Birthday: November 15
Birthplace: Kanazawa City
Akasha song sample
Moon Dance 2003
1. Tears Of Joy
2 Liquid Emotion
3. Sun Shine La La
4. Kokoro One
5. Something AI
7. Water From The Desert - Ibizrre Mix
8. Aloe sky mix
9. Akasha - Blackmoon Mix
10. Purple Diamond
11. The Aeon - Heavenly Fire Mix
Sun and Moon - Blackmoon Mix
Akasha - Blackmoon mix lyrics:
People's thought dissolve into akasha (Sky)
People's thought is an empty (vanity) circle
Dissolve into sky
Vanish the thought,
channel the prayer
Composed by Olaf Gutbrod
Lyrics by Hideyo Blackmoon
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Hideyo Blackmoon Interview
So fill your mind with the thought of that astronomical spectacular and take a look at the music they have inspired in the spiritual heart of a very special Japanese lady.
On March 24, 2009 Hideyo Blackmoon was kind enough to give an interview to Andrew from J-Pop World.
Let's start with the upcoming release of your new album, Blackmoon, later this year. Can you tell us about the music?
I would say this album is a collection of ambient Japanese ethno electronica songs. Each track has some ambient atmosphere, even those with a dance groove or beat. I collaborated with musicians on my travels in several countries, so this album's music is a collection of my collaborative work with them. The album shows the different types of expressions of Hideyo Blackmoon.
What were the recording sessions like?
Well, depends on the situation and musician. Each track has a specific and unique story. I have really enjoyed meeting new music and musicians.
Some of the music tracks were already made, so I just recorded and structured the vocal part on those. Some tracks were made with other musicians at their studio and some were done by file exchange on the internet.
For one unique example take "Something AI. " Master Margherita and I both move around the world. We started working together through the internet, exchanging music and vocal files. First I got a file while in Israel from Switzerland, where his studio is. He structured the track with my basic vocal file that I recorded at a friend's studio in Sweden. Soon after we met for the first time at a festival in Italy. We listened to the track together and I navigated which lyric should be in or out. Afterwards I re-recorded it at Ibiza, then he added a flute file from Floating Grooves, South Africa. So, this track really flew around and includes energies from several countries, and connected between country and country.
Can you tell us a little more about your creating process?
I consider myself a vocalist who channels sound. I have a (kind of) disciplined lifestyle. I take good care of my body and spirit as much I can and I love it. Recently my food habit is basically raw vegan (though sometime I've enjoyed all kinds of foods when I have been with friends). I do yoga, meditation, commune with nature, etc. When I pick up a new habit, I consider if it's sustainable for me. I feel my state of being can be more aware and clear, to help me to channel the sounds, catch those universal vocal melodies through my body.
Some of my vocal recordings were just one take at a studio, Sometimes, especially at live shows, I haven't know what I would sing till I stand up in front of the microphone. When it's done this way it is absolutely amazing.
Where did the idea and inspiration for the song 5th Element come from?
Tribal Tul, a psychedelic musician from Israel, and I wanted make music together. We sat down at his studio and I suggested to him that I wanted to make Trance and Ambient mixture sound, because he is expert of trance music and I've came from ambient music.
Then he asked me if I want to make a symphonic tune. The words "symphonic" attracted me a lot. I played some chords, then he built a symphonic melody in a really amazing way. We created most of track in 2 days. On the 3rd day we both felt it should have an opera voice in it, so I sang on the track.
In the end we were both impressed with what came out from us. I still feel this track is very special, difficult to match for its general situation. When I listen to this track, I focus to listen.
Tell us about the song Skyrose.
This is my first music production, started at the end of 06 in Israel. At that time I was making 3 tracks at once. They were instrumental tracks. When I was finishing that album at Ibiza in 08, I put abstract vocals to this track. Eva from Ibizarre Rec listened to my first compiled album demo and suggested I include more Japanese songs. She does DJ, distribution and marketing and she has an accurate opinion for music.
As I was working on this song I was seeing almond blossoms from my window. Almond blossoms look like Japanese cherry blossoms for 3 to 4 weeks in Ibiza in February. That gave me the inspiration of sakura (cherry blossom) and samurai spirit: to perish like a flower which live gracefully and beautifully.
After a while, I was asked to donate one track for a charity compilation CD for an important person in the Japanese trance scene, to help to treat cancer. I offered this track and other ones and they put in this track. Ironically, he passed away soon after. So, the track turned out to be for him who lived like a flower.
Can you tell us more about trance and chill out music? How did you become involved with them and what do they mean to you?
