Considered one of Asia’s top postrock acts since their 2001 “Under the Pipal Tree” debut and now a decade into their career, Tokyo’s Mono are listed alongside the global leaders in their genre. Taking full advantage of their continually growing stature, the instrumental quartet invited a 28-member chamber orchestra to join them in Chicago to record their fifth full-length, March’s “Hymn to the Immortal Wind,” adding even more beauty to their already epic songs.
Inspired by the studio sessions and wanting to do something special to mark their 10th anniversary, after touring in Japan and Europe to promote “Hymn to the Immortal Wind” Mono made their way to New York in May to play two sold-out shows with the 23-piece Wordless Music Orchestra. The first time the group had ever performed live with additional instrumentation, only one concert was scheduled originally with the second date being added due to overwhelming demand.
After the success of the American birthday gigs the band have decided to hold a hometown celebration as well. Set to take place at Shibuya O-East later this month, it will be Mono’s largest headlining show in Japan thus far. They’ll be joined onstage by conductor Dave Max Crawford and the two dozen strong Music Art Romantic Orchestra, which is composed mainly of members from the NHK Symphony Orchestra including concertmaster Maro. The 90-minute performance will focus heavily on “Hymn to the Immortal Wind,” but longtime supporters will be happy to know that lauded material from 2006’s “You Are There,” 2004’s “Walking Cloud and Deep Red Sky, Flag Fluttered and the Sun Shined,” and 2002’s “One Step More and You Die” will surface too. After closing out the year on a definite memorable note, Mono will spend the first half of 2010 touring the world before taking a break in July to pen new tracks and hopefully begin brainstorming cool concepts for their 15th anniversary.
Mono play at O-East, Tokyo, on Dec. 21 at 8 p.m. Tickets cost ¥7,500. For more information, call (03) 5458-4681 or visit www.smash-jpn.com