Keiji Haino at the Fox Cabaret
Thursday, October 11 at 9 pm
Fox Cabaret, 2321 Main Street
One of the most visionary and individual voices to emerge from the Japanese underground is Keiji Haino. Active since the 1970s, his venerated career has navigated a wide array of styles and instrumentations including blues, rock, free improvisation, noise, percussion, psychedelic music, minimalism, and drone. Over the course of this many-sided trajectory he has nevertheless consistently reflected a determined quest for transcendence, disassociation, and spiritual self-knowledge through sound.
This will be his first concert in Vancouver in over a decade, presented by Quiet City through partnerships with Powell Street Festival Society and the 20th anniversary edition of Send+Receive Festival in Winnipeg.
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Keiji Haino was born on May 3, 1952 in Chiba, and currently resides near Tokyo in Kawagoe. His initial artistic outlet was theatre, inspired by the radical writings of Antonin Artaud, but an epiphanic moment came when he heard The Doors’ “When The Music’s Over” and changed his course. Haino cites a broad range of influences, including troubadour music, Marlene Dietrich, Iannis Xenakis, Blue Cheer, Syd Barrett, Charlie Parker, and has had a long love affair with early blues, particularly the works of Blind Lemon Jefferson. He is also heavily inspired by the Japanese concept of “Ma”, the silent spaces in music.
His main instruments of choice have been guitar and vocals, with many other instruments and approaches incorporated into his career’s work. His musical output throughout the 1970s is scarcely documented until 1978 with the formation the rock duo Fushitsusha, although their first album did not surface until 1989. He has formed numerous other groups and amassed a lengthy list of collaborators over the years, including Faust, Boris, Derek Bailey, Peter Brötzmann, Stephen O’Malley, Merzbow, Oren Ambarchi, Jim O’Rourke, John Zorn, Yamantaka Eye, John Duncan, and Fred Frith. Haino is known for intensely cathartic sound explorations, and despite the fact that much of his work contains varied instrumentation and accompaniment, he retains a distinctive style. NHK, Japan’s national broadcaster, banned his music from broadcast for forty years, from 1973 to 2013.
Haino’s distinctive style extends to his lifestyle: he has sported the same long hair, black clothes, and sunglasses throughout his career, and is a strict vegetarian who has refrained from alcohol, tobacco, and drugs for his entire life. He has a keen interest in Butoh dancing, and collects ethnic instruments.