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"Keikan Suru Junkan Cafe" report

An exclusive event for Green Nerve fan club members
"Keikan Suru Junkan Cafe" report on the afternoon slot of November 16 show
held on: Wednesday, November 16, 2016, 2:00pm-4:00pm
at: Star Pine's Cafe in Kichijoji, Tokyo
Susumu Hirasawa's "Keikan Suru Junkan Cafe" shows were held 8 times: October 31, November 1, 16, 17, each day having two shows: afternoon slot and evening slot.

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November 16, 2016, 2:00pm-4:00pm
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Note: This report was not taped(because recording the show was not allowed), but typed from the notes the writer took. It may contain some mistakes or slightly different words from what was actually said. 
"Keikan Susu Junkan Cafe": Viewing the Circulation Cafe: [Keikan(景観): landscape, Suru: a suffix to make a verb, Junkan(循環):circulation]
The Background music played before the show:Amanda Palmer and Jherek Bischoff Deliver Stunning String Tribute to David Bowie.
Star Pine's cafe is a live house with the capacity for 150 people, when all sitting down. During "Keikan Suru Junkan Cafe" shows, there were about 130 seats on the first floor, and about 20 on the balcony. 

<Introduction and Hirasawa appears>
Ms.Mika Hirano, the emcee of the show, a Chaos Union staff, appears.
Mika Hirano: "Thank you for coming to our show despite that it is a weekday afternoon. Thank you so much.
Now, I'll explain today's schedule. First, there is a talk show by Susumu Hirasawa for about 45 minutes. Then, after 15-minute intermission, there is a live performance by Hirasawa for 60 minutes. At the end, he presents every attendee a present.
Now, let's meet Susumu Hirasawa!"
The audience gives a big applause. There were screaming and the voices calling, "Hirasawa!" from here and there. (I, the writer, also screamed.)
Susumu Hirasawa appears and takes a seat at a small round table in the center slightly in stage right. Mika, the emcee, takes a seat at another small table in the stage right.
Susumu Hirasawa: "Good evening." [He should've said, "Good afternoon"]
Audience: (Laughing,) "Good evening!"
Susumu: "Thank you for coming to my show despite that it's a weekday afternoon...Who took a day-off from work today?"
Audience: (Most of the audience raised their hands.)
Susumu: "Sorry about it."
Audience: (Laugh)

Susumu: "What the audience look like today is..."
Mika: "There are a lot of quite old fans."
Susumu: "Quite old?"
Audience: (Laugh)
Mika: "There are the fan club members with quite young[small] numbers."
Susumu: "At the first show, the audience looked different. What the audience look like is different every time. So I was wondering, how about today?"  

Mika: "There was a previous fan club called 'Hirasawa By-pass'.  Later, 'Green Nerve' fan club succeeded the old members when it was established. We have someone with number 11 today."
Audience: "Ooooh!"
Mika: "And we have more than half members with the numbers between 11 to 19 today."
Audience: "Ooooh!"
Susumu: "Thank you. Though I haven't said 'Thank you' to the audience face to face these few years."
Audience: (Laugh)


<Talk time: Q and A: 45 minutes>
Some questions submitted beforehand were asked. Also, a few questions were asked by the attendees at the show. 

