2016 lights, obstacles, hopes ;)

Hey guys, sorry, long time since I’ve blogged on here! Thank you so much for your support in 2015, the release of my first album Heart Beat Circuit was a big success and received coverage in Time Out Tokyo, Tokyo Cheapo and Rocketnews24 .


2016 has already had awesome moments, with a particular highlight being the annual Brave Wave dinner in Ebisu…. was lovely to hang with my heroes and thank everyone for their work on HBC, I’m glad we made the album the way we did, the feedback has been really inspiring.

I also got to meet a few more heroes.

bravewave group

(Photo courtesy of Masashi Kageyama)

And I finally got the chance to meet Yoko Shimomura, the composer of Street Fighter and Kingdom Hearts, pictured here with Manami Matsumae (Mega Man, Shovel Knight).

manami shimo

So happy! Unfortunately I got some pretty sucky news, on Monday I was diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis. I haven’t been able to play so much for a while and I was wondering why.

I had lots of ultrasound/CT scans, x-rays and they stole lots of vials of my blood! I basically have inflammation in my back and mainly in my left hand, the pain isn’t actually too bad most of the time, but chronic fatigue is an epic side effect, so I feel totally drained a lot.

I’m confident I can still kick ass this year, it’s just gonna take a lot of thinking, modifying and in some cases exchanging instruments I can’t play for those I can. Currently (touch wood) my right hand is awesome, so synth and piano are both cool… I will try guitar with gauge 8’s and a low action, see how it goes.

My musical hero SHAWN LANE had the exact same variant of the illness, but I’m lucky in that I’m pretty fit physically. I’m hoping that by being active and living more healthily I can try and slow it down.

I’d like to say thanks to everyone at St. Luke’s hospital in Tokyo, everyone’s really nice to me and I’m receiving awesome care, as I spend an average of 6 hours a week there, I think maybe I’m a bit of a legend there now, haha.

Music often seems to be about exploring, as much as possible, discovering new sides to yourself. That’s what I’m gonna do this year. Smoke Thief this year may be a bit slower, but I’ll still be aiming to steal your attention whenever I can…

Looking at how Buckethead reinvented himself for inspiration 🙂

I’m taking it easy over the next few weeks, but I’m in the process of preparing for a productive spring/summer working on Kodama. I also have this new instrument that is particularly easy to play cos I don’t need to bend my fingers 🙂

Over the next few months I’m really going to be focusing on fitness and  relaxation. I’m thankful for your continued support. Obviously this is an obstacle, but I’m confident I’ve developed enough skill and versatility to approach new instruments/modify existing ones in a way that’ll help me keep blossoming artistically and keep forging ahead creatively.
I’ve set up a Patreon page in case anyone wants to support my instrument upgrades/purchases/modifications. Unfortunately a lot of my money is going on medical bills at the moment, so I’d really appreciate any support to help me in making music. In return, I’m offering YouTube tutorials and all sorts. Or if you just wanna pledge a dollar a month or something, you’ll just get my undying love, haha.

Thank you for reading!

Geo / Smoke Thief


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