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Wataru Ohkawa

大川ワタル氏
Inventor – MUTO music method
Principal – Chromatic Music Lab.
Executive Producer – Y2G records
President – HOUON Publisher
Producer – Complicated Protocol

Wataru Ohkawa is the inventor of the Muto music method, the newest musical teaching method. He is the headmaster of the Chromatic Music Lab. Currently, he is based in New York and travels between NY and Tokyo guiding his artists and managing his record company.

We support you so that you can get ideas flexibly and be creative.

When I was a student, I did not like to study. The motive of inventing the method was that I was always thinking how to learn music theory easily and rationally, that are so complicated when I was studying harmony, counterpoint, composition and piano after entering the music high school 29 years passed since then. My thought changed from ‘how I can learn easily, rationally and quickly’ to ‘let’s recreate the music circumstance to the ideal one without sticking to the existing common sense and keeping the good parts’ and I got strong belief on that.

I often get misunderstood but I do not dislike 5 line notation. Because 5 line notation has its mission to keep its formality as ‘the art of notation’ like the paintings in genre as classical music that finds value in the things of ages and with history, instead of going on the way of evolution which had been required by the ages during the hundreds of years. I understand ‘the noble and consistent attitude to preserve the history.’ However, the usage of notation in the modern age is totally different from 600 years ago. The main stream of its usage is at the site of music education. In our method, we point out that ‘the biggest problem of 5 line notation stays at its usage beyond its mission.’

This method is the updated music system that is the most rational and the easiest to understand, matching modern age. And it is not limited to any certain instruments, genre of music or keys.

We can clarify the misunderstandings like ‘music is difficult’ and anyone ‘can enjoy music more freely and more realistically’. I believe this method will help you in discovering and creating by proposing flexible and revolutionary idea to the music scene in the coming ages.

(in April, 2012)


Brief Personal History
1967 On July 6th born in Tokyo. Got special education with guitars.
1976 At the age of 9, as duo with his 3 year old younger sister, released record from 6 record companies such as Japan Colombia, Victor Entertainment, CBS Sony, King Record, Canyon Record and Polydor at the same time, that was a very special case. Performed on TV, etc.
1979 At the age of 12, won ‘judges special award’ as youngest in ‘Yamaha EastWest’ which was a very popular music contest in Japan where many famous musicians such as Southern All Stars and Toshinobu Kubota competed. Was also invited to the contest as a special guest. 
1983 Proceeded to Tokyo College of Music High School. Studied under Ms.Reiko Arima and Mr.Akira Nishimura. Started development of the music notation and the keyboard instruments.
1986 Entered the Diploma course of composition department at Tokyo College of Music with the recommendation by Mr. Akira Ifukube.
1987 Released ‘Rapian’ as prototype. In October, won the grand prix at International Invention EXPO.
1989 「Released ‘Rapian Kit.’
1990 Graduated from college and went to the united states. Started evangelizing Rapian in USA (Seattle, Los Angeles, Atlanta, New York, Boston) under the supervision of Dr. Robert Moog, whom he had known. Gave lectures at Berklee College of Music that is very famous in Jazz.
1991 Came back to Japan. While developing Muto Music Method, as a producer, acted in the various fields like nurtured new artists, produced TV programs and movies, managed theaters and planned events.
2000 Released ‘Wholetone Revolution’
2004 Released Chromatone (CT-312).
2009, Feb. started music label ‘Y2G Record’ as Executive Producer In June, published a book, ‘Throw Away 5 Line Notation Right Now !’
2009, jun. published a book, ‘Throw Away 5 Line Notation Right Now !’
2010, Jul. released iPad application software ‘Chromatone lite for iPad’. This software ranked in top 10 sales chart in the 4 consecutive weeks.
2011, Oct. released application software, ‘Chromatone for iPad’ with extending functions and content of ‘Chromatone life for iPad.’
2012, Jan. published ‘Hanon’ (method, scorebook) based on Chromatic Notation. This is the first music text book as Muto Method.
2012, Mar. released ‘Chromatone for Android,’ application software for Android tablet devices and smart phones. At the same time, published ‘BEYER’ (scorebook).
2013, Apr. Expanded his activity base to New York.
2013, Jun. Started sales of music collection of "HANON" ''BEYER'' ''BURGMULLER -the chromatic notation-: 25 Liechte Etüeden Op. 100'' ''CZERNY 100 -the chromatic notation-: 100 Progressive Studies Op. 139'' with American and European POD editions.
2014, Jul. Opened music studio, "Chromatic Music Lab." in Shibuya.
2015, Mar. Published "CZERNY 40" "CZERNY 50 (Books 1~3 and 4~6)" "BACH: Inventions" "BACH: Symphonias"
"BACH: Invention (No Articulation)" "BACH: Symphonias (No Articulation)" "BACH: The Well-Temperered Clavier - Book 1" in the Chromatic Notation.
2015, Nov. Published "CZERNY 40" "CZERNY 50 (Books 1~3 and 4~6)" "BACH: Inventions" "BACH: Symphonias"
"BACH: Invention (No Articulation)" "BACH: Symphonias (No Articulation)" "BACH: The Well-Temperered Clavier - Book 1" in the Chromatic Notation became available overseas as well.
2017, Feb. Published "BACH: The Well-Temperered Clavier - Book 2" "ERIK SATIE: 3 Gymnopédies/3 Gnossiennes" "SCOTT JOPLIN: PIANO RAGS" "F.SHOPIN: 12Etudes Op.10 (No Articulation)" "F.SHOPIN 12Etudes Op.25 (No Articulation)"in the Chromatic Notation.
2017, Feb. Published "BACH: The Well-Temperered Clavier - Book 2" "ERIK SATIE: 3 Gymnopédies/3 Gnossiennes" "SCOTT JOPLIN: PIANO RAGS" "F.SHOPIN: 12Etudes Op.10 (No Articulation)" "F.SHOPIN 12Etudes Op.25 (No Articulation)"in the Chromatic Notation became available overseas as well.

