビール飲み屋さん。まずは騙されたと思ってメニュー見てみてください。ボトルビールのメニューなんて永遠...笑。シーズンによって変わるドラフトビールのチョイスも良いし、おつまみも秀逸。数年前まではIPAとベルギービール大好きでしたが、今年はとにもかくにもStoutビールな一年でした。年末もバッチリImperial Stout用意!後味が複雑であればあるほど好きです。
http://www.churchkeydc.com/

・Brooklyn Ribbon のジンジャーシロップ
私の生姜狂は今に始まったことではありませんが、その中でもダントツに活用したシロップを。自分で購入する前に別ルートでいただきビックリ嬉しかったプレゼントでした!
NYで超人気会員制レストランのディレクターを務める日本人シェフ・Kiyoさん、私生活の様子やお人柄まで本当にお洒落な方なんです。そんなKiyoさんが日本でオープンしたフライドポテトとジンジャエールのお店がBrooklyn Ribbon。コア〜!!(笑)そこで購入することができるシロップは、かなりのスパイスにこだわっているonly oneな一品です。
http://brooklynribbonfries.com/about.html

・Double Monk Strap shoes
今年は驚くほど服を買わない一年でした。一年の中の結構の割合で”とびっきりのお洒落したい”と思っていたのですがタイミングと着たいものの気分が合わなかった。その代わり、去年のlofer&oxfordから派生して、この形の靴ばっかり物色していました。まだ続く。かも。あ、あと首の詰まったセーターも物色中毒です。

・Jack Garratt
今年はアウトプットな一年だったのであまり新しい音楽を聴く時期が無かったのですが、彼は今年はじめて知って、よく聴いた音のひとつです。とにかく音!音キレイ!!素材と展開の使い方が上手い!!!結局James Blakeとか、こういう歌い方が好きなんですかねぇ。あ、発音が好きなことは間違いない❤️(笑)
来年アルバム出す&NY来るので楽しみです。
http://jackgarratt.com/

・Mezetto
今年唯一リピートしたNYレストランなので、載せておこうかな!あまり日本では馴染みが無い気がするのですが、こちらでは芽キャベツとかアンティチョークなどのお料理がいっぱいあります。Mezettoの芽キャベツがお気に入り。ブランチはカクテル4種飲み放題があったり、それぞれメニューもオリジナリティあったりして、また行きたいと思わせてくれるレストランです。
http://www.mezetto.com/#popup


最後になりましたが、本年も大変お世話になりました。2016年が皆様にとって実り多い一年となりますように来年もどうぞよろしくお願いいたします。

Love,
Miho
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2015/9/24

Introducing the album  

"Time River" was released in Japan yesterday! As I am getting very excited about the Sunnyside Records release (which is officially moved to October 16th) and CD release show at the Jazz Standard (IN A WEEK!), I would like to talk a little more about the album.

about "Time River"
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The title track refers to my own perception of time.  There were moments when I was wondering whether time was moving forwards, backwards, or had stopped.  It was as if I were standing still and everything else was going by faster or slower than normal. I found that the time conflicts between
myself and everything else were interesting, so I wanted to describe that
feeling through music. This concept appears not only in this piece, but also
spans the entire album. This piece features saxophone great Joshua Redman on both soprano and tenor
over the course of the piece’s ten minutes. I have long admired his works in groups such as James Farm and SF Jazz Collective and in his own albums as a leader, so it is a dream come true that he performed on my piece. He did an incredible job in getting the sense of the music right away; it was like magic to see how he played with the band after just a brief conversation about the piece.

about "Under the Same Moon"
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I think most jazz composers/arrangers today can’t help but be influenced by the work of Gil Goldstein, whose work stretches from the Gil Evans Orchestra to recent collaborations with Bobby McFerrin and Esperanza Spalding.  The ensemble sound of Michael Brecker’s 2003 chamber jazz album Wide Angles,
which featured Gil as the arranger, was a large influence in determining the instrumentation of m_unit.  He has been incredibly kind and supportive to me since we met through Ryuichi Sakamoto.
He had sent me a recording of his accordion concerto and it reminded me of an old piece that I had written eight years ago. Inspired by his piece, I decided to re-orchestrate my own in a similar fashion to his concerto and feature him on the piece. Though I tend to focus on crafting unique and intricate harmonies, I focused particularly on creating a singable melody in this composition.

about music video "The Urban Legend"
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This visual motion music video is created by a fabulous animator from London named James Francis. The concept of the video was to develop a fluid set of evolving visuals which become vibrant and flourish with the music. If you were astute, you may have discovered the source material of the visuals,
especially when it is used less abstractly towards the end of the video.
Spoiler alert: the visuals were created from human being motion captures! I love that the digital-geometric motions of the video enhance the music through this human element and creates an emotional experience.

