Above the Clouds

"Imagine Radiohead teaching Franz Liszt how to rock a KAOSS pad; or John Cage facing off with Bud Powell over prepared piano"

Matthew Duersten, Stompbeast.com 

"Keyboard alchemist Motoko Honda, whose mix of piano and electronics is a sonic adventure all her own. "

Chris Barton, Los Angeles Times 

"At times she puffed up some Matthew Shipp storm clouds; at times she pounded with a grandeur and structure worthy of Prokofiev; her spare strokes on a tiny synthesizer added subtle dimension....Honda is a treasure"  

Greg Burk, Metaljazz.com 

Motoko Honda is a concert pianist, composer, and interdisciplinary artist who has created a distinctive sound through her holistic approach to music, and her exceptional sensitivity in relating to other art forms and technologies. Employing a "virtuoso technique paired with her intensely imaginative mind" (Susan Dirende, L.A. Splash Magazine), and with stylistic influences ranging from jazz to Indonesian music to contemporary prepared piano with electronics, Motoko's compositions and structured improvisations are intended to affect the skin, organs and minds of the listener rather than simple recitations of rhythmic and harmonic themes. Called both a "keyboard alchemist" (Chris Barton, L.A. Times), and the "embodiment of a muse" (Greg Burk, Metaljazz), Motoko's performances transport audiences on sonic adventures that transcend the boundaries and conventions of contemporary music.

Since 1997, Motoko has been performing her music at national and international festivals and concert venues, and through her Sound Escape Project, founded in 2003, has been presenting numerous collaborations with artists and improvisers such as Pulitzer prizer nominee Wadada Leo Smith, Guggenheim Fellow Elliott Sharp, a punk legend Mike Watt, guitarist Nels Cline, Emmy Award Winner and traditional Vietnamese instrumentalist Van-Anh Vanessa Vo, and other notable performers such as Vinny Golia, Henry Kaiser, Alex Cline, Jeff Gauthier, Maggie Parkins, Karlton Hester, William Winant, Larry Ochs, Kris Tiner, Theresa Wong, Emily Hay, Joe Berardi, and Pheeroan Aklaff.  Motoko also works with dancers such as OGURI. Roxanne Steinberg, Maureen Whiting, and visual artist Carole Kim and projection artist Jesse Gilbert. A notable interdisciplinary collaboration is the on going research project with Jesse Giblert, using his sound-visual program Spectral GL, integrating music and visual information into one cohesive experience in concerts and installation settings.

At home in classical, improvised, or electronic music, Motoko is a musical force of nature, bringing a unique creative sound to her solo works and wide-ranging collaborations. A frequent guest artist in UCSC, Motoko has been invited to give lectures/performances regarding contemporary compositions, method for structured improvisation in collaborative settings, and extended piano techniques at universities and music/art institutions worldwide.  And her solo and collaborative projects have taken her to national and international major festivals and venues such as the Angel City Jazz Festival,Spark International Electronic Music Festival, 19th San Quirico Estate Festival, Ford Amphitheater, Barnsdall Gallery Theater, REDCAT/Disney, Japan/Aratani Theater, Montalvo Arts Center, Duomo di Siena, as well as museums, jazz clubs and underground venues.

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©2017 by Motoko Honda

United States/Japan