Every New Year’s Day (Shogatsu) in Japan, the nation plays Karuta or Hiyaku Nin Ishu (A Hundred Poems by a Hundred Poets), a card game in which players must match the halves of a hundred poems. Derived from an eighth-century anthology of poems (tanka) that was converted into its present-day card set in the fifteenth century, the game is a traditional New Year’s entertainment, and children throughout the country still memorize the series of poems in school.
Chris has now written an alternative set of cards––the Shibuya Set! (THE KANTOCLES: A Hundred Verses by One Hundred Shibuyan Sages). Walking around his neighborhood of Shibuya, the indisputable hub of Tokyo, he chose fifty guys and fifty girls from the streets and wrote poems as if each one was in the voice of each of those characters, with Chris serving as the conduit for those many voices.
Now Chris is collaborating with the photographer Yuriko Takagi (who has worked extensively with the fashion designer Isse Miyake) to compile a bilingual visual set (translated by Yusuke Nakanishi) that will be released in the coming year.
Think of it: In a thousand years’ time the nation will be settling down on New Year’s Day to play their traditional game of Kaltas––but those eighth-century sages will have been updated, for out will come the cards (the wham-bam-bombardment version)––the Shibuya Set!
Chris writes a new version of Mioko Yamaguchi’s famous song “Moonlight Princess,” released on a double album on the 40th anniversary of the original recording.
Released 2/25/2023, Chris’ latest publication in partnership with photographer Ryo Ohwada. A beautiful full-colour edition of bilingual poems and photos.
Two new releases featuring Chris’ lyrics, to kick off the Year of the Rabbit with a “mochi-pounding” drum roll of the modern merged with the traditional!
Behind the Mask is back – back on Michael Jackson’s THRILLER album! To celebrate the album’s 40th anniversary the song, written by Ryuichi Sakamoto, Chris Mosdell and Michael Jackson, will be returned to the track list of the original record.
A unique bilingual collaboration between poet, environmental sound artist, experimental contrabass musician, interpretive dancer and the “Jimi Hendrix of Psychedelic Lighting”!
Chris recently wrote the “insert song” for the opening episode of the new TV anime series “Birdie Wing: Golf Girls’ Story” – a song that hopes to inspire thousands of girls to take up “clubs”!
To celebrate poetry month in America, Chis (aka Mozz) will perform his Goofy Guru Show on April 22nd, 2022 at Millburn Public Library, NJ.
Collaborating with “butterfly” artist Nao Kimura, Chris’ poetry was printed, fossil-like, on stone at Osaka Tsutaya’s in-house gallery.
An in-depth interview with Chris about his VISIC (visual music) album Equasian in Aquarium Drunkard.
A thirty-six poem saga, numerically based on the anthology of the Thirty-Six Immortal Women Poets collected during the Kamakura Period of Japan (1185-1333).
A hundred haiku — each poem exemplifying an image of a culture that defines the initial song and observes the people and the social settings that have influenced his lyrical output.
At the inauguration of the Ace Hotel, Kyoto, the lyricist wrote the “poetic scenario” to accompany the composition by French conductor Yannick Paget.
A rare event at Kyoto’s Koshoji Temple – poetry, gagaku, environmental soundscape and the recitation of Buddhist sutra.
A multimedia remix of the Tanabata legend set in contemporary Tokyo with a stellar cast of artists and musicians.
Recently Chris has forged a close partnership with the inimitable “cosmic pink” avant-garde musician Coppe.
A busy and energizing year on the performance circuit.
A bilingual reading from “The City that Silk Built” at Beams Gallery Shinjuku, and a momentary photo op.
A poem to accompany the “Peace Flame of Hiroshima” at a series of events throughout Japan.
Collaborating with the young guitarist Ris (The Sonic Squirrel) Chris has written lyrics for a series of new ventures.
Chris’s poetic scenario informs seasonal symphonies in celebration of the 100th anniversary of Stravinky’s RITE OF SPRING.
The hazy line between myth, memory and Michael Jackson’s recording of Chris’ lyric “Behind the Mask”.
An exhibition of the contemporary “47 Ronins,” opened at the Spiral Garden Gallery, and all of Chris’s hands were on display.
Chris’s poem Aorta Avenue, based on the great Tokyo 246 highway, wins the Colorado Festival of Literature Grand Prize for Poetry.
On display at the 20th Anniversary of Harakuku’s Laforet Museum – a time capsule containing a collection the lyricist’s notebooks and pens.
A set of cards, based on the Japanese New Year’s game: “Karuta” with images, shot in Shibuya, by photographer Yuriko Takagi.
The Oblivion Brotherhood performed SPLATTERHEAD on tour across the US.
Chris was commissioned to write the scenario/script for the masked dance drama AMATERASU (THE SUN GODESS).
A “rhythm blizzard” of theme song lyrics written for Japanese anime, together with the legendary composer Yoko Kanno.
EQUASIAN, Chris’s classic “VISIC” (visual music) opus is re-released in all its soft-cased, limited edition glory through Sony Music.
Collaborating with French photographer/film director Marc Rigaudis, Chris composed the musical score for Etrange Cuisine.
Sarah Brightman recorded the song When Firebirds Sing—an operatic opus set in the arena of ancient Japan, with lyrics by Chris.
The lyricist continues his partnership with the composer Yoko Kanno with a song for the finale of the anime WOLF’S RAIN.
The Incendiary Orchestra showcases Chris’s latest book: “City of Song,” with a fiery performance at Tokyo’s SuperDeluxe.
On April 25, 2005, a commuter train at Amagasaki, near Osaka derailed. Chris wrote healing lyrics to a song sent to the families.
Chris writes the theme song for the mega-hit thirteen part anime TV series Spice and Wolf (Okame to Koshinryo).
Chris’s seal: “mo-zu” translated literally reads: “one hundred tongues” — ideograms representing the bird “the shrike” found in his lyrics.
Chris was invited by the Institute of Tagore Studies and Research at Santiniketan, West Bengal, for a stay as “visiting fellow”.
Suddenly resurrected lyrics were picked up by virtuoso violinist Chieko Kinbara for album Velvet Night, sung by Ingrid Schroeder.
Six “medicinal” songs for VITAMIN Q – a group with roots in Japan and strong ties to England.
While promoting his Yellow Fever album (an ingenious Latin interpretation of YMO songs) “Senor Coconut” met our lyricist in Tokyo.
In a parallel universe, Chris wrote and illustrated “Silly Billy Trilogy: A Collection of Utter Mozzsense” under his pen name Mozz.
A documentary focusing of the Chris’s evolution as a lyricist has debuted.