Pre-order is still available!! Don't miss a chance to get special rewards as well!!

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2015/9/12

Introducing the recording team  

Only 3 weeks to the release! Now I would like to introduce my support team. This album would've not happened without this amazing crew!

Recording, Editing and Mixing engineer: Brian Montgomery
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This guy is a hip star in the industry. He has worked on so many projects that I really love including the latest Maria Schneider album, Darcy James Argue album, etc. Having him as an engineer was a wonderful experience; he is very honest, sincere, friendly, and yet he has very sharp ears and the amazing technical ability to do everything…literary EVERYTHING. There were a couple of things that I wanted to do differently from my first album and this guy made them come to life!!

Mastering engineer: Yuka Koizumi
This lady has magical powers; she is definitely one of the best mastering engineers in Japan. She adds depth to my orchestra’s sound and makes the recording sound like THE m_unit. I’m obsessed with the mastering process and we went through several iterations before I was satisfied. I am grateful to have her on the team!!

Album cover teamクリックすると元のサイズで表示します

(photo:L-R/ Mutsumi, Miho, Shitomichi
L-R/ Tadashi, Koichi)
Tadashi Kitagawa (designer): I always have a specific concept for the album cover. It's been challenging to communicate the intent of my imagination clearly, but luckily this guy has been very supportive and corporative. We strove to keep a consistent concept across both of my albums, so you can compare side by side!
Shitomichi from Vale. (photographer): The photo shoot with him was definitely one of the most memorable I’ve had. His ideas on controlling the light and shading were so creative, and I started getting inspired by his ideas at the photo shoot. It was just amazing.
Koichi Fujisaki and Mutsumi Shibahara (makeup & styling): Koichi chose a fabulous dress from G.V.G.V.-- I loved spending time with both of them! I also really appreciated that they made the studio's atmosphere very relaxed. You will see their radical art on the back of the album, too. ;)

You can PRE-ORDER "Time River" here! Don't miss our special rewards!!

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2015/8/30

Introducing the m_unit (2)  

Okay, time to write about the rest of the band now. :)

Joyce Hammann
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She is a leader of the string-Muses! She has performed with so many jazz legends on some of my favorite jazz records of all the time. She is awesome at playing a wide variety of music, and she sounds very sweet and dramatic on my recording! Besides, I have to tell you that she was really sweet to be the godmother of "Dizzy Dizzy Wildflower". :)
https://about.me/joycehammann

Sara Caswell
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This beautiful lady has also played with a lot of musicians, and not only has a fabulous career as a jazz violinist, but has really cool projects on her own. It is very important to me to see how much 1st violinist and 2nd violinist trust each other-- and definitely "Joyce and Sara" was a great combination!
http://saracaswell.com/

Lois Martin
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She is the behind-the-scenes boss. She has responsibilities to keep the balance of harmonies and swing the string section, which is very tough to do. I have listened to a lot of recordings that she had played on with Joyce, and she's always been awesome; and this time, she did great on my album, too! Yay!!

Meaghan Burke
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I met her at my school (MSM), and I fell in love with her rhythmic sensibility on our first performance together. I've seen her playing not only classical but also contemporary music, jazz, world music, and so many others, and she always stands out! Her playing is aggressive, and yet has a phenomenal tone color. You should check out her own projects as well!
http://www.meaghanburkemusic.com/

Sam Harris
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This guy is a mystery to me. Since I play piano as well, I should be able to see what he plays… but his playing is always beyond my imagination and blows me away. I imagined his playing while I was composing "Time River", and I was so excited to let him play it. Then of course he played the piece way more creatively than I heard in my imagination; that made me almost cry with delight.
http://www.samharrispiano.com/

