The Digital Sheep Bleat

TOPICS

The Digital Sheep Bleat

Marihiko Hara creates with the piano by incorporating programming, sampling, and even field coding. His vibrant music can be heard in many places, from sound installations in museums, to dances, dramas, kabuki, film scores, and even Paris fashion shows. He has collaborated with the artistic group, Dumb Type based in Kyoto, and Ryuichi Sakamoto whom he deeply admires and respects as a musician. Hara often adapts his music to suit different scenes and situations.

While keeping close ties to local artists where he is based in Kyoto such as the artists in charge of the aforementioned Dumb Type, Hara has managed to seamlessly apply the feedback he has received regarding his musical expression to a variety of fields both domestically and overseas.

“Depending on the location, the desired performances and sounds differ, which means that it’s impossible to cope with it all without daily refinement. At the same time, it’s interesting to see how different the musical timing is for each performance and job that I have. I learned about life education in college. No matter how old people become, it’s important to never stop learning, and as I’ve gotten older, I’ve managed to acquire a thought process that allows me to forget about the initial discomfort of taking on new challenges in my work. I also think it’s important to create music that’s appreciated by a wide range of people, not just a select few. I really want to connect with people who normally don’t have the opportunity to experience music and art.”

Hara’s charming personality and modest way of speaking are occasionally punctuated with a joke and giggle. His latest solo album Landscape in Portrait features him on piano performing pieces that take a sincere dive into his particular form of musical expression and firmly place him in the post-classical genre. Some of the piano pieces stand out due to the background music style contours of the melodies, while other pieces have a more relaxing ambient sound.

“I have been wanting to produce work that shows my fundamental musical sense. I’m incorporating environmental music, electronic music and other methods, but in the end I want to deliver a standard piece of music. You’ve probably heard the saying, ‘if you’re going commercial, make it shine.’ Well, I’m trying to shine so that many people will want to listen to my music.”

Words: Shoichi Miyake

Marihiko Hara, Composer / Pianist
Born in 1983 in Kyoto, Hara graduated from the Department of Education at Kyoto University. He continues to create in a variety of forms centered on “texture and serenity.” He has worked with Shiro Takatani, a project member of Dumb Type, conducted improve sessions with Ryuichi Sakamoto, and arranged music for NODA MAP’s Ashiato Hime, and the kabuki production, Otoko no Hanamichi.
© Chikashi Kasai
His latest release, Landscape in Portrait (Beat Records). Through a beautiful soundscape, Hara paints his own unique world.
At The Museum of Kyoto Annex Hall on July 23, Hara will be accompanying Taro BOVE on piano during the dance performance of his composition, Travelers of Eternity.

SERIES

Fly Me to the Moon TOPICS

Viewing the vastness of space from a balloon-mounted camera. His title is Balloon Space Photographer, and just as it sounds, Keisuke Iwaya is probably the only person in the world whose means of expression is attaching …

Driven to inspire relaxation TOPICS

Nothing feels better than coming home and changing into pajamas or sliding into a bed and muffling oneself in the comfort of blankets. Bedclothes act as a bulwark against daily stressors. YARN HOME, the brainchild of Yu…

Imaging the unimaginable. TOPICS

Naoki Prize nominee Gukoroku, the film adaptation of the novel, brings Japanese cinema box office pulls such as Satoshi Tsumabuki and Hikari Mitsushima together. Kei Ishikawa sits at the helm of Gukoroku, his first full…

Reflections on Visual Expressions TOPICS

Chinatsu Watanabe lures her readers deep into a mysterious visual landscape using mirrors. Her first two books Fushigi na Niji (The Strange Rainbows) and Kyou no Oyatsu wa (For Today’s Snack) were published simultaneous…

Shooting the Country’s Favorite Ads TOPICS

With his work on commercials like KDDI’s au Santaro series, Try Group Tutors, and Hino Motors, Shinji Hamasaki is likely Japan’s busiest commercial director. Commercial planners come up with projects, directors refine, …

The sharp, fast, four-person dance of story. TOPICS

From a street performance to an unprecedented performance group, the s**t kingz dance group bring movement to theater. The four thirty-something members are shoji, the leader who’s great with catchy dances; kazuki, a Mi…

The sublime warmth of subtlety. TOPICS

Five years ago, Asa Hiramatsu first put brush to palette to narrate rich scenes in layers of paint. Her experience from design firms and Ginza galleries has helped her develop a unique sense of composition and color, wh…

アセット 1