I had been in the club scene since the mid 80s, through the beginning of house music, till I met the trance and ambient scene in 97. At that time, the house music scene was cool, cutting edge and I was very much into this scene as a dancer. I was dancing all night 3 to 4 times (even more) a week. Dance itself showed me music's magical force. I could understand the DJ's (many musicians as well) personality effects through their DJ sets. And, I have to mention that I was the craziest party girl in the scene and had a peculiar lifestyle for many years.
In the mid 90s, I experienced house music and the club scene becoming popular, then it turning not so cool anymore. But, I didn't know where I should go, just I was clear on one thing: "I need a good and big dance floor". And my decision to "live with music" was made in 95.
When my party fellows asked me to come to trance parties, I didn't think that I wanted to go to a trance party outside, with camp and daylights or rain. I had not lived in the daytime with nature, I lived underground in the city and nighttime for many years. So, I couldn't imagine going to dance outside. Though, I had started to be healthy since 95, changing my lifestyle completely. Because, my decision was to "live with music."
Finally, my "divine music" brought me to the trance scene when I became a DJ unexpectedly in 97. I had collected dance music until then, and I slightly focused more on free style music and ambient music to play since I started to DJ. Soon after my party experience reached the legend trance party in Japan; "Rainbow 2000". I was happy and surprised to find chill out area there, and hoped to play there. And, I found many of my old friends and good dancers were already there. Also lots of new faces which came from several music scenes; Japanese old hippie, rock, reggae, hiphop, house, techno etc. It was colorful, the scene was exciting, and I felt that I am in the cutting edge scene again.
As I hoped, I was playing at big name trance parties since 98. The next year, 99, I produced at a club in Nishiazabu (place where the core of club scene was in 80s and 90s) Tokyo, and made it "Ambient club".
Luckily lots of artists gathered there and made something happen. I had started a band from this place, met many artists and musicians, also healers. I heard about eclipse parties for the first time there, though, I couldn't go, because running the club was still busy. And I heard about Burning Man and went to it -- it was far out. Completely changed my idea of living.
So, then my intention had changed to connect to the world. Little by little, my intention has become true and updated when I have experienced a great trance party. Trance and chill out scene is the place where its possible to find new and creative things for me. Not every trance party, just really some good big one. There are not many, and already had turned to popular scene since 2002.
Let's learn more about your background. Where you born and raised?
I was born in the Japanese castle town called Kanazawa City. They have lots of famous beautiful old Japanese crafts and artists. Life is abundant there, good foods, good size city, hot springs, close to the mountains and sea. I consider that I grew up in a luxury environment and was raised by strict parents.
What was it like growing up there?
I played around in temples, shrines, churches, parks etc. when I was a little girl. I started to live alone at the age 15 years old, apart from my parents. The reason was my school was just too far from my parent's house. I felt very free then. Before that I was pushed by my parents on how I should be.
Did you enjoy school? Did you have a favorite class?
I enjoyed being a student. I had no specific desire for my life at that time. My favorite classes were mathematics, physics and science.
Were you from a family with a musical background?
All my family listened to or loved music (who doesn't like music?). I think, my family has more specific tastes than other general Japanese families. My father listened to rock, sings French songs, dances the tango. I listened to classical music next to my mother who was a Japanese painting artist. My older brother listened to tons of rock music (it was 60s and 70s, you know, great rock era) and his collection was amazing. He introduced me to progressive rock and synthesizer music and he educated me about edge music.
When I look back to where I came from, my ambient music sense was from there. I thank those family members, especially my mother and older brother. My little brother was a heavy rock musician who succeeded in his scene. Now he is retired and has become a family man.
How did you first get into music?
When I was 3 years old I saw my older kindergarten mate going to piano lessons on my way back home from school. I asked my mother to have piano lessons when I got back home and soon I did. But, I didn't like to practice then and couldn't get out of the first step. But I read famous music scores and played by myself. When I went to high school some older school boys asked me to sing in their band. I joined a few more bands as a vocalist, chorus girl or keyboardist while I was a student between 15 to 22 years old. I started clubbing also at this time.
What were some of your biggest musical influences throughout your life?
Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon. I listened to this album for the first time when I was 10 years old from my older brother's collection. I was impressed so much, then asked my brother to copy this album (with cassette tape). I still have it (of course now I have vinyl and CDs, too) and it is still the greatest album for me.
I had the chance to listen to the whole album in 3D sound at a Roger Water concert in Israel. It was an outside concert and 60,000 people gathered. For sure, this was greatest concert experience in my life.
Other influences would be some DJs in the early 90s. They changed my life. I thought, before I became a DJ, that "a DJ has to be like a priest, and the coolest occupation in the world."
When and how did you decide you wanted to become a professional musician?
I made the decision to "live with music as a vocalist" in 95. I spent so many years in the club and dance music scene and I realized that music was the biggest thing for me. Also, music has a magical and great force, and music navigates me to great experiences.
