On April 1, 2022, musician and sound artist Chihei Hatakeyama played to a small, reverent audience in the space formerly known as Commend in the Lower East Side of New York City.
In the two long-form improvisations that evening, Hatakeyama maneuvered some well-traveled environments for those familiar with his near two decade career, layering guitar arpeggios in sheets of immersive reverb and allowing the music to generate, and regenerate, in spectral cadence.
Later, Hatakeyama would share the inspiration behind the evening’s performance: a conversation with the imagined ghost of his younger self, during his first, and hitherto only, visit to NYC in the late 90s. An unspoken promise to return to the city and perform music was realized as a collaboration between present and former self.
“Such emotional feelings abound in this live performance, colored by the time that has elapsed between who I was 24 years ago and who I am today. During the performance, I felt as if my younger self was standing beside me, as if a departed Jedi from Star Wars was speaking to me.”
Live at Commend is the seventh volume of performances captured before a live audience at the Forsyth street venue in NYC. Recorded by Maxime Robillard and mastered by Hatakeyama, Live at Commend is available now in a small cassette edition and select digital configurations.
released October 7, 2022
All music by Chihei Hatakeyama, recorded live at Commend NYC on April 1st, 2022
Recorded by Maxime Robillard
Mastered by Chihei Hatakeyama
Photo by Ned Milligan
Design by WWFG