I think…  it was the combination of many experiences that shaped the way I approach music today.

I became captivated by the sound as I spent my days going through trial and error.

OYAIDE : Can you tell us how and when you started playing music?

Photo by Joji Wakita


KYOKA:When I was about 3 years old, my parents took me to the ballet. I was very impressed and intrigued by the phenomenon that the classical music playing at that time kept reverberating and echoing in the hall, even though the performance itself had ended. That is how I got hooked on sound, or rather, that was my original experience.

OY: Later, I started learning to play the piano. Rather than feeling the joy of playing music on the piano, I was fascinated by the interesting “sound” that reverberates when you press the keys.

KYOKA: Besides that, one day I took apart a tape recorder I had acquired, and I was intrigued by the mechanism of what was going on inside. From there, I became interested in the fun of recording, and tried using several tape recorders simultaneously to make multitrack recordings. I found that by doing so, I could create echo effects and reverberations. Even as a child, I became captivated by sound as I spent my days doing trial and error in this way.

OY:You are currently based in Berlin. And why did you decide to base yourself in Berlin? 

Photo by machina

KYOKA: I moved to Berlin circa 2008. Before that, I was based in LA, USA. My friends in the U.S. started paying attention to the EU because of its “advanced philosophy on art,” so I decided to go there. So I went to Amsterdam first. Then I went to Berlin to visit the office of ONPA, the label that would release my first album. It was a beautiful sunny day in Berlin, with a clear blue sky. At that time, I suddenly thought in my mind, “Let’s live in Berlin! Let’s live in Berlin! I thought, “I want to live in Berlin! That’s why I decided to move to Berlin because of the weather that day. But when I actually moved to Berlin, I found out later that the weather I had experienced that day was an atypical miracle.

Also, Tokyo used to have a lot of foreign artists visiting Japan, a lot of big events and great clubs, so it felt familiar to Berlin as well. There are always a lot of high quality parties going on close to home without having to go far away. I think it’s also attractive that you have the opportunity to be exposed to such music at any time. I was very drawn in by that aspect as well.

OY: You studied piano, flute, and shamisen as a child. Why did you choose your current style of experimental, electronic music to continue your musical career?
KYOKA: I studied business administration at university. My parents are also solid types, so they wanted me to keep music as a hobby and become a proper company employee. However, as for myself, I had always wanted to pursue a career in music since I was a child, and I had been thinking about how I could make that happen. Because of this, I spent about a year wandering abroad during my last year of college. The many experiences I gained there led me to express myself through experimental and electronic music.

Photo by machina

OY:You did a backpacking trip alone with a small synth in your hand, but what kind of trip did you actually do? What was your actual trip like, and how did it affect your music?
KYOKA: In traveling to many different places, I encountered many different kinds of music and people. In those travels I had many interactions with experimental music, so to speak, where we made and played music together in a non-scheduled, improvisational, and intuitive way.

When I was in Spain, I also attended a language school. I went to clubs with friends I met there, played and made improvised music, and was stimulated a lot. While spending time traveling in this way, I developed my ability to synchronize and anticipate the flow of sound. Originally, I was more interested in experimenting with reverberating sounds and equipment than in classical music or band sounds, which are more finished, and I think it was this combination of many experiences that shaped the way I approach music today.

OY:Kyoka, what kind of artists are you currently in contact with? Are there any musicians in particular that you are in close contact with?
KYOKA: Before Corona, I was the type of person who was constantly on the road, touring constantly, so I thought that seeing even my best friends just once a year was frequent enough. But I see Hito quite often in Berlin since She lives right next door.

photo © Alberti Novelli

 Among the artists I have met, Ryuichi Sakamoto, Carsten Nicolai, Byetone, Frank Bretschneier, Robert Lippok, Grischa Lichtenberger, Dasha Rush, etc., the artists at Raster Noton are like family. Eomac, who works with Lena Andersson, Headless Horseman, and visual artist Weirdcore have been together for almost 10 years now, and it’s amazing how fast time flies.

I am also friends with Nina Kraviz, Ellen Allien, and DJ SODEYAMA among Techno artists.

When I went back to Japan, I met Ami Kusakari, bass player of Sakanaction, Lena of Galcid, Sakura Tsuruta, Lisa Taniguchi, Licaxx, Ellie Rose, and many others.

I am also friends with machina, who appeared in an interview with Oyaide.

OY: You are working with Visual Artist Fujimoto-san on a project called ‘AV Set’.
KYOKA: It is a project with a visual artist, Shohei Fujimoto, and we have presented it in Japan at MUTEK and other events.

For the first remote live performance we did in Korea, Oyaide-san made the cables for us, and as a result, supported us in the experimentation and consideration part of the project as well. Thank you very much for your help on that occasion.