Jo Ha Kyū

from silence to chaos.  from collapse to creation.
an extraordinary power passes between two states of being.
the essence of the story is the quest for a musical universe by a wizard cellist.

Among the many fascinating aspects of Japan, it is the very vitality of its culture that stands out.
Whereas everywhere in the world, traditions fade before cultural globalization, Japan’s ancestral colours overshadow modernity in a unique way.That peculiar intensity is to be found at every level of Japanese avant-garde music, which uses that unmistakably rough sonority deeply engraved into this country’s most traditional form of musical writing. When listening to avant-garde music pieces, one easily detects to what extent they belong to traditional Japanese music, how it has lived on under that form.

For three weeks, ten musicians from diverse backgrounds  (musicians, singers-both traditional and modern)  met in a studio in Tokyo and recorded a piece revolving around a system born in Japan in the 8th Century. The “Jo Ha Kyù” is made of three movements : “Jo” is an introduction or a penetration, “Ha” is a tear and “Kyù” stands as an endless acceleration. It may be because it is cross-disciplinarity and universal that we found this music to be topical. It has been used in areas as varied as composition, dance, drama, literature or even floral arrangement and tea ceremony. The “Jo Ha Kyù” can be a reading of the world, it may punctuate a conversation or define a relationship. It can be read by observing a piece of music as a whole, by studying each part separately, by focusing on one musical phrase as well as on any single note journeying through that phrase.

Great improvisers, gifted with a flawless mastery of their music and highly trained at reading the weft of “Jo Ha Kyù”, musicians have transcribed a wide variety of sounds, exploring a musical universe rooted in the depths of Japanese tradition which supports and keeps new music alive.

Text by Gaspar Claus

Masterfully directed by cellist Gaspar Claus, this collaboration with 10 distinguished Japanese artists represents the frontline of the Japanese music scene
gathered together to bring this miraculous collection to the world.
The cover art features a previously unpublished, fiercely devoted piece by legendary Japanese SF manga artist Daijiro Moroboshi, directly inspired from Jo Ha Kyū.


Gaspar Claus – cello

Eiko Ishibashi – voice,piano,drums

Kakushin Nishihara – voice,satsuma biwa

Kazuki Tomokawa – voice,guitar

Kazutoki Umezu – soprano saxophone

Keiji Haino – voice

Hiromichi Sakamoto – cello,electronics

Leonard Eto – taiko

Ryuichi Sakamoto – prepared piano

Sachiko M – sine waves

Yoshihide Otomo – turntables


Daijiro Morohoshi


Uzan Rikitake


Mixed by Krikor Kouchian

Mastered by Benjamin Joubert


Produced by Naohito Koike & Gaspar Claus






Jo Ha Kyù Release Party at SuperDeluxe (Tokyo)
23rd February 2013

Gaspar Claus (cello), Eiko Ishibashi (voice,piano)
Kazutoki Umezu (bass clarinet)
Kakushin Nishihara (voice,satsuma biwa)
SachikoM (sine waves), Jim O’Rourke (electric guitar)
Kazuki Tomokawa (voice,guitar)
Keiji Haino (voice,rudraveena,percussion)
Leonard Eto (taiko)




23rd February 2013 Live at SuperDeluxe Tokyo
Photo by Ryo Mitamura


The Making of Jo Ha Kyū Live Show, at SuperDeluxe Tokyo, 23rd February 2013

Images & Edit: Masaki Yanagida
Sounds: Kenichi Takigawa





Jo Ha Kyū (Vinyl)




Inner Sleeve (only Vinyl)

DL Code Card

DL Code Card

Artist Gaspar Claus
Price €22.00+Shipping Fee €15
Detail Two Panel Gatefold / 180 grm / Includes code for digital download
Tracks 1. Jo Ha Kyū (side A/B)

<digital DL>
1. Jo Ha Kyū
2. First Contact #1 with Sachiko M (bonus track)
3. First Contact #2 with Eiko Ishibashi (bonus track)
4. First Contact #3 with Haino Keiji(bonus track)


Jo Ha Kyū (CD)

Artist Gaspar Claus
Price €19.00+Shipping Fee €10
Detail Digi Package
Tracks 1. Jo Ha Kyū
2. First Contact #1 with SachikoM (bonus track)
3. First Contact #2 with Eiko Ishibashi (bonus track)
4. First Contact #3 with Haino Keiji (bonus track)







30th October 2013
Leonard Eto “Blendrums”
Musicians:Leonard Eto(taiko),Gaspar Claus(cello),Kaori Ito (dance)
Venue:Maison de la culture du Japon à Paris /Small Hall (ground floor)
>> More info

10th October 2013
Gaspar Claus x Merzbow x Tatsuya Yoshida (Ruins)
Guest:Kakushin Nishihara
Venue: SuperDeluxe(Tokyo)

30 April 2013
Jo Ha Kyu Live Recording Free Download for free

23rd February 2013
Jo Ha Kyu Release Party at SuperDeluxe (Tokyo)
Musicians:Gaspar Claus (cello), Eiko Ishibashi (voice,piano), Kazutoki Umezu (bass clarinet), Kakushin Nishihara (voice,satsuma biwa), SachikoM (sine waves), Jim O’Rourke (electric guitar), Kazuki Tomokawa (voice,guitar), Keiji Haino (voice,rudraveena,percussion), Leonard Eto (taiko)