Biography
Masashi Harada is a multi-disciplinary artist. He became active in free improvisation as a percussionist, pianist, and vocalist beginning in the early '90s, and started to record as a leader at the end of the decade. He also dances, and had group and solo exhibitions of his visual works, particularly his ice paintings, making him an accomplished, multi-faceted artist. All his activities can be traced back to a notion of immediacy in instant composition, what he termed "generative improvisation," where the artist constantly generates context that in turn influences the performance -- an inspirational feedback loop that frees the artist from predetermined rules. He applies this notion to free improv, but also to ice painting, the unpredictability and ephemerality of the support calling for the same kind of resourcefulness and flexibility.

Masashi Harada was born in Hiroshima (Japan). He studied vocal technique at a young age with Yasuo Harada, Koji Abe, and Kenjiro Watanabe. In his teens, he also learned traditional Japanese percussion before moving to the state of Massachusetts in the early '80s. He spent the decade studying music and art in the U.S. (he enrolled in the third stream program of the New England Conservatory of Music in 1986), Japan (on his trips back home), and Finland, where he worked with John Cage in 1983. In New England, he began performing as a drummer in free improvisation units.

Harada got his diploma in third stream studies in 1990, and another in jazz composition three years later. In the meantime, he took piano lessons from Avram David and began to develop his artistic concepts of generative improvisation and "condanction" (conducting a large improvising ensemble through dancing), working on ways to reach forms of expression that called on the whole body (in this regard, not unlike Keiji Haino). His first important musical engagements included the Joe Maneri Trio in 1989, with whom he recorded the CD Kalavinka, and live performances as part of Cecil Taylor's trio in 1990.

The early '90s saw him involved in many groups, including his condanction ensemble, but these led to no recordings. Harada settled on a teaching job at the New England Conservatory of Music and focused on his painting, but by the mid-'90s he resurfaced. The British label Emanem released Enter the Continent, a CD of condanctions, in 2000; followed by albums with two trios (on CIMP and Leo) and a duet with bassist Barre Phillips (on Cadence Jazz), each release exhibiting another aspect of his talent. At the turn of the millennium, he was spent two semesters in Boston and one in Hiroshima, where he teaches art at the Hiroshima International University. ~ Fran├žois Couture, Rovi




 
Videos
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Masashi Harada Condanction Ensemble - Enterprising Mass Of Cilia [Full Album]
Masashi Harada Condanction Ensemble - Fleeting Despot
[HD] 10th WWC - Men's CQ - Masashi Harada, JPN
SACG2010 - gunshu M - Masashi Harada - JPN
[HD] 10th WWC - Men's GS - Masashi Harada, JPN
Prorogue
Mirror Resembling Dream
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