≪The dog called Dorothy≫
Mika: "Now, let's start the Questions and Answers. (The first question is:)
’Please tell us your story about Dorothy, the dog. I understand you were given the dog by a therapy organization. How did you get her?’ "
Susumu: "The name Dorothy was not named by me, because I wouldn't choose such a name. This person said, Therapy organization, but it was a medical facility to treat a lot of patients with psychotherapeutic methods, which was established by a doctor who practices counseling. The facility was deep in the mountain of Gunma Prefecture. They were doing animal therapy there, and they bought a lot of animals like horses, dogs, cats, and so on. However, they couldn't manage to stay in business, and they started to give away the animals. That's how I got the dog, a flat-coated retriever. It was a rare breed of dog. When I was walking her, people would ask me, "What kind of dog is that?" Dog lovers seemed to know how rare my dog was, and I was often talked to by those people walking on the street. So I would say to the dog, "Dorothy, walk faster!"
Audience: (Laugh)
Susumu: "Would that be enough?"
≪Health management and dietary approaches≫
Mika: "Yes. We have a lot of questions today. The next question is 'Tell me the best health management method you have ever tried.' "
Susumu: "(Giggles) I couldn't help laughing.
The best method is eating well. I have been a vegetarian since childhood. But I got rid of a lot of symptoms after I started to be careful about eating the right food in the right amount. First of all, I got rid of panic disorder. And I don't catch cold now. Even if I do, I recover from it quickly. Stomatitis. Jaw arthritis doesn't recur. I don't eat meat in the first place, so I don't even have to force myself to eat like this. The main foods are brown rice and vegetables. And the amount I eat is small. If you want to do some exercise, you have to make the time to do it. But you need to eat every day, so it's easier to practice it."
Mika: " Here is a related question to it. 'Have you experienced any changes spiritually or in the way you use your brain since you have changed your diet to something like Macrobiotic?' " (This question had been submitted by me, the writer of this blog, BTW.)
Susumu: "I don't exactly practice Macrobiotic diet. But since I started to eat in the way close to Macrobiotic, I think I have a good mental balance, though it's natural to be well-balanced in mind when you become a grown-up and get as old as me normally..."
Mika: "That remands me, we also have a question, 'When do we become grown-ups?' "
Susumu: "I've become well balanced. I can't exactly tell it's because of my eating style or because of other reasons. But I can tell clearly that I keep my head in a pinch before the deadline. It's not that I've become a shameless person. Now I know that I can manage to meet the deadline. I have a feeling of security. I can trust myself. I have an unwavering spirit most of the time."
≪The favorite spot in the house≫
Mika: "So the question 'When do we become grown-ups?' was skipped, I guess?
Next question. 'Where is your favorite spot in your house?' "
Susumu: "Everywhere is a good spot. Every spot is wonderful. It should be no surprise because I built it as I like. I feel comfortable anywhere in my house. The place I stay the longest is Ao no Ma (The Blue Studio). Besides that, I have the most comfortable spot, but I try not to go there because the cat gets on my body when I go there."
Audience: (Laugh)
≪Things to take to a deserted island≫
Mika: " 'Pick three items you would take to a deserted island.' "
Susumu: "Answering seriously, first, a knife, and seeds of something, and a watch. It's a tough question. I'm sorry. How about I answer it later in the newsletter and... I'm bad at simple questions."
Mika: "You've answered three items. Are you not satisfied with your answers?"
Susumu: "Yes, that's okay."
≪ How to be severe to oneself and to be gentle to others≫
Mika: "The next question says, 'Hello, Mr. Hirasawa, I admire that you always appear stoic and you concentrate on your work without making a fuss. I want to be severe to myself and to be gentle to others like you. How can I do that?' "
Susumu: "If you think I am severe to myself and gentle to others, that's a wrong idea."
Audience: (Laugh)
Susumu: "Only If you can be gentle to yourself, you can be gentle to others, too. (Murmuring something, reading the question sheet.)...
When I make a mistake on the stage, I turn around quickly and look at my staff (to make it look like someone else made a mistake)."
Audience: (Laugh)
