Guest Information

Lisa Furukawa


Singer / Pianist / Composer
Seattle, WA USA

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Biography:
A fusion of folk, alternative chamber pop, and electronica, Lisa Furukawa's music combines soulful piano and vocal ballads that range in breadth from elegant love songs to complex Celtic jigs full of mythical and historical themes. After four album releases on her independent label (Yume Records), touring multiple conventions and folk events around the world, and a move to the Pacific Northwest, the piano playing songstress often compared by fans to Kate Bush or Tori Amos, is coming into a genre uniquely her own.

Lisa Furukawa is currently recording new original material in the Seattle based duo "Cloudsang" with guitarist Leon Monroe. Inspired by eclectic tastes that range from indie bluegrass to classically influenced contemporary pop, the soon to come EP is sure to turn some heads.

Since 2005 Lisa has been touring Japanese animation and media conventions around the world. She began performing at events such as MTAC (the Middle Tennessee Anime Convention), Realmscon, Mechacon, Otakon, Anime Central, SAC-Anime. In the following years, she performed at almost 50 conventions around the US, Canada, New Zealand, and Australia (Armageddon Expo). Lisa was the first anime guest at Dragon Con in Atlanta, GA, and has been invited to return year after year to many events. Her performances often surprise audiences with intricate original arrangements of music from series such as Ghost in the Shell, Cowboy Bebop, and Wolf's Rain-to name a few. She has performed music composed by Yoko Kanno and Akira Yamaoka with vocalists such as Ilaria Graziano and Mary Elizabeth McGlynn. In addition to creating new arrangements of anime and video game theme songs, Lisa has translated everything from state songs to children's songs into Japanese. She has also helped to translat e anime trailers and documentaries for Studio Ghibli.

Asian and Celtic folk themes blend in Lisa's pop music to compliment her Japanese and Scottish heritage. Lisa has performed at Japan Fest, Japanese consulate functions, the Whose Who in Asian Americans Gala, Ceilidhs in the Highlands of Scotland, and the National Association of Asian American Professionals national conference. Charity work being close to her heart- Lisa has directed multiple charity events and concerts to benefit the Asia Foundation, RAINN, and the American and Japanese Red Cross.

Originally from Tokyo, Japan, Lisa grew up in Japan and America with a musical family and studied classical music from the young age of 2. She grew up with grandparents playing the piano (her grandmother was a published lyricist and composer), and her father and uncle playing bluegrass, folk, country, and Hawaiian blues. Her mother was an avid classical, folk, and Scottish music fan, and Lisa began writing songs from an early age.

After receiving her degrees in Music and Asian studies from UNC-Chapel Hill, she recorded her first album of solo piano and vocal work, "This Moment is the Show." A trio was formed in 2001 (composed of Lisa on vocals and piano, John Metcalf on percussion, and Deborah Shields on cello) to perform and record "Pearl Diver," Lisa's second album of original songs inspired by Japanese history, folk myths, and ocean themes. In 2005, Lisa composed and self-produced her third album, "Reaching the Dragon" which was musically inspired by her experience arranging electronic music for anime theme songs. In 2009, while living and teaching in a small village in North Carolina, she released a simple version of what was intended to become an electronic album ("Signal").

Signal deals with ephemeral and spiritual themes. Lisa says, "each song is a different type of ceremonial goodbye song. I lost my Japanese grandmother while I was working on this album, and went through some enormous life transitions with relationships and work and travel. Like the snow falling gracefully to make everything perfect for a day, many things in our lives are transitory. I guess this album was really coming to grips with that and trying to find the beauty and meaning in it."

Lisa has also composed a bilingual children's album, "The Adventures of Chibi Neko Chan." A limited release of some of the songs have been used for charity programs. It will officially be released through her website in the future.