And I considered what I can do for the music, and the answer was "sing a song." I wanted to listen to my own track on the dance floor.
What did your friends and family think of your decision?
My friends were thinking, this is the way for me. And regarding my family, they weren't really happy about this, although they are supporting me a lot now.
When you turned 20 did you attend any traditional Japanese ceremonies?
I did nothing for this. No meaning for me.
How did you first get into the DJing scene?
Naturally I had many DJ friends because I danced all the time at clubs. So, we hung out a lot afterwards. We went to record shops and I saw how they chose tunes. They showed me how to play. I listened to their DJ practice at their home and we talked about the music. They wanted to hear my opinion of their set.
But at that time I had no thought of becoming a DJ. We just had a fun time together. After awhile, DJ tools like turntables, mixers, speakers (old stuff from DJ friends) got collected by me by chance. Then I started to buy music like a DJ, once a week.
I remember, when I was clubbing I had a habit of compiling music on cassette tapes for chill out music after the club at home. It was the 80s, there was no i-tune, no convenient tools (haha) so it took me a longtime to do. I gave them to friends and some of my friends told me after I became a DJ that they loved that work. So, it seems I did something like DJing before...
So I was ready to be a DJ when an event happened where I had to play. I had started doing bookings for one club at the end of 96. After a few months one girl DJ didn't appear for her first regular party, which I booked, so I played in her place. That was January of 97 and the people loved my set. Then I was booked at another regular chill out party.
I now understand why I became a DJ before I took up singing. In DJing you learn music naturally.
What got you started singing in 1999?
When I was producing and running clubs, there were many opportunity to play with other DJs and musicians. One friend just asked me to be vocalist for their new band. And I did. Luckily, many opportunities have kept me singing since then.
What were some of your most life changing experiences from 2000 to 2007?
My mother passed away at the end of 2000. I spent solid and precious time with her during the last four months of her life. Also, the total eclipse at Zamia in 2001.
Those two experiences were both a big influence on me.
And that year, I was focused on going to Solipse, the Total Eclipse Festival in Zambia. I expected it would be the super coolest festival in this era with hardcore dancers gathering in the middle of Africa. Looking back, yes it was the coolest party in my life. Indeed, a great lineup showed up; trance superstars played besides underground atmosphere... or ambience. People had a great vibe and a good organization in Africa, which is a tough, poor place.
The first 3 days had no sounds. People just got to know each other. I was sitting by a fire, starting to speak with a guy who was sitting next to me. Unexpectedly, he turned out to be the stage manager and he gave me the chance to play at the chill out area. "You were taught by music, and music gave you so many things. Now, it's your turn to give back to music." That's what he said. How cool was that?
What's more... Total Eclipse. That was my first total eclipse experience. I was shooting video and looked at a screen till the moon covered the sun. When it was a total eclipse, I look up directly at the eclipse, which looks like a black shiny ball shooting outward at me!
I fell down. My video camera also fell down from my hand. The eclipse phenomenon was like a strong black moon shining in the sky.
The next eclipse I saw was in Australia. I had another special story... but anyway, I decided that I will chase eclipses as much I can after my second eclipse experience.
When and how did you pick your DJ name "Blackmoon?"
I made my DJ name from my real name "Hideyo" by changing the Japanese Kanji letters to mean "Sun comes out at night." The sounds are the same, but the written meaning has changed.
When I saw the eclipse a few months later, at Burning Man, people asked me what is my English DJ name? I answered "Blackmoon," inspired from the full moon at Burning Man. So, if you understand Japanese kanji characters, Hideyo Blackmoon means full moon, new moon and eclipse.
So, Hideyo Blackmoon was born at Black Rock Desert in 2001.
You've played at festivals around the world, from Zambia, Australia, Israel to the US. What keeps you on this journey?
Well... my mother's spirit brought me to those places. :) I keep her ashes with me, always. I put it in special places that I've visited, places that felt holy to me.
In 2003, I met a shaman woman in Tokyo. She gave me pieces of Herkimer diamond crystals. She said, "put these where you feel a sense of the sacred, then the crystal's energy will connect to each other and the earth. You already know how to do it and how it works." Yes... I was doing the same things with my mother's ashes. It got clearer what I was doing.
She also said "follow your heart and only do what you really want to do."
What are some other memorable places you've traveled and performed?
The Sahara Desert in Morocco for a special birthday in 05 with my own hired nomad guides and camels. The Boom festival in Portugal in 06 and 08. And the Mongolia eclipse in 08.
Tell us about the time you've spent in the US. What about the country did you find most surprising?
Great nature. Desert, mountains, the grand canyon, hot springs in nature etc. The big landscapes in the US are my favorite.
I went to Burning Man in 99. That desert is a very special place for me. I went to that black rock desert 5 times so far, just to enjoy the desert without Burning Man as well. Also, I've climbed the 3000 meter mountain in the US and completely fell in love with that holy atmosphere. Then my great wild nature quest started in 03.
Plus, I actually made a dance album in 2005 with multi-media artists, though it's a shame it has not been released yet because of contract trouble.
Not all of your travels have been harmonious. Can you tell us about your stay in Israel during its conflict with Lebanon?
When the war started, I immediately felt sick in my stomach. Upset and sadness -- negative energy flowing through me. I come from a peaceful country and had to think seriously what is war and love. There are real people who go to war in the army. There are people who escaped from the places that were attacked. Surprisingly, the people there seemed accustomed to it all.
I saw many opinions, comments and explanations in the internet world. I heard many conversations with people from Israel and friends who live in other countries. They had completely different opinions.
First, I had to stop judging. I realized society's negative energy built another war, like fighting on the internet or bashing etc. I asked "prayer" for my friend network. It was the only help what I could do. Prayer's force is proved by science. It is quantum energy. We can send positive energy to the world. We can make universal energy higher. It is love. Love energy is the strongest in the world. I got great feedback from friends and fellows. Many of my Japanese friends were also helpful. Normally Japanese people are indifference to what happens in far off countries.
I learned about the earnestness of love from this experience.
Soon after, I left Israel for a DJ gig at the Boom festival in Portugal. I heard that the neighborhood I had stayed in got bomb 3 days after I left.
What is Club & Party in Tokyo?
In the mid 80s to beginning of the 90s it was a great, cool, creative, dreamy, free, fun place. It's not so creative or interesting a place for me anymore... or I'm just old.
What is Dance Mediation?
Dance Mediation is an event, created by me and my friends. It is just like the title. We are tired of the party club dance scene. Nowadays, we can't find what we had before. We want to dance, really get into the dance with cool music and a DJ, but without all the disturbances. We don't want to socialize on the dance floor so much. We don't want a bad environment -- smoky dance floor, drunk guys, people screaming into mobile phones, etc...
There are workshops called trance dance, ecstatic dance, 5 rhythms etc in the world. We wanted to make an atmosphere that is both party and dance serious.
When we got the idea and looked for a venue, I met a Japanese priest and he supported us, let us rent space at his temple's hall. I have felt as if the universe guided us to do it. So, we got the perfect situation for Dance Meditation.
I think dance is a great technique for meditation. Meditation is a great technique for happiness. I had experienced such amazing state of mind when I was dancing at clubs during 90 to 94, and again at trance parties from 98 to 2001.
I wanted to re-create that kind of energy, so what did I need? Good dancers who really love dance and have an open mind, who dance together and build a strong energy together in one place.
I considered a few things that would make the dance floor turn into a social floor. That's why I made rules for my party or gathering: no chatting, no alcohol, no smoking, get there on time... We start dancing together, finish together... on a reservation system.
Those rules helped the event to succeed. Only understanding people were at this event.
Our team has a shaman girl. She did the opening ceremony and the priest did the closing ceremony with sutra and some other musical instrumentals. It is a great progressive ambient. :) The ceremony makes the event have a sense of the sacred and helps everyone connect to each other. This idea is from my trance party experiences.
Can you tell us a little about Ibizarre Records?
Ibizarre is the ambient label in Ibiza owned by Lenny Ibizarre who succeeded in the ambient scene. It was started in 97. It did a famous remix of the Doors' song Riders on Stream.
I met Ibizarre's owner Lenny Ibizarre at the solstice music festival, one of the biggest Japanese trance festival in 2002. One month later, we met again at a festival in Greece. That time, I met Eva from Ibizarre and she invited me to come to Ibiza. So I visited. They are really helpful to me all the time.
Can you give us a little insight into the romantic life of Hideyo Blackmoon? What is your idea of a romantic date?
Traveling to the wild nature for a while, and then back to luxury paradise. Watching the sunrise, full moon and stars from romantic places etc. :)
What type of traits do you look for in someone you date?
He is beautiful, both inside and outside, and he completely knows who he is and lives who he is.
Any thoughts on marriage in the future?
I don't really think about this, now. I thought many years before as a woman, and thoughts of the future brought me confusion in the end. So I stopped thinking those things. Anyway, I am happy and enjoying my life, whether life brings me a married life or not.
Do you have a personal motto or favorite slogan?
Hmmm... maybe from my mother... "Be beautiful from the inside."
What are your plans for the rest of 2009?
To see eclipses, produce music, and do body and spiritual work as usual.
Do you have a final message to all your fans?
Thank you for reading and may the universe bring to you an abundance of happiness, joy, good health, clearness, lights and love.
For more info checkout Hideyo Blackmoon's official site and MySpace page. Leave your comments about this interview and read what others had to say at the following link: Interview Comments