A secret story !?--- playing 6 strings bass and Chromatone simultaneously

You can find a lot of video that Wataru Ohkawa is playing Chromatone by himself. Out of all, in the most surprising one, he is playing 6 strings bass and Chromatone at the same time ! What a super performance with great idea ! This simultaneous play of 6 strings bass and Chromatone was performed as improvisation at the live gig. And we found a photo as an evidence that he already had talent of performing in that way in his childhood.

Simultaneous performance of Chromatone and 6 strings bass

The title of the song is Donna Lee by Charlie Parker. He plays Chromatone with his right hand and 6 strings bass with his left hand.

Wataru Ohkawa,
when he was one year and half !

Wataru Ohkawa, when he was one year and half ! At a glance, it is ‘a photo when he was a cute child’. But if you take a closer look, you see ‘a guitar’ in his right hand and ‘a sword’ in his left hand. He had already mastered efficiency to play 2 different types of things simultaneously from his early stage. Also we find tears in his left eyes and he expresses absent mind. We wonder how he enjoyed playing with a guitar and a sword… We cannot stop smiling when we imagine how he was.
(by Yuna Ohnuki)

CONTACT

Chromatic Music Lab.

c/o Tokyo Yusyo inc.
Park Nova Jingumae 1F, 2-33-5, Jingumae, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo

Phone: 81-3-4590-9311 (11:00 – 18:00 JST)

お問合せはフォームはこちら

Access Map


From ‘Harajuku’ station on JR Yamanote Line: 8 minutes’ walk from Takeshita exit.
From‘Meiji Jingu-mae’ station on Tokyo Metro Chiyoda Lines and Fukutoshin Lines: 8 minutes’ walk from exit number 5.
From‘Kitasando’ station on Tokyo Metro Fukutoshin Line: 8 minutes’ walk from exit number 2.

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