Susumu: "You should be able to do such things easily. Not that I am a selfish person. I love myself. I am gentle to myself. Then, I can be gentle to other people, too."
≪How to improve concentration≫
An attendee: "I have a concentration problem. How can I improve my attention span and keep my concentration on my job?'"
Susumu: "You probably don't like that job, right? If I say this, it can be challenging in practice, but you can concentrate on the thing you like. You can keep your attention because you like that job. If you choose to do it, everything follows. Everything will be put into place. You may have a confusing period, though. Choosing the job you love, you will become valuable to others naturally. However, if you are under 20, I can say, 'Quit that job.', but if you are older, it may be difficult to change your jobs.
I used to be asked to make music for TV commercials in the past, which I didn't like, I hate. But I continued doing it, and eventually I found some areas only I could come up with in those jobs. So if you can focus on something like that in your job...Well, this meeting has started to sound like a shady one... "
Audience: (Laugh)
≪The song that took the longest time to compose≫
An attendee: "You said you feel secure even when you haven't finished composing a song before the deadline, but what is the song you took the longest time? Which song you focused on its quality the most?"
Susumu: " 'The Secret of Flowers of...Phenomenon', was it? Right?" (He wasn't sure about the song title.)
Audience: (Laugh)
Susumu: "Some people say the song has less notes than others and it was composed cutting corners, but I spend the longest time on it of all the songs I made. Mr. Chinzei says, 'It's more difficult to compose a song with less notes.' "
≪The guitar solo arrangement≫
Mika: " 'How do you decide the guitar solo arrangement? Do you come up with the guitar solo parts on the spot? Or do you decide to use a certain phrase for the day or the show?' "
Susumu: "It depends. I want to play the guitar in a live show just like I played on the CD, but I get bored with it after playing the same phrase again and again. I think, 'This phrase again.' So I sometimes play differently intentionally. In the old times, rock musicians were said to be 'genius because they play a different phrase every time' or 'genius because they play exactly like the record every time'. But I want to get over with playing it quickly. When I am recording a song, I get bored after rehearsing many times and I would play differently."
≪The effects on vocals≫
Mika: " 'A lot of songs of yours have effects applied on the vocals. Do the roadies adjust the effects in a live show?' "
Susumu: "The mixing engineers make adjustments on the effects on the vocals. It's done manually in a live show, but sometimes the vocal part with the effect applied is programmed beforehand...it depends."
≪The lighting on stage≫
Mika: " 'Concerning the lighting on your stage. Do you request the lighting technician a certain way of lighting for a certain part of your stage?' "
Susumu: "Yes, I do. When I do a live show, I give my staff the storyboards to show the lighting patterns that explain it visually, because it's hard to explain it verbally. It shows something like, 'Apply this kind of lighting when you have the CG animation', and so on.
The present lighting technician is the third one I've worked with. He is called Oue-san. I sometimes pretend to give him a bad time, giving him orders to have a fast-moving lighting. One time I had a development code called ’The Oue Measures’ and when I succeeded to make him have a hard time with it, I said, ’ I defeated Oue.’ The song with most fast-moving lighting was 'The Immortal Man'.
Speaking of live shows, 'Tokyo Ijigen Kudou' show had the most frequent lighting instructions. I said something like, 'Make it look divine, lighting me from behind'. And that divine looking man, I, clear up the stage, too...
Normally, lighting would be done by a regisseur or you would leave the job up to the lighting technician, I guess."
Mika: "Mr. Hirasawa, you have directions in delail like, lighting number 1, 2, 3, 4, 5...and so on..."
Susumu: "When I was in Mandrake, I did my own lighting, controlling it by pedaling.
I do give lighting directions to the technicians, but I don't force them to do as I demand, and I take their suggestions, too.
The lighting of an interactive show is the most challenging. Once, we projected a patterned lighting over the caption on the screen by mistake. They say, 'It's hard to choose the lighting when we have Hirasawa and the computer graphic at the same time.' "
≪About cats≫
An Attendee: "Don't you enjoy having a cat on your body?"
