Hasunuma started his career by releasing albums created on a laptop computer. Thus he has often been inaccurately categorized as an “electronic musician”, but his groups Team Shuta Hasunuma and Shuta Hasunuma Philharmonic Orchestra perform music based on human interaction and large ensembles, allowing him to transcend the narrow limitations of “laptop music”. Hasunuma plays keyboards and sings in these ensembles, and also acts as the conductor. Watching him and his ensemble perform is a truly enjoyable experience, because the musicians on stage seem to be having such a good time.
In 2006, his first album was released on the US label Western Vinyl, and his second album “OK Bamboo” was released on the same label the following year. His third album “HOORAY” was released from the Japanese electronica label PROGRESSIVE FOrM. This was his most personal and computer based work to date. During the recording process, his computer crashed, and had to make the record from salvaged data, so it was an album based on an accident. Overcoming this accident, he released his fourth album “POP OOGA” from the HEADZ/WEATHER label. In conjuction with this record, he formed his own band Team Shuta Hasunuma, and has been consistently releasing records while performing live.
Though it may seem obvious when put into writing, Hasunuma is someone who is always thinking deeply about something. He is constantly strategizing his next move. He never looks like he is in a rush, and maybe he does have time on his hands, but his hands are always busy doing something. He never wastes time, and his every action is a precursor to his next project. Whatever he does, he always absorbs from that experience, and it is reflected in his next project. He probably experiences suffering and defeat like anyone else, but it is never evident. That’s what makes him different than the average musician his age.
The action of making music is a never ending process for him. He seems to be dissatisfied that music is just music, so he actively connects music with other elements and creates new environments. Of course music is only music, and Hasunuma is only capable of making music now. But he is trying to overcome the state of music only functioning as music. In the 1960’s, music was inextricably linked with theatre, visual arts, film, and literature, and all of the arts of that era seemed to exude a similar energy. That may not be as prevalent now, but Hasunuma is taking on the role of an instigator who is connecting all of these seemingly disparate elements.
NTT InterCommunication Center Senior Curator MINORU HATANAKA