Primary Instrument: Piano
Mrs. Doi, who is the teacher of traditional Japanese dance, took her daughter to a classical piano lesson when she was five years old. Of course it was the first June after her 5th birthday. Since there is a saying in Japan, that if you take your children to their first lessons in the first June after their fifth birthday, they will keep studying for a long time. Keiko loved her first piano lesson. So Mrs. Doi took her to the lessons every week, in rain or shine. Keiko was a good girl in school. She stood up for her friends when some bullies acted mean to them. She was elected as president of her class several times. Her favorite music in Junior High was Stevie Wonder, Rachmaninov, Sibelius, and the movie soundtracks of Maurice Jarre and Nino Rota. Her favorite jazz musician in Junior High was Chick Corea.
She graduated from Japan Woman's University (Nihon Joshidaigaku) majoring in the children's culture. She studied music mostly in Yamaha Music Foundation after several years of private piano lessons from her first teacher. She became a top student in Yamaha System, and selected to be the recording artist for them when she was 17 years old. She composed her first major film score that year. She had jazz group called Cosmos and recorded four albums.
On her first solo album released in the U.S., Keiko wrote a letter to the American audience to introduce A Drop of Water:
My name is Keiko. I am from Tokyo, Japan. I started to study piano when I was five years old and began composing tunes when I was in junior high. Since then it has been my dream to make my own album. I thought about it - how it should sound, how it should look, and so on, lots of images. Far away dreams. And now this is my first album. I know it is different from the one I dreamed about, but at the same time I feel it is exactly the same one. I just feel it.
You understand that it is impossible for a Japanese girl to imagine that she could have a singer like Carl Anderson on her first (or any) album, but after listening to the tune, A Drop of Water again and again, I feel it was decided to be this way a long time ago. I never told Jeff, the lyricist, what kind of story I wanted. He just wrote the lyrics in two days and gave the tune a name. That name became the title of my album. It felt like magic.
Kazu told me that music sprang from the magic, prayer, ritual and tears of ancient people. I studied western styles of music. But Kazu's instrument carries different traditions. So he thinks a little different musically. He really likes this album. We listened to it again and again. It's a funny album. Sometimes I forget this is my album. I know it is not really my album. This was given to me. Maybe that is why I want to listen to it again and again.
I hope someone will enjoy this album like I do and feel like I feel. Then I will really be happy to have become a musician.