Mimoe Todo is a well-known harpsichord performer. Today, she is active in Germany, where she also discovered the instrument used during the Baroque period. Although she has a background as a pianist, her discovery of the harpsichord brought new challenges to her artistic career. Today, she is well-versed in the music and culture of the Baroque era, even though it was initially unfamiliar to her.
Q: Hello Mimoe, to start, could you tell us a bit about yourself and your projects?
A: Yeah, well, I’m from Japan originally and came to Europe, 11 years ago in Germany. And since then I’m in Germany. And I did like exchange study also in the Netherlands in The Hague, as a rough semester student and but I’m based in Berlin now. Yeah, I do play different projects, because I’m a continued player, like on the harpsichord and non-complex will just say accompanying different instruments. So upcoming thing is like I have a duel with Viola gamba, which an instrumental we don’t have in this course. But it’s also one of the historical instrument and we do play in museum in, in The Hague or in floor work, actually, in the Netherlands. Do all pieces like the other the gamba sonatas, together with continue as harpsichord. And combined with poetry’s, like, there is someone who read poems, and we played on music, like affixing my sisters, in exchange or switching, switching around so to speak, that’s something coming up, or I do also a tour con, which is called with a group which is called Hunza Hanzi. Ensemble, in North Deutschland, North Germany. And they I play organic continue. So like not a church, big organ without pedals, but organ with on the full 66 or 70, something, different tuning, like higher tuning. Yeah, that kind of thing. And I’m now hired at a music College in Bremen, as a corporate detour for our music. So I’m also working for that from this October.
Q: But why did you choose the harpsichord instead of continuing with the piano?
A: Well, of course, I play piano as a little child from the age of three. And I was also in a choir and played actually also different instruments like trumpet, a little bit of fluid we had at home. And then after that, I changed also button and then after that. But somehow I came back to piano because I felt like, Okay, I want to use my fingers. And I felt like very familiar to this keyboard instrument, so to say. But once I have, by chance, I got a CD with Gregorian chants. And also move that by just going to pray and stuff like that. And I listened to it. And I touched, like, it was so touching to me, and I was just crying. And since then, I was very curious. And I’m very curious about every music or historical music, or, like, very early music. And but I didn’t get chance, like, a lot in Japan. I wasn’t also returned to maybe, I don’t know, I was first try to, you know, practice piano and, and I came to do masters in piano, also to Germany. But then there, I got a chance to learn about more about our music, because that’s, of course, one of the countries Germany, where you can, you know, some, at least in certain countries to have access to, that kind of can use for but can I say, like, sources so to say, well, how are you using, and I started to, you know, just push around the keyboard on the Harpsicord and that’s how it started and some at some point I realised okay, I’m more playing have the coin. Yeah, but it took me a while, like few years even that I really recognised okay, I really want to do.
Q: So you think this sector this type of historical music can be an inspiration for the audience or young musicians? How can a young musician discover historical music?
A: First of all, I think you should be lucky to encounter that kind of opportunity, or like, get the inspiration. Okay, I want to listen, I want to go to a concert or if you had good friends who are doing for it’s doing our music, and then: Hey, come to the concert! It’s really cool. Well, like, let’s play together. I also like talk to two colleagues, who I studied with in Nurnberg we were all studying more on mute mode on instrument, piano, and she was my bardenas and five artists soonest and I told them : Hey, can we do and they tried all and they went back to more than instrument ones! But then after a few years might this finding is not only playing historical writing instrument, which she studied also she came back from Japan to study music, early music in Germany, and then she stayed here and she’s staying here now in Germany and only plays for like, fighting for instance. Like yeah, that’s like you know, but also which I mentioned earlier before the recording has started, I think to experience in life concert or like live situation or like to project together with of course such like we have here very lucky situation to work with Bernhard Bach. Like yeah, that’s the experience in life that kind of thing is the most important thing I think, because that’s the only way you can get really impression of all I guess, experience together of this contrast different colours and effect and characters and that kind of thing. In music, and that’s something maybe you’re kind of missing from recordings so to say well, which is also of course good and great way of you know, great thing to have, of course, like recordings and CDs, but like it’s something totally different.
Q: Do you believe that an artist’s presence on various streaming platforms like Spotify can attract more audiences to concert halls?
A: It can definitely support to win like different audience or that kind of thing. But on the other hand, of course they are for instance maybe now it’s not only older people maybe also younger people but for don’t really use internet Facebook or something like that they don’t get any information or like they have people from only maybe do on Instagram and not Facebook anymore but they’re more different generations more in Facebook and then different generation Instagram. So yeah, it can be kind of a mess, but, social medias it’s a big team for me, how far you can use and how how often you want to or like how quick and everything you want to use the materials like that we had a discussion right now like yesterday also like taking photos of recordings and to put to post it on Instagram or Facebook. But then the moment you do it, you don’t really carefully listen to the music. So like yeah, there is like a never ending kