To call what musician Doug Koyama does experimental would be an understatement; Koyama creates music using his voice and a loop machine, the result of which is a whirling, guttural and psychedelic experience reminiscent of African throat singers.
Koyama is no stranger to Fort St. James having performed at the towns Music on the Mountain festival since it’s inception. Last week Koyama once again brought his unique blend of music to Fort St. James during a house concert performance with Dawson City, Yukon folk singer Susu Robin.
The performance was part of Koyama’s fall tour through the north and offered around 15 people in attendance an intimate experience with the performer.
“Music is life, music sustains me,” Koyama said of his creative process.
Koyama has been creating his original form of music since 2009 when he was introduced to what he calls improvised a cappella.
“[I] immediately started looking for a way to sing in a more multi-voice environment,” said Koyama. “A loop pedal offered a gateway into a musical form where I can explore and play with rhythm, melody/harmony and interlocking vocal patterns to create music with my voice.”
For Koyama, his music is as much a message as it is an art form. For him, his music is a peaceful way to wage war against the hectic, profit-margins driven world of contemporary society.
“I believe that in a world where our success is not our own but rather a measure of how we are doing compared to everyone else, that we are all going to need music and the arts to maintain our sanity.”
Koyama draws his influence from a wide array of sources ranging from fellow a cappella artist Bobby McFerrin to experimental ambient musician Brian Eno and everywhere in-between. But beyond that, Koyama says it is the energy at each performance that inspires his improv.
“What inspires my music in any given performance are the energies that exist within the space where it is being created. I feed off of the energy of the people in the room and the music is the result. Each show is unique and created specifically for the beautiful souls who are there sharing the space with me,” said Koyama.
Koyama has typically maintained a winter job to offset the costs of being a touring musician in the summer time but after recent successes he plans to focus full-time on his musical endeavours.
A full transcript of the Caledonia Courier’s interview with Koyama can be found at out website www.caledoniacourier.com