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Report From Pre-release Event For Joseph Nothing’s Shambhala Number 2 & 3

Pre-release Event For Joseph Nothing’s Shambhala Number 2 & 3

On Monday February 1, with the heavy snow hitting central Tokyo, a pre-release event for Joseph Nothing’s latest album took place at UPLINK Gallery, Shibuya.

Attendees to the event listened to the newly released CD, as well as a talk session featuring Joseph, later joined by Aya Takano.

A snapshot taken just before the event began. (from left) Aya Takano, Hiroishi-san – Director of the record label Third-Ear/UMAA, drummer Yoshikawa-san, and Joseph.
They were fueled by beer and ready for the big party!

19:30 – Door Open
They also had the album available for sale in advance of its official release.

Midori Matsui, an art critic and one of Takano’s long time supporters was there, too.

20:30 – Event Kicked Off!
For starters, they played the PV on a large screen.
It was a 30-minute abridged version compiled from the selected album tracks whose visual had been edited by Takano for this particular event.

Mysterious images of UFOs, supernatural phenomenon, mollusca, flowers blooming, and several occultic scenes appeared on screen one after another unveiling her unique concept of Shambhala world.
It even contained an original stop motion sequence recorded and edited by the artist herself!

Talk Session
And the program moved on to the talk session featuring Joseph.
One of the UPLINK crew played the role of the interviewer.

- Is there any specific reason why you split the album into two separate CDs?

Joseph(“J”): While Shambhala Number Two is simply a sequel to the Number One, the Number Three is a whole different challenge where I drew entirely on those field-recorded nature sounds. I had always been sympathetic to decayed objects since childhood, and I thought it would be wonderful if I could collaborate with the nature, or so-called “ghosts” through my creations. I also just wanted to break my own rules.
It took me whole three years just to collect the sounds - like noise you hear around abandoned properties or sound of rolling stones. The repeated rhythm of the rolling sound of the stones intrigued me a lot and it is something that cannot be created with synthesizer.
Actually, I already had had the Number Two finished by 2004, but I wanted to wait for the Number Three to be completed.
Since the Number Three turned out to be pretty experimental, I did not think it was a good idea to release it as a stand-alone volume, and decided to combine it with the Number Two.

Joseph, enthusiastically explaining about “Shambhala” - a Tibetan Buddism term for “Xanadu”.

Then Takano joined in and continued the talk.
On screen was the Delta UFO, Takano’s design source for the cover jacket.

They also demonstrated how the DELTA Jacket works.

The discussion went on and it covered everything including Utsuro Bune (which is believed by some to be a Japanese Edo period UFO evidence), the Roswell incident, enigmatic project carried out by CERN (The European Organization for Nuclear Research)… some of which also became track titles. (The image shown above is a depiction of “Utsuro Bune”)

- Do you guys have anything in common other than the fact that you are both into the supernatural phenomenon?

J: We have a lot of things in common - we share our interests and we have very similar perspectives on the world…

Takano(“T”): Exactly. We would never be fascinated by those merely pretty flower paintings – that is, we both believe that the world consists of two contradicting aspects – it can be extremely cruel or disgusting, but at the same time, there is something really beautiful, magnificent and sublime to it. We also believe that neither of these aspects should be ruled out – in other words, Joseph and I are eager to discover every secret of the world.

J: Right.

T: We are not interested in those deliberately adjusted or filtered expression of beauty and rather, curious about more chaotic, dangerous, comprehensive view on the world.

J: I should say, there must be always something hidden behind all those apparent beauty – I am inclined to tarnish those seemingly flawless objects, or grasp the whole vision including the dark aspects inherent to everything we see around us. Personally, I have been into the “conspiratology” lately, so you know, things like that (laugh).

- What kind of collaborations will we see in the future?

J: Well, I leave the whole visual aspects to Aya. As for the sounds, I very much enjoy my collaboration with the drummer/ bassist Yoshikawa-san. We already have enough tracks to make two entire albums.

T: I am interested in more opportunities to play as a VJ, and I would also love to have Joseph at my overseas exhibition or events for his live performances.

And there was a screening of the special sequence dedicated for one of the tracks accompanied bits behind-the- scenes story. The shooting took place in a scary, abandoned property…so dangerous!

Takano took a stop motion approach there. The image source was … Joseph’s hair!!

The weird effect generated by the stop motion approach further emphasized her unique view on the world.

!! ...The plot was totally beyond our imagination.

And it burnt at the end….

22:00 End of Event
A commemorative photo of Takano, Joseph and Yoshikawa.

Although the day was severely cold with heavy snowfall, it turned out to be quite a “hot” evening for everyone who attended the event.
Joseph Nothing’s latest album Shambhala Number Two & Three was just released on February 3, 2010.
You should check out its DELTA Jacket – a unique feature the world has never seen!
And since the release will be an extremely limited number of 2010 copies, grab it while you can!!

Also, please visit Takano's VOGUE.com blog (in Japanese language only) for the story on her side.