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Old 08.28.2007, 04:05 PM   #63
expwy. to yr skull
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 1,420
jico. kicks all y'all's assesjico. kicks all y'all's assesjico. kicks all y'all's assesjico. kicks all y'all's assesjico. kicks all y'all's assesjico. kicks all y'all's assesjico. kicks all y'all's assesjico. kicks all y'all's assesjico. kicks all y'all's assesjico. kicks all y'all's assesjico. kicks all y'all's asses
AC : As far as I'm concerned, while the actual sounds of your percussion performances are interesting, the process leading up to the sound is even more fascinating–the look and sound of you leaping around, the rustle of your clothes, friction with the air, the sounds of your breathing and your hair whipping around. You would really need to capture all those sounds as well.

KH : The process which I am conscious of when I perform is slightly different from everyone else's. Before I make any sounds, first of all I breathe in all the air in the performing space. Most performers feed off the audience, but I'm conscious of entering into a relationship with the actual air in the place, even before the audience has arrived. After breathing in all the air, when I breathe out again I want to engulf the audience in that air. And then on top of that, I want to return the air to its original state again. When I breathe in all that air and engulf the audience in it, it feels like I have become god. That in itself would be blasphemy, which is why I then return the air to its original state. That's the process that I'm always aware of. This might sound like a joke, but it's not–it's easy to become god, but difficult to keep that power. People often say that my sounds are loud, and that can be a negative thing. It's not the sounds that are loud, it's me. I actually become the sounds. People often say how opera singers should sing not from the throat but from the diaphragm, or with their whole bodies. But that just limits the sound to yourself–what I want to do is make the air itself vibrate. And that's why it's loud. I give my body to the air. That makes the air vibrate–that's what I'm doing with the percussion. In the past, when I didn't have that much power, I wasn't able to make people concentrate fully on the sounds. Now I can do that because, in one sense, I can control the whole space. And everyone then goes along with what I want to do. That's how I become god. But because that's blasphemy, I always return the air again to its original state. And by doing that I will be forgiven.
When I'm doing a percussion performance, I am very conscious of myself as one part of the universe. In one sense, there's nothing that I'm forbidden to do. That said, I can't do anything that's going to injure someone in the audience and so far, luckily I've managed to avoid doing so. I'm always ultra careful when I'm doing a percussion performance. It's usually in small venues, and if I were to slip, which is easy to do, with one of the big cymbals and hit someone in the head with it, I'd kill them. That's the only thing I'm thinking about. I can relive the times when I was at kindergarten and I would be playing in the sand-pit. I can do whatever I want, everything is permitted.

AC : Is it possible for you to do the percussion in the studio, or do you need the energy of an actual audience?

KH : I can do it but it's very boring. Of all the things I do, the percussion requires the closest relationship with the audience. But really, everything I do is the same–I need some reaction, whether it's someone telling me to shut up or someone applauding, and the music moves and changes according to that. I get a good vibration from the people who come and see me play live now, so I can get through the performance without any negativity. Before the performance begins and the audience are sitting there waiting, I believe I can pick up a good vibration from them. In the past, if there were people who weren't really interested in what I was doing, I would lose their vibration. I would start putting out negative vibrations, I'd want them to go home. But recently, I don't know why, there's a good vibration, and in return I feel that I have gradually become able to make people feel good.

AC : Is the audience vibration more important for the percussion than it is for the guitar and vocal stuff?

KH : Yeah, definitely. When there's a feeling of rejection or something happens at a percussion performance, I can only perform within my own expectations. There's no sense of surprise. If there isn't a good vibration then I can't enjoy the performance. If I'm not surprised at what I'm doing then there's no way that the audience will be either. What surprises people is seeing something that they've never seen before. For me to feel that sense of surprise depends to a large extent on the atmosphere–it doesn't matter whether it's good or bad, but I need some kind of an atmosphere to react with.

AC : You are doing something totally new with the percussion, but I think a lot of people have a tendency to look on it as somehow "primitive."

KH : People look at something they really don't understand, and they label it "primitive." On the other hand, I think that prayers and curses ultimately head in that direction. It's easy just to label the percussion as primitive and leave it at that, but as I see it it's very simple. First, I use very few sounds, it's stripped down to the essentials–the problem then is why you perceive that as "primitive."

AC : Primitive in the sense that it's just your body and some very basic sound producing objects. There's no electricity involved. The object could be as basic as a rock, and you use it to produce a rhythm. But people are still immensely moved by something that basic, that primitive.

KH : Why should people be moved only by primitive things? That sounds bogus and condescending. That type of reaction is just the same as the trap that all those "world music" people fall into. Japanese are especially susceptible to that line.

AC : The first two or three times I saw you play, your music had an actual physical effect on my body. After the performance was finished I'd be unable to stand up, I'd feel really light-headed, sometimes even slightly nauseous. It was almost like it was taking my body a time to adjust to something totally new–as if I had been eating nothing but burgers and drinking Coke for years and then suddenly switched to vegetables and water. It would take my body time to readjust to the new diet, and there would be some physical "withdrawal" symptoms, if you like. Is that kind of physical effect on your listeners something that you are conscious of or aim for?

KH : I think it's slightly different. Because I'm trying to do something that hasn't existed before, there are certain effects that come along with it. I think the main problem is my consciousness. Sometimes I feel like playing percussion, or guitar, or ethnic instruments, or singing–so I do. But I don't do it in order to produce some specific effect on someone.

NM : Is that the same as you were saying earlier about prayers and curses?

KH : For me, everything is the same.

NM : Like you're just doing something, without any intentions. Your heart is always calm. That's how I perceive you.

KH : In one sense, things like that happen by accident. But they do happen all the time. On the other hand, when I go home after playing and my body is aching, I always think, "why do I do this?" Actually I went to shiatsu(13) this morning–it really hurts. I wonder how long I can keep on doing this. The worse the state your body is in, the more painful it is. If you press on your hand like this, there shouldn't be any resistance to your finger. But when there's something wrong, and circulation isn't correct, your body actually resists and won't let the fingers penetrate into the flesh. And because the body is resisting, shiatsu feels really painful. Because I use my body in performance it gets really tense. So I still think, "why am I doing this?" I can't explain why my music has that kind of effect on the body. If I became unable to move my hand I couldn't play guitar anymore–that's the only way I can explain it. For me, the whole body of a great singer resonates to produce the sounds. I feel that I'm very close to accomplishing this, but if I'm just slightly off in my technique then it hurts. Breathing out hurts sometimes. The idea isn't to project your voice using your whole body, but to make your body resonate. You understand? Not a massive explosion of energy, but a buildup of concentration within the body and then you sing. The problem isn't the volume or tone that you're able to produce but your consciousness.
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