improviser / singer-songwriter
Active since the 1970s, Japanese improviser and singer-songwriter, Haino Keiji, remains a towering figure in contemporary experimental music. Born in 1952 in Chiba, Haino was first drawn to the theatre by way of Antonin Artaud, but an encounter with The Doors stimulated him into playing music. Spurred by a deep interest in folk music from around the world, he studied and absorbed a wide range of traditions, particularly the early blues of Blind Lemon Jefferson and medieval European troubadour music. In the early 1970s, he joined the group, Lost Aaraaf, as a vocalist, while at the same time delving into home recording, and teaching himself guitar and percussion. In 1978, he formed Fushitsusha, taking the hard rock sound at that time into utterly new, powerful and profound dimensions. To this day, Fushitsusha remains an essential vehicle for his cathartic sound explorations, while his solo work and a long list of other collaborative projects (including Nijiumu, Aihiyo, Seijaku, Vajra, Sanhedrin, Nazoranai and Hardy Soul) showcase his diverse and uncompromising musical interests. A Haino Keiji performance is a masterclass in extremes; it’s an excoriating experience that oftentimes takes unprepared concertgoers completely off their feet.
His overwhelming presence on stage is proportional to his intensely prolific recorded output and live schedule, releasing close to 200 albums and performing upwards of 1500 shows worldwide to date. His long list of collaborators include the likes of Loren Connors, Barre Phillips, Derek Bailey, John Zorn, Lee Konitz, Joey Baron, Misha Mengelberg, Rashied Ali, Akita Masami, Peter Brötzmann, Kang Tae Hwan, Mikami Kan, Yoshizawa Motoharu, Yoshida Tatsuya, Kudo Tori, Jim O’Rourke, Otomo Yoshihide and many more.