vocalist + improviser

ayako kanda

Who is she?

Ayako Kanda is an improviser and performance artist whose medium is her voice.

Improvised music at the Firehouse Brooklyn #1

Improvised music at the Firehouse Brooklyn #3

Improvised music at the Firehouse Brooklyn #2

Ayako Kanda NYC ABC No-Rio #4

About

Currently based in Tokyo, Ayako's work moves between total improvisation and standard jazz, quick sketches and impressionist painting, creating rules and then breaking them as she roams freely between linguistic and alinguistic facets of expression.

Short Bio

  • Low as an echo in a tunnel, then light as a child's conversation; chasing the band one moment, and ringing out wild and alone the next: Ayako's vocal performances encompass a kaleidoscopic range of expression.

  • Steeped in music from childhood, Ayako went from piano and solfege lessons in a junior conservatory-track program to performing in everything from choral societies to the euphonium section of her local youth brass band. In junior high school she joined the drama club, where she was active both behind the scenes as a scriptwriter and on stage in award-winning lead performances. By high school she was regularly performing with college clubs and troupes, and it was here that she discovered the possibility of live, on-stage improvisation.

  • Confounding the expectations of friends and family, after graduation Ayako went to art school instead of attending a conservatory. Studying oil painting and holding solo and group exhibitions by day, by night she explored the standard jazz repertoire as a vocalist in local clubs. As part of her college's jazz circle, she led an nouvelle chanson group whose innovative act combined ten minutes of music with half an hour of solo dramatic performance.

  • After graduation, as her art slowly grew more impressionistic in nature, Ayako's musical interests came to encompass totally improvised performance, and this is the field she continues to explore. In recent years, she has combined vocal improvisation with spontaneous painting as a multimedia on-stage performance.

  • Just as she strives to retain the feel of sketching with pencil on paper in her art, whatever her actual materials and media may be, Ayako eschews processing, effectors, and even percussion or other self-accompaniment in her vocal performances, seeking instead to express all the sounds of nature with her voice as her only instrument.

the Band

Ayako Kanda, Jeff Platz, Blaise Siwula, Dmitry Ishenko

Ayako Kanda, vocal

Ayako Kanda

Vocalist

Currently based in Tokyo, Ayako's work moves between total improvisation and standard jazz, quick sketches and impressionist painting, creating rules and then breaking them as she roams freely between linguistic and alinguistic facets of expression.

Jeff Platz, guitar

Jeff Platz

Guitar

Jeff Platz is an electric guitarist and composer, who performs and records in the United States and in Europe working with a variety of ensembles of all sizes and shapes. His focus is improvised music and the on going challenge of musical self expression and artistic development.

Blaise Siwula, reeds

Blaise Siwula

Reeds

Blaise Siwula is a saxophonist, clarinetist and improvising musician in NYC since 1989. Besides working with amazing musicians in various groups and countries Blaise has been curating a free music series (C.O.M.A.) at ABC No-Rio on Sundays since 1998.

Dmitry Ishenko, bass

Dmitry Ishenko

Bass

Dmitry Ishenko has been a stalwart of the New York scene for over eight years, having toured and recorded with such artists as John Tchicai, Paul Banks (of Interpol), and has a wide resumé working with bands from across the spectrum of New York's music scene.

About the Band

In the Spring of 2014, in the trio Platz, Siwula, Ishenko were scheduled to perform as part of Blaise Siwula’s ongoing Sunday evening series, COMA, at ABC No-Rio in NYC. A few days prior Blaise was contacted by vocalist Ayako Kanda informing him that she would be visiting from Tokyo that same evening. The group invited Ayako to join the ensemble, a last minute but very satisfying decision for sure! The group, including drummer David Miller will record their first CD in early May in Brooklyn New York, to be released in the fall of 2015.

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Antigravity Vacation

Ayako Kanda is an improvising vocalist from Tokyo Japan. In the spring of 2015 she organized this New York City group of seasoned improvisers to join her for the recording of Anti gravity Vacation, recorded in Brooklyn New York.

Antigravity Vacation

  • Antigravity Vacation by Ayako Kanda
  • New improvised music form Tokyo and New York City combining vocals, saxophones, drums and percussion, acoustic bass, electric guitar and electronics.
  • label: Glitch Records
  • Released in 2016
  • Featuring: Jeff Platz, Blaise Siwula, Dave Miller & Dmitry Ishenko
  • Listen and order at CD Baby






Track list

  • 1. Antigravity Vacation (feat. Jeff Platz, Blaise Siwula, Dave Miller & Dmitry Ishenko) - 9:21
  • 2. Beanbag Toss in an Attic Room - 1:45
  • 3. Limp Mirror - 4:38
  • 4. Too-Fast Carousel - 4:18
  • 5. Raindrops and Chopsticks - 4:53
  • 6. Melancholy Timbers - 6:12
  • 7. Cactus Flower Stew - 4:53
  • 8. Spiral Stone Museum - 4:43
  • 9. Honeycomb Weaver - 3:10
  • 10. Lazy Trapeze Organization - 9:03

live Events

touring information and sample tracks.

Ayako's Gallery

photos by Jun Itoi (top row)

Contact Ayako

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