Schedule and tickets
Tokyo Culture Creation Project
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From November 5 to December 28, 2014
Kath Bloom, Reiko Kudo
November 11, 19:00 open, 19:30 start
Adv 2,500 yen, Door 3,000 yen
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Kath Bloom + Reiko Kudo

The ability to create songs and to sing them is intrinsic to human beings

It is not easy to describe the music and words of the legendary singer/songwriter Kath Bloom, which sound so contemporary and immediately soul-stirring that no one can specify the genre although musical vocabularies that can be said to be antholopologically American such as country, folk and blues are involved straightforwardly, but “the deep well of Emmylou Harris, the more poignant lyrics of Lou Reed, the joy of Maher Shalal Hash Baz or even Joni Mitchell” (from the official website) might be good comparisons. In collaboration with Loren (MazzaCane) Connors and Tom Hanford, Bloom released numerous devastating recordings from the 1970s to mid-1980s, but all in minuscule quantities, and while these albums were going out of press, she kept composing, taught music to children and trained horses in her town. It was Richard Linklater’s film Before Sunrise (1995, music by Fred Frith), which featured Bloom’s irresistible song Come Here, that had her rediscovered. Since then she has been actively working on new albums, and since 2009 touring nationwide and abroad. The teaching experience especially with infants proved her that “the ability to create songs and to sing them is intrinsic to human beings,” Bloom says, and she believes that “redirecting chaotic and potentially harmful emotional pain into creative energy can transform the lives of children and adults.” It is also true that she is an artist who has devotedly developed that ability of her own to the highest. This is her first visit to Japan! Reiko Kudo, who profoundly respects Bloom, says that she makes songs out of words “like a burning fire shut up in my bones” (Jeremiah 20:9) that come up to the surface no matter how hard she tries to hold them in as a “stenographer” who records reality. The first meeting of the two singular singer/songwriters, who are distant and close, that you cannot miss!


Kath Bloom (vocals, guitar), Reiko Kudo (vocals), Tori Kudo (piano, guitar) | Sound: Toshihiko Kasai, Akiko Kondo | Lighting: Ikuko Onishi (WWW) | Stage: Kanako Shibata (WWW) | Lyrics translation: Reiko Kudo, Tomoyuki Arai | Documentation: Kenta Matsuo (video), Masato Hara (sound), Hideto Maezawa (photo)

Kath Bloom profile

The daughter of Robert Bloom, a composer and an oboist trusted by Toscanini and Casals, Kath Bloom was born and raised in New Haven. She studied cello in her childhood, but soon abandoned “authentic” musical education and practiced the guitar on her own in a cemetary, entertaining herself there so often that she was offered a job by the ground keeper. She met Loren Connors in 1976, and until 1984 she continued releasing albums featuring avant-garde original songs that involved the essence of country, folk, blues, spirituals and works songs of the South, in collaboration with Connors and Tom Hanford. Having pressed only 50 to 300 copies, these albums had long been in the waiting lists of music enthusiasists, but they were reissued by the Australian label Chapter Music from 2008 to 2009 and have been drawing attentions worldwide. Since the late 1980s, she has raised her children and has been training horses, composing, playing with her band “Love at Work” and teaching music to children in her town quietly developing her music, and rediscovered by the film Before Sunrise (1995), directed by Richard Linklater and starring Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy, she has recently been working on new albums and since 2009 tour performances.

Reiko Kudo profile

Dropped out by coming upon such words as “Jesus died for somebody’s sins but not mine” (Patti Smith) and “When there’s no future, how can there be sin?” (Johnny Rotten / John Lydon), and nurtured her heart with Billie Holiday. Performing mainly at “Minor,” a space in Kichijoji, Tokyo in the late 1970s, she met Tori Kudo, Keiji Haino and Tamio Shiraishi and joined a group fluidly formed by Genet, Gaku Torii, Takashi Sato and Tori Kudo that gradually broke up changing its name from “Worst Noise Dance To Death” to “Dance To Death” and then to “Worst Noise” and then to “Noise,” and “Noise” as a duo of Reiko Omura (her birth name) and Tori Kudo released Tenno [Emperor] in 1980. She released her first solo album Fire Inside My Hat (ORG) in 1997, which positively overcame the “innocence toward death” of Tenno and established intense and spirited words and expression. The next album Rice Field Silently Riping in the Night (Majikick / Periodic Document, 2001) was released also in the U.S. and was highly acclaimed. She has since then constantly been releasing masterpieces including Hito and Kusa (Hyotan Records, 2005), Licking Up Dust (Hyotan Records, 2007), Light (Siwa, 2008–2009), From Now On (P.S.F. Records, 2009) and Mikan (Hyotan Records, 2013), and occasionally playing with and composing for Maher Shalal Hash Baz led by Tori Kudo.

Kath Bloom  
Reiko Kudo, Tori Kudo Photo by Marie Roux

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