Sakamoto Hiromichi (cello, electronics, musical saw, voice...)

Sakamoto Hiromiti (b. 1962, Hiroshima, Japan) is a cellist who plays not only the cello, but also performs using voices, musical saws, among other things. In order to pursue and broaden the possibilities of the cello, he dares to use various effects, bumping and thumping, scrubbing, and goes so far as to use an electric drill or a grinder, producing sparks. His radical yet lyrical performance are indeed an experience. Besides performing solo improvisations, he collaborates with many other musician as well as people from other genres of art, such as movie, theater, the fine art, photography, butoh, and street performance. His activities are eclectic, crossing over other boundaries. 1999, his solo works CD "zero-shiki" has been released. The groups he take part--->Pascals, Shibusa-shirazu. The musicians he played together at the past--->UA, Otomo Yoshihide, Uchihashi Kazuhisa, Haino Keiji, Lars Hollmer(from Sweden), and many others.
<< photo by SHIBATA Ayano / solo works CD "zero-shiki" >>

The Cello Shamanist
Hiromichi Sakamoto, now 50 years old and known from a lot of festivals around the world, is after the death of Tom Cora the lonely master of sometimes electronically modified and highly amplified avant-garde Cello playing. At Live concerts he starts often playing very heartwarming romantic music themes, one more beautiful than the other (sometimes using a musical saw). Sakamoto created formally a lot of music for Japanese Underground Tent Theatre Groups. This environment helped certainly to create this beautiful themes, tender and dreamful, but they last never till to the end, becoming gruesome broken and sometimes chaotically. Sakamoto developed also sound possibilities to new performing highs by contact with things nobody expects to be in contact with a Cello: drill machine, grinding machine, adult vibrator etc. He also fills the cello-body with dried beans to make the body of the cello a big maraca. Sometimes it looks like he has to fight with his Cello, a very physic real relationship. It seems Sakamoto is trying to shock his audience, because it appears like an Asian barbarian is trying to destroy a classic instrument and Sakamoto with his Jimi Hendrix-hairstyle seems to fit in that image. But the concept is much more to lead the audience and also the sound of his instrument behind limits. Hiromichi Sakamoto is much more a Jazz-Shamanist, who is playing with everything the modern world gives us in connection with tradition Asian music styles and feelings. There is certainly a lot of humor, maybe irony in his concerts, but it seems not a purpose to entertain the audience with jokes. It is a natural part of the "Jazz Art World of Hiromichi Sakamoto", a connection of intercultural space and time and an inspiration of freedom, western people do often not expect from a Japanese. An unforgettable concert! A truly master of his unique art.
Written by Peter Gossner

Last Updat 07.JUN.2002

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Sakamoto Hiromichi
3972-1 Shinyoshida-cho Kouhoku-ku,Yokohama Japan zip code:223-0056