All the band members of Na (Noriaki, Shin, and Kazu) and a special member, DJ Shikiri Shogun (Kiyoshi), are from Japan. Shin, Noriaki and DJ Shikiri Shogun hail from the same city, Nagoya, the forth biggest city in Japan, between Tokyo and Osaka. Kazu is from Asahikawa, which is in the northern island of Japan where salt noodles are the speciality.
Shin and Noriaki came to Seattle, Washington in 2001. Shin came to Seattle shouting Nirvana! (He says.) His English was pretty bad. In fact, it was actually close to zero back then. One day, someone asked him "What is your name," and his answer was "No".
Noriaki came to Seattle on September 17th, 2001. He was suposed to arrive in Seattle on 14th, but was delayed because of the September 11th attacks. His airplane delayed, he barely made it to Seattle around 10:00pm by bus from Vancouver, British Columbia. He was scared to death because he always heard from his grandma how dangerous place the U.S. was. The bus dropped him off in downtown Seattle with where he preceded to he run into the inn just across the street to ask for a taxi cab. Three minutes later a cab came to the inn. The driver was really big. At least he looked really big to Noriaki who just landed to the U.S. on the day, and Noriaki seriously thought he was going to be
killed by the driver in the car, but nothing happened and he made it to his host family's house.
Shin and Noriaki went to Shoreline Community College not knowing each other for two years, but they finally started recognizing each other's face because they went to see shows sometimes at this venue called The Pole Star Music Gallery which was the prime venue for experimental and improvised music in Seattle. One day, Noriaki was making music in the music building of college with his laptop, and Shin asked him what he was doing. From that point forward the two started playing music together.
When they finally met and started playing improvised music together in 2003. At the same time, an 18 year old teenager arrived in Seattle and started going to Shoreline Community College. His name was Kazu. He was wearing pink shoes, which no one, including Kazu himself, thought looked cool. One day, on a bus to go to school, Kazu talked to Shin, saying he had seen Shin in the music building before. Shin liked it that Kazu mentioned he liked John Cage in their conversation and brought him to Noriaki's recording studio which Noriaki built with his American friend, now known as a laptop electronics player Son Of Rose, Kamran Sadeghi in a basement in Capital Hill of Seattle. Noriaki, Shin and Kazu jammed and recorded it in a night. After the hour of session, they knew they would see each other and play again, soon. The recording still exists. Kazu's playing some really cheesy guitar solos reminiscent of the 80's, while Shin plays the bass with a very light tone for the guitar music and Noriaki playing a drum machine in real time with his figures, out of rhythm. You might be confused and doubt how they could start out playing this fucking up stuff.
Because Kazu lived in University District in Seattle and played his classical guitar at open mic shows at coffee in the area. (U-District has tons of coffee shops where you can play music if you ask.) They started playing improvisational shows at Cafe Roma once a week. The reason it was improvisation was first of all, they were not responsible for the music because it was a free show (if you call it a show) and no one was there to see their show. Secondly, Noriaki, who had a band with Kamran, was tired of playing previous compositions on his laptop with samples and loops and wanted to try his new ideas with abstract melodies with xylophones. Also, he wanted to try with his new synthesizer patches which he could take advantage of his first (back then) high tech computer. Shin was too lazy to compose anyway and always improvised and tried new ideas from the top of his mind. Kazu, who was a classically trained guitarist, was curious of any kind of music by nature, and he followed them to see what would happen. Their improvisation was sometimes ordinarily. Often they talked after a boring show and said they needed to start composing. However, they didn't. Because they wanted to improvise with the reasons above and did not want to spend so much time on this band which could just end on the next date. So they improvised again at the next week's show and made errors. They went to a cheap restaurant and talked about why there were errors. In the next week they improvised, excluding the errors, and then they made new erros with new ideas they just played. They went to a restaurant and talked about the new errors, again. Trying new ideas and making new errors, excluding the erros and improvising again. They continued this ever lasting process and they still do.
released 01 January 2006
All songs played live and recorded by Kazu, Shin & Noriaki at Gallery 1412, Seattle, between June and July of 2005.
Noriaki Watanabe : Piano, Keyboard, Laptop and Percussion
Kazutaka Nomura : Guitar, Vocal and Cymbals
Shinsuke Yamada ; Samples, Laptop, Voice and Percussion