James Shipp
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He is definitely the life and soul of the band! At the same time, his part is the one that has to be perfect all the time. His crazily great technique/groove has added so many colors to my music, and he has been always perfect. And also, you can hear how crazy he is when he solos. I love his solos!
http://www.jamesshipp.com/

Jake Goldbas
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My hero. I still remembered how excited I got when I heard him perform for the first time back in MSM; I thought, "this is it, this guy's playing would be perrrrrrrfect for my music!!!!!"
He makes my music sound like THE music. In other words, my music might not be as groovy or entertaining without him. His musical instincts match mine very much; I don't even give many directions in the drum parts; that]s how much I trust him.
http://www.jakegoldbasmusic.com/



All of the m_unit players are not only great musicians but also beautiful, beautiful human beings. I feel blessed to get to work with all of them, and I am so proud of my team!!

Hmm…did reading this get you interested in checking out our new album "Time River"? You can PRE-ORDER
it now HERE; we have some rewards as well!
We will be back with a live performance video next time-- stay tuned! :)
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2015/8/23

Introducing the m_unit (1)  

Happy weekend! As I'm going to write some notes about my new album "Time River" once a week till the album release, I would like to introduce my chamber orchestra, m_unit!

Cam Collins
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He is a great, great friend of mine since I met him at MSM (Manhattan School of Music). When I heard his sound in the first class, I was blown away! Very thick, dry, solid-- absolutely my favorite sound. He also has such an amazing time feel that is very elastic. He's sometimes out of time, but then comes back in time and helps to build the music. It's magical. He's out of town right now and we all are missing him!
http://www.camcollinsjazz.com/

Ryoji Ihara
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He has the longest tenure with the band-- I've been playing with him for almost 10 years! Oh wow. We've shared so many things about music, since he is a great composer as well (you have to check out his albums, these are amazing!!). I wanted a kind of pop-music-influenced sound on the tenor, and couldn't help inviting him to NYC for the past two recordings. I love seeing the other band members always looking up to him like girls looking up to a pop star after his solos lol. He is actually coming to play our CD release show at the Jazz Standard all the way from Tokyo! Yay!!
http://ihararyoji.com/

Andrew Gutauskas
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He is one of my besties here in NYC! My team called him "Mr. Perfect" because he barely made mistakes at the recording. For my music, accuracy is very important in the low parts. His playing has been very supportive to my music, as his personality has been to my life. He also has a wide variety of tone color; I love that. Oh, and he is a good whiskey-mate to me, too. :p
http://www.andrewgutauskas.com/

Matthew Jodrell
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This genius guy means so much to my music. I know that my music is quite challenging, but his part is probably the hardest. He has the responsibility of keeping the balance of the ensemble, and I expect quality tone color/pitch from both the classical and jazz idioms. He nails everything, and he always makes the rhythm section excited when he solos. Seriously, this guy is so special.
http://www.matjodrell.com/

Adam Unsworth
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What a small world. I knew him from Ryan Truesdell's Gil Evans project, but a little later, I found out that this amateur wind symphony orchestra in Japan played a piece from my previous record that I re-orchestrated for them, and Adam was a guest soloist on the piece! He can keep up with any rhythm/beat on that complicated instrument, and also has a beautiful sound. The other role for him is to be a bridge of horn section and string section, and he is great at it! It's a dream come true to have him on the recording.
http://adamunsworth.net/

Alex Brown
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He used to be my neighbor, and the only time I heard his playing before I called him to play my music was his practicing at his place. I noticed his great tone color right away. Besides, he has this unbelievable skill to read charts. I sometimes indicate very specific and complicated things on the piano part…I do that only because he can do it, and he can even develop from there…I have too many geniuses here!
http://www.alexbrownmusic.com/

Sam Anning
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Another low part that needs to be very reliable. This guy is perfect for my music. I love his sound, and he:s very good at balancing stability and freedom in his bass lines and solos. His playing is so "cantabile" all the time; maybe it's because he is also a great guitarist/singer. We were classmates at MSM, and he has been playing my music since my very first concert in NYC-- I'm always amazed to see my bass charts after gigs, because he NEVER writes anything on those complicated charts and he still nails everything all the time!
http://www.samanningmusic.com/

-- okay, to be continued to the next week :)
You can pre-order our 2nd album "Time River" here!!!
We also have a sticker and a bonus YouTube video available as a special reward!
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