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Hikage / Segel: GEN (Spool)

Camper Van Beethoven violinist Segel teams up with West coast koto player Shoko Hikage that intermingles Eastern and Western instruments in a pleasantly mystifying release.

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product information:

UPC: 778224165927

Label: Spool
Catalog ID: SPL122
Squidco Product Code: 12705

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2003
Country: Canada
Packaging: Jewel Tray
Recorded in September 2002 at the Magnetic Satellite in Oakland Ca. Mastered in March 2003 at the Headless Buddha Mastering Lab by Myles Boisen.


Shoko Hikage-koto

Jonathan Segel-violin

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Artist Biographies:

"Born in Marseilles, France, grew up in Davis, California (with a year's side trip to Tucson, AZ.), went to college at the University of California at Santa Cruz, studying with Gordon Mumma and Peter Elsea.

In Santa Cruz he hooked up with Camper Van Beethoven, apparently for life. He moved up to San Francisco in 1989, then to Los Angeles in 1997 to work for Dane Davis at Danetracks, a film sound post production facility, then back to Oakland in 2001, where received a Master's Degree in Music Composition at Mills College, studying with Fred Frith, Pauline Oliveros, Alvin Curran, and Joelle Leandre.

While in Santa Cruz in the 1980s, he played with Camper Van Beethoven, Eugene Chadbourne and various other semi-musical projects, while in San Francisco in the 1990s with Sideways, Virginia Dare, Granfaloon Bus, Dieselhed and his own band Hieronymus Firebrain, which dissolved and reformed as Jack & Jill, which later led to various records of rock music under his own name.

While in Los Angeles, besides playing and recording with Eugene Chadbourne, he played with Clyde Wrenn (as Clyde Wrenn and the Container), with Mike Marrt's Beaumont, occaisonal shows with Mark Goodman's group, Magnet, and spent a great deal of time touring the globe with Mark Linkous' group, Sparklehorse.

Returning to the Bay Area in 2001, Jonathan began playing rock shows with his own eponymous band, as well as a newly reformed and revitalized Camper Van Beethoven. He has made several guitar-centric rock music CDs since then and has performed this music in scattered California shows, including opening slots for such acts as Built To Spill (he has also sat in with Built To Spill and Yo La Tengo onstage as a violinist!) and occasionally plays solo acoustic shows still.

In 2004 Camper Van Beethoven recorded a new studio album, "New Roman Times", their first in 15 years, and a then put out a Greatest Hits package in 2009 ("Popular Songs of Great Enduring Strength and Beauty"), both followed by much touring in the United States and Europe, which continues to this day. A new CD of Camper Van Beethoven music arrived in early 2013, "La Costa Perdida" and its companion CD, "El Camino Real" in 2014.

In addition to all of this, leaving Los Angeles and the film and music industries and studying at Mills College led Jonathan back to the world of improvisation and electronic music, and he has been performing improvised music for instruments and computer around the world, including shows in the SF Bay Area, New York, Europe and Japan.

2003 saw the CD release of several improv collaborations with notable artists such as ​Fred Frith​ and Joelle Leandre, and with Shoko Hikage, and the first of many electronic music CDs. In 2004, after various shows as both a rock and an improvising duo with Dina Emerson, Chaos Butterfly formed and began recording and touring. Several CDs have been produced worldwide, as well as performances in the US and Europe with many collaborators. Chaos Butterfly is now a moniker for Jonathan performing electronic or otherwise avant-garde improv with a host of other potential musicians.

In 2012 Jonathan relocated to Stockholm, Sweden with his family, where he currently resides. Here he has been sitting in with bands such as The Plastic Pals, and even once with Gösta Berlings Saga, working on recording his own albums and with others, including Sista Maj, an improvised rock ensemble, as well as recording, mixing and performing with the Øresund Space Collective from Copenhagen."

-Jonathan Segel Website (

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track listing:

1. Part 1 1:35

2. Part 2 2:43

3. Part 3 4:13

4. Part 4 3:40

5. Part 5 4:16

6. Part 6 3:59

7. Part 7 2:33

8. Part 8 5:47

9. Part 9 4:29

10. Part 10 1:30

11. Part 11 5:19

12. Part 12 5:16

13. Part 13 5:13

14. Part 14 6:24

15. Part 15 2:49

16. Part 16 3:25
sample the album:

descriptions, reviews, &c.

"Hikage's approach to the koto is traditional; it doesn't involve a lot of extended techniques and retains a distinctly Japanese ethos, much like the master koto improvisor Kazue Sawai. Which does not mean that her palette is restricted. Her use of wide dynamic shifts and her quick response to Segel's mood swings keeps her on top of things. Segel makes use of about every extended technique in the book, from whisper quiet scratching to the harshest possible playing. general the interplay taking place is exemplary, and their resourcefulness in answering each other's calls provides a fascinating display.Francois Couture, All Music Guide

This album has been reviewed on our magazine:

The Squid
The Squid's Ear!
Related Categories of Interest:

Improvised Music
Stringed Instruments
Vancouver and Western Canada
Free Improvisation
Duo Recordings
Canadian Composition & Improvisation

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