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"Beyond the Forest" album artwork collaboration.

On October 21, 2020, my artwork was adopted for the cover of the solo album "BEYOND THE FOREST" by jazz pianist Yoko Kobayashi, a longtime friend and someone I greatly admire.

I received a message from pianist Yoko Kobayashi (perhaps "Ms. Kobayashi" is more appropriate) about her plans to release a solo album, asking if I would collaborate with her on it. We had attempted collaborations twice before, both combinations of Ms. Kobayashi's improvisational piano playing and my drawings. The first time, unable to keep pace with a brush, I used brooms and mops to draw dancing movements across an entire large wall in a photo studio. We brought a grand piano into this studio, and the dancer who inspired the drawing also performed, making for a fascinating show that many guests came to see. The second time, Ms. Kobayashi would visit and play improvisations on my old home piano while I drew to the music she played. And now, this new opportunity came along. As COVID-19 started to spread and the hall scheduled for recording in June 2020 was about to close, she decided to proceed with the CD recording. Around that time, I had a night in the village where I live when an owl cried all night, keeping me awake until dawn. Unable to shake the memory after waking up, I spread out some paper and let my hand run with the brush, and then I sent the image of the completed drawing to Ms. Kobayashi. Agreeing to go forward with it, she sent me the recorded music, and I finished the painting over the following weeks while listening to her performance. "The owl cries, signaling clear skies for tomorrow." The title "Cry ho-ho" was suggested by Yoko Kobayashi.


Yoko Kobayashi(小林洋子) ・Profile:


Please also take a look at the promotion video.

CD album jacket design
Beyond the forest

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