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Susumu Hirasawa

Susumu Hirasawa is a Japanese experimental electronica artist. In 1972, he enrolled at Tokyo Designer Gakuin College. From 1972 to 1978, he performed in his first band Mandrake, a progressive rock group influenced by King Crimson and Yes. In 1979, he formed an experimental electronic-based band called P-Model, along with two former members of Mandrake. They released a string of albums through the 1980s, and in 1989, Hirasawa began releasing solo work, while also continuing to work with the reactivated P-Model beginning in 1992. The P-Model project continued until 1999; in 2004 Hirasawa sta ...read more

Susumu Hirasawa is a Japanese experimental electronica artist. In 1972, he enrolled at Tokyo Designer Gakuin College. From 1972 to 1978, he performed in his first band Mandrake, a progressive rock group influenced by King Crimson and Yes. In 1979, he formed an experimental electronic-based band called P-Model, along with two former members of Mandrake. They released a string of albums through the 1980s, and in 1989, Hirasawa began releasing solo work, while also continuing to work with the reactivated P-Model beginning in 1992. The P-Model project continued until 1999; in 2004 Hirasawa started a new unit known as Kaku P-Model, which is effectively a solo continuation of P-Model.

His subject matter can be equally unusual. A constant source of inspiration for his music has come from Thailand. In fact, the concept behind his 1995 album Sim City was drawn from his experiences travelling there, and more specifically, from Thai transsexuals. Guest Thai vocalists appear throughout that and proceeding albums, including 1996's Siren, which was also a concept album based on Thailand. As for his lyrical inspiration, Hirasawa references the philosophies of yin and yang, his travels and the principles of nature vs. machines.

Hirasawa occasionally stages interactive live performances. They merge computer graphics with his music to tell interactive stories, and involve heavy use of computers, particularly Amiga systems, motion capture cameras and video projectors. The flow of each live show is determined by audience participation; for example, Interactive Live Show 2000 was formatted as a maze, and the audience was allowed to choose which path to follow. Sometimes, audience participation plays a part in the performed music, as it did in Interactive Live Show 2000. He provided the phone numbers to four cellular phones during one song, and the audience was allowed to call the numbers to have him play the corresponding ringtone. This provided an improvised harmony between the background music and the ringing phones. « hide

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