Kodomo Interview

Who are you? Is there any significance to your stage name?

The name “Kodomo” is the Japanese word for “Child”, my surname. It was a nickname I had as a kid, having grown up in Japan. Around 2000, I started doing remixes for bands and used Kodomo as my moniker. When I finally got around to working on my own album I realized I needed a name. After much contemplating and consulting thesauruses I realized I already had one.

What artists have most influenced you?

Classical: J.S. Bach. Franz Schubert. Chopin. Steve Reich. Arvo Part.

Electronic: Kraftwerk. Brian Eno. Depeche Mode. Tricky. Underworld. Autechre. Plaid. Aphex Twin. Skinny Puppy/Doubting Thomas.

Rock: Janes Addiction. Fugazi.

HipHop: Tribe Called Quest, Dilated Peoples.

Are there specific tracks or albums that you feel have particularly molded you as an artist?

“Radioactivity” and “Man Machine” by Kraftwerk. “Violator” by Depeche Mode. “Second Of the Toughest Infants” by Underworld. “Nil” by Autechre. “Bites” by Skinny Puppy. “Clocks” by Doubting Thomas. “Selected Ambient Works Vol. 2” by Aphex Twin. “Music For Airports” by Brian Eno. “Coming Down The Mountain” and “Three Days” by Janes Addiction. “Steady Diet Of Nothing” by Fugazi. “The Low End Theory” by Tribe Called Quest, The “Impromptus” by Schubert. (the last in F minor) “Nocturns” by Chopin. (both G minor Nocturns) “The Well Tempered Klavier” by Bach (Preludes in C minor, D minor, Fugue in C minor from book 2) “Fratres“ by Arvo Part, “Music for Eighteen Muscians” by Steve Reich.

What sort of differences have you noticed between studio recordings and your live performances?

The live performances draw from the original studio recordings but include new content, structural changes, and involve improvisation. I basically take the original tracks from each song and dissect them into short sections based on instrument type. I then have the ability to combine them in any way I choose and change the order of the original song structures. I feed the tracks through various effects chains I’ve setup that I can perform live using a set of MIDI controllers.

How does the September Sun EP and the Frozen In Motion LP differ from each other?

The September Sun EP is a digital single which features the track from the Frozen In Motion LP plus three remixes. One of the remixes is for the track “disappearing light”, also on Frozen In Motion. I typically like to release an album and then follow it up with singles with remixes.

Has there been a similar change from those releases to the tracks and releases that you are currently working on?

I think of each album that I work on as a different project with a different focus. The music takes shape around an initial concept or idea. Still Life explored using photographs as the inspiration for the individual songs. On Frozen In Motion, I used edited field recordings as the building blocks for songs on the album.

How have you gotten more of your fans – social networking or traditional word of mouth? Have you noticed anything different between these types of fans?

It’s probably a combination of both. Lately social networking has definitely been useful in connecting my music to listeners. When I ask people how they heard my music I get varied responses. Pandora, music blogs, personal referrals, and NPR listeners account for just a few of the multitude of outlets there are now for discovering new music.

What do you think of the remixes on the September Sun EP? How have Lumia, the Symbion Project, and Shigeto changed your music?

I am really amazed at what all the remixers did. These are all great artists I’ve been fortunate to work with over the years. I love the idea of someone taking elements from my song and creating something new with it. It is a process in which I work, so it just made sense to continue that method with my own releases.

In a related question, what artists (past or present) would you like to work with?

I would love to work with Apparat, Modeselektor, and any of the artists I mentioned above! (Assuming I somehow bump in to any of them)

What does the rest of 2011 and the beginning of the new year hold for you?

The few remaining days of 2011 involve prepping the new material for my third album. It is tedious, but will be worth the effort. Right after the new year I plan to be working heavily on the next release which I hope to be done with by the fall. I may squeeze another EP in there and will probably work on a few remixes.

How can interested listeners get in touch with you?

The best way to get in touch with me is old school email. I don’t check my facebook messages that much. kodomo@kodomomusic.com

Do you have anything else to say to NeuFutur readers?

Thanks for reading! Please check out kodomomusic.com for all music , releases, and news. You can also find me on Facebook.com/kodomoremix and soundcloud.com/Kodomo If you like what you hear, please spread the word, and sign up on my mailing list. It only takes a few seconds and I only send a few emails a year!

Author: James McQuiston

Ph.D. in Political Science, Kent State University.

I have been the editor at NeuFutur / neufutur.com since I was 15. Looking for new staff members all the time; email me if you are interested. Thanks!

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