Susumu: "It's difficult for me to work when my blood vessels are pressured by a cat. It sits on my face when I am in bed. I don't hate it when it stares at me for a long time."
≪Getting along with people≫
An attendee: "Please tell me your secret to get along with people."
Susumu: "To be good to each other all the time. It's not a forced friendliness. I didn't want to tell you this, but I always hear a lot of laughing among my staff through the rehearsals before the show. We swear at one another, but everybody is happy about it. We have that kind of relationships. In the recording, Mr. Chinzei and I abuse each other verbally.
I can't stand a rank relationship. I was the first one to arrive at this show this morning, and I mopped the floor and washed all the surfaces. When Mr. Chinzei and I are together, we always make jokes about each other. The other day at a restaurant, Mr. Chinzei said, 'Tusa nalad'(speech error of 'Tuna salad'). He always says something like that."
Audience: (Laugh)
Mika: "You said it actually, Mr. Hirasawa. Don't make up the story."
Audience: (Laugh)
≪A funny incident≫
Mika: " 'We heard some funny stories in [Sato-Ken's Real Hirasawa's Assistant's Journal]' and a story that you scattered Jintan breath mints in a hotel, and so on, in your twittering. Tell be about the funniest incident you have ever had.' "
Susumu: "I've told you about most of the funny stories, so I have little left.
But I had an incident called 'Power generator incident'. When we were in Ayutthaya in Thailand having a fan event, the sun was going down and we asked the local staff to rent a power generator. But it took forever for them to bring one. When you say a power generator, you probably think of a small one that a street vendor normally has. After we waited, the power generator arrived at last. However, what we saw was a military power generator vehicle."
Mika: "In the size of a bus."
Susumu: "I thought, 'I'm happy we have power at least.' But they couldn't generate electricity with that power generator. We ended up having no power. It is very Thailand-like that when you ask for a power generator, you get a huge military vehicle."
Quantum theory
Mika: " 'Mr. Hirasawa, you often talk about quantum theory and quantum mechanics. I think the event [The Machination in Psi-ga-Hara Field] and the song [Brain-centric Theory] have something to do with quantum theory. Do you focus on uncertainty principle and other philosophical perspectives when you create your music?' "
Susumu: "Quantum Theory has an element that musicians and artists can relate to. In quantum theory, you can quantify something that has been thought to be 'a mere delusion by an artist'. In quantum theory, subjective view is not something questionable.
On the contrary, subjective view is the key. That's why I can relate to it.
I used to admire the 'musicians' musicians', the musicians who are loved by other musicians, such as Kate Bush, King Crimson, and so on. But I don't have anyone whom I admire after the 80s. After that, I am more attracted to quantum theory than other musicians' music as my inspiration. I can have an access to it as a mutual fact. I always have that kind of world view. "
About fortune telling
Mika: "Mr. Hirasawa, you are like a sage. What is your thought on astrology and fortune-telling?' "
Susumu: "I'm interested in Jung, Yi Ching, and the approach to chance factors. I'm thinking about studying the Theory of Five Elements. But I'm not interested in the people who immerse themselves in fortune telling, especially the lady who is stating her opinion which is not necessary... and the culture around them.
About dreams
Mika: " 'I heard some of your works like Scuba Recycle were created, inspired by your dreams. Do you get inspiration from your dreams still now?' "
Susumu: "In those days, I often dreamed the dreams with very strong impressions. Before I suffered from panic syndrome, I was receiving counseling treatment and I was keeping a dream diary. Recently, I don't dream any more so I can't keep a dream diary. I have become well balanced."
<Explanation about the live performance>
Susumu: "Now I'm going to explain about today's live. There are three songs, each of them lasts for more than ten minutes, including the time I think of it and the time I regret what I made. You might get bored. If you get bored, it's a failure.
The third song will be recorded with your voice. Please help me. I want falsetto voice, if possible. I think you will probably disappoint my hope, though.
<Intermission: 15 minutes>
Background music: (I don't know the name of the musician or the song title. It was like minimal music with a male talking voice, which sounded like "One, two, three, down, up, feel free..." Someone tell me if you know it, please.)
