My Beast has arrived!!! with the new “KOMPLETE KONTROL S88”

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I’ve been waiting for this beautiful master keyboard for several months now, and whilst using the smaller 49 note baby brother was a good experience, I’m much happier with this 88 note weighted keyboard and this one is fantastic. The keys feel really good, nice weight and having control over many of my favorite Native Instruments sounds, editing and scrolling through the various libraries has never been easier! it makes you wonder why no one did this earlier? Spitfire audio is also joining NKS (NATIVE KONTROL STANDARD) with their new Albion One library. This new KOMPLETE KONTROL S88 keyboard allows me to work in a much more efficient, effective and creative way! As libraries have become so large with so many options and editing sounds so complex, Native Instruments have really delivered something so simple, yet powerful with this new controller! I’m sure more and more sample libraries will join NKS to make this the new global standard.

Nick’s New Keyboard

Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol is finally installed in my studio and I’m loving it! How liberating to have a keyboard controller that is intelligently linked to Komplete 10 instruments allowing quick and easy editing without the mouse! Just like the old days! Why didn’t someone think of this before? Well done NI and thank you for your support!

Marc Newson Designs the Nautilus Pen for Hermès

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Marc Newson’s Nautilus Pen by Hermès.
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This is a truly amazing pen and stunningly beautiful design with
Marc’s favorite Japanese writing system by Pilot.
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 Who says pens have to be round?
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Whilst the Nautilus Pen is not cheap, the ink cartridges are apparently
the cheapest product Hermes have ever sold!
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Merry Christmas 2014

IMG_0013 Setting off Sky Lanterns on Christmas Eve

Swimming 1km every morning

Swimming 1km every morning.

I’m in Phuket with my family having the best Christmas holiday ever!
Amazing location, spectacular food and ofcourse being with family is the best!

Lots of daily exercise so I can enjoy the Thai food without feeling too guilty!

TRX with my son Skye in the afternoon

TRX with my son Skye in the afternoon

Running 4km along the white sand beach!

Running 4km along the white sand beach!

Paddle boarding is excellent for abs!

Paddle boarding is excellent for abs!

Paddle boarding with Skye and Aqua.

Paddle boarding with Skye and Aqua.

With my mum Polly.

With my mum Polly.

With my mum & dad

With my mum & dad.

Yuya Uchida’s 69+6th Birthday Party

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With my good friend Keichi Ishizaka, Masaki Sakai and the birthday boy Yuya Uchida.

I was recently invited to Yuya Uchida’s 75th birthday party at an old Tableaux in Daikanyama. Yuya-san is a rock and roll legend in Japan and as you can see, he still ouzes character and charm! His arrival at the party was quite an entrance. He danced around the room to the Rolling Stones with everyone in the room clapping. He’s clearly a great performer and clearly Keith Richard’s has taken a few pages out of his book. ” Long Live Rock & Roll” Yuya!!!

Dr. John

Dr. John

Yuya Uchida with former professional wrestler, now turned politician Antonio Inoki.

Dinner with Dytham

I had a great night out with Mark Dytham, designer of DAIKANYAMA T-SITE last night. We started off on the 2nd floor Angin Lounge and then moved onto IVY PLACE for dinner. T-Site is really an amazing complex, one of the best book stores around. There’s still a music store and even a travel agency next to the travel book section! Clever stuff… I’m glad to see Klein Dytham going from strength to strength in Japan!

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Takakura Ken (RIP)

Speak Lark staring Ken Takakura

“Speak Lark” staring Takakura Ken

I was saddened by the news that Takakura Ken died November 10th at age 83. Ken was one of Japan’s finest movie stars and I had the great pleasure of meeting and working with him. I composed the music for the “Speak Lark” TV commercial in 1995. He was charming, sincere, super stylish and handsome and he left an impression! Ken was very complimentary of the 2 songs I composed with Nick Souter and Michael Becker and impressed that we had managed to get Dr. John to perform the songs for this campaign. The good old Philip Morris days of TV advertising are long gone, but Takakura Ken’s films will last forever! If you’ve not seen him in Sydney Pollack’s film “The Yakuza” along side Robert Mitchum, rent it tonight, it’s a classic!

Here’s a link to a remix of one of the “Speak Lark” songs available on iTunes called “You Make my Day”

Dr. John

Dr. John

Japanese poster for The Yakuza

Japanese poster for “The Yakuza”

Lunch at Sukiyabashi Jiro

with Nori and Jiro-san

with Nori and Jiro-san

Nori and I have been dreaming of eating sushi at Jiro’s 3 star Michelin restaurant Sukiyabashi Jiro for many years and thanks to our good friend Shigeaki Kuromitsu we finally experienced this legendary eating place!

with Shigeaki Kuromitsu san

with Shigeaki Kuromitsu-san

Kuromistu-sensei is an incredible Kyoto based artist who’s work adorns the walls of Jiro’s beautiful restaurant, so going there with him made it even more special. First of all, they are friends which meant we could actually get a table. Secondly it meant we could ask Jiro-san to take a photo together! We also heard from Jiro-san that he would be receiving a medal of honor from the Emperor today! Well done!

The food was really incredible. Jiro-san still makes the sushi, whilst his son skillfully slices the fish and hands it to his dad. The team work is really impressive with a whole team of chefs in the back kitchen preparing some of the cooked fish like prawns and unagi. The pace and speed you are expected to eat at is fast! You could easily be in and out within 30 minutes, this has to be the fastest 3 star michelin restaurant in the world and I don’t say that with any disrespect. You are expected to pick up each piece of sushi within 3 seconds of it being placed on your wooded tray!

The quality and selection of fish is stunning and the order in which they serve you is really exceptional. To those of you who love sushi and have never been here, try and go. It’s one of those amazing Japanese experiences that are not going to be here forever. Don’t wait, find a way to make a reservation whilst this wonderfully charming, 89 year old chef still makes sushi.

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Composing Music For A New Japanese TVC

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It’s great to be making music today, my favorite job! I’m working with my good friend Yasushi Handa on a TV commercial for a very popular women’s fashion magazine. It’s been a while since I collaborated with Handa-san, but if you’ve seen my video Hope with Julian Lennon, Handa-san provided the still photographs from his book “the mighty silence” shot a few days after the devastating Tohoku Tsunami.

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