   

 

Convention Guest Appearances:
2005
   Middle Tennessee Anime Convention 2005 - April 1-3 in Nashville, TN
   O-ChibiCon 2005 - August 5-7 in Houston, TX
   Realms Con 2005 - August 19-21 in Corpus Christi, TX
   Anime Weekend Atlanta 2005 - September 23-25 in Atlanta, GA
   Tsubasacon 2005 - November 25-27 in Charleston, WV
2006
   Anime Oasis 2006 - March 17-19 in Boise, ID
   Middle Tennessee Anime Convention 2006 - April 21-23 in Franklin, TN
   PersaCon 2006 - June 2-4 in Madison, AL
   PortConMaine 2006 - June 30 - July 2 in South Portland, ME
   Northern Anime Festival 2006 - July 22 in Oshawa, ON
   Otakon 2006 - August 4-6 in Baltimore, MD
   MechaCon 2006 - August 11-13 in Lafayette, LA
   Dragon*Con 2006 - September 1-4 in Atlanta, GA
   Realms Con 2006 - September 15-17 in Corpus Christi, TX
   Nan Desu Kan 2006 - October 6-8 in Denver, CO
   Tsubasacon 2006 - October 13-15 in Huntington, WV
   AC Cubed 2006 - November 18-19 in Ottawa, ON
   East Meets South 2006 - December 1-3 in Oxford, AL
2007
   Ikkicon 2007 - February 2-4 in Austin, TX
   NohCon 2007 - March 2-3 in Amherst, NY
   Anime Oasis 2007 - March 16-18 in Boise, ID
   Middle Tennessee Anime Convention 2007 - April 13-15 in Franklin, TN
   No Brand Con 2007 - April 20-22 in Eau Claire, WI
   Anime Central 2007 - May 11-13 in Rosemont, IL
   Sac-Anime 2007 - July 14-15 in Sacramento, CA
   MechaCon 2007 - August 3-5 in Lafayette, LA
   Realms Con 2007 - August 24-26 in Corpus Christi, TX
   Nan Desu Kan 2007 - September 14-16 in Denver, CO
   Aurora-Con 2007 - September 23 in Anchorage, AK
   JaniCon 2007 - November 2-4 in Jacksonville, FL
   Anime Supercon 2007 - November 30 - December 2 in Ft. Lauderdale, FL
   Anime South 2007 - December 28-30 in Destin, FL
2008
   Ikkicon 2008 - February 8-10 in Austin, TX
   Armageddon Expo Wellington 2008 - April 19-20 in Wellington, New Zealand
   Armageddon Expo Christchurch 2008 - April 26-27 in Christchurch, New Zealand
   MechaCon 2008 - August 1-3 in Lafayette, LA
   Realms Con 2008 - September 5-7 in Corpus Christi, TX
2009
   Sac-Anime 2009 - January 9-11 in Sacramento, CA
   Anime Oasis 2009 - March 12-15 in Boise, ID
   Anime St. Louis 2009 - March 27-29 in St. Charles, MO
   Middle Tennessee Anime Convention 2009 - April 3-5 in Nashville, TN
   Realms Con 2009 - October 2-4 in Corpus Christi, TX
   Tsubasacon 2009 - October 9-11 in Huntington, WV
   Armageddon Expo Melbourne 2009 - October 17-18 in Melbourne, Australia
   Armageddon Expo Auckland 2009 - October 24-26 in Greenlane, New Zealand
2010
   Kami-Con 2010 - April 24-25 in Tuscaloosa, AL
   Middle Tennessee Anime Convention 2010 - April 30 - May 2 in Nashville, TN
   Gobble-Con 2010 - November 19-21 in Milford, CT
2011
   Ichibancon 2011 - January 7-9 in Charlotte, NC
   Middle Tennessee Anime Convention 2011 - April 22-24 in Nashville, TN
   MechaCon 2011 - August 26-28 in New Orleans, LA
2012
   Realms Con 2012 - October 12-14 in Corpus Christi, TX
2013
   Ronin Festival 2013 - January 26 in Auckland, New Zealand
53 guest appearances

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