<Live performance: 60 minutes>
Mr. Hirasawa did live performance sitting on a chair in the stage left surrounded by the two mic stands, effects pedals, other equipment and machines. The music was completed on the stage, by recording the guitar and the vocals again and again over the pre-recorded sound which was played in a loop. He created the music with multi-track recording on the stage. It was an experimental live performance.
The three songs sounded differently from original at first because of different intro and arrangement, and it was a pleasant surprise for me to find out what song it was after listening to it for a while.
1: Rotation (Lotus-2)
2: Electric Light Bathing
3: Chevron
Before playing the third song, Chevron, Mr. Hirasawa instructed us, the audience, to sing a backing vocal to be used in the recording. The rehearsal went like this:
Susumu: "Fu-wooo, like this. OK? One, two."
Audience: "Fu-wooo."
Susumu: "One, two."
Audience: "Fu-wooo."
Susumu: "One, two."
Audience: "Fu-wooo."
Susumu: "One, two."
Audience: "Fu-wooo."
He sounded a lot like a school choir instructor. When our vocal was recorded, he gave us a cue with putting his arm around twice, and then pointing his hand upwards. It was clear that he was giving a sign of "One, two, go" silently. so it went like this:
Susumu: "One, two, go. (a silent sign)"
Audience: "Fu-wooo."
Susumu: "One, two, go. (a silent sign)"
Audience: "Fu-wooo."
Susumu: "One, two, go. (a silent sign)"
Audience: "Fu-wooo."
Susumu: "One, two, go. (a silent sign)"
Audience: "Fu-wooo."
He said he wanted us to sing in Falsetto, but it was in the mezzo-soprano voice range, so it was kind of hard for most of the women there (and about 70 to 80 percent of the audience was female), and we ended up singing in chest voice. But I have a wonderful time, singing with the instruction by Mr. Hirasawa! I'm sure all the people had a lot of fun singing with him. 
After recording our voice, he played what was recorded. The recording went like this:
"Chatter-chatter."
"Fu-wooo."
  1. "Chatter-chatter."
    "Fu-wooo."
Some people were chattering, not singing, and the chattering and the vocal were recorded alternately.
Mr. Hirasawa said, "This is your fault. I'll use this recording as it is." 
He continued recording the guitar parts, his backing vocals, and his main vocals over our backing vocals, and the completed Chevron was very powerful. (The microphone made a howling noise and Mr. Chinzei came up and adjusted something along the way.)
<The present giving time>
Susumu: "I'm sure you've heard about it on the internet, but I'm going to show off my original guitar picks. One has the design of Teslakite's "Anti-bar-code" with S.Hirasawa, and the other one has my signature converted into digital data and printed on it.
Each of them has a little hole, and you can pass any kind of thread through it and use it as you like. Someone silly asked me, 'Can you really use it as a guitar pick?'. Yes, you can. You can play the guitar with it." 
Then, "the pick throwing device", made with four (about) one-meter long rain gutter pipes, was installed on the stage right. The audience laughed and get amused to see it. We were saying, "Oh my goodness! That's what it is?" "Ha ha ha ha." and so on.

Mika said, "Ladies and gentlemen, please put your coat on, get your bag and be ready to leave. Starting from the front row, Four people can receive the presents at the same time and leave. Please line up and wait for your turn."

Susumu put a pair of picks to each pipe, and the attendees received them on the other ends of the pipe.  Everybody said, "Thank you" "Thank you very much." and so on to Mr. Hirasawa, and he answered, "Hai(OK/You're welcome)" to each attendee. So every attendee had a chance to see Mr. Hirasawa up close and say something to him. It was a very nice opportunity.
I hear some attendees said, "I love you, Mr. Hirasawa." and he answered, "I know." Other attendees said, "Please have a long life." and he answered, "You, too." 
The Background music after the show:  Brian Eno / Taking Tiger Mountain (by Strategy)
I think the song "Back in Judy's Jungle" in this album was played first.
(I personally love Brian Eno, and I was so happy to be able to receive a present from Mr. Hirasawa and thank him, with my favorite background music.)
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Note: This report might include mistakes. I will be happy if anybody can point out any errors.
2016/11/19
(Translated into English on November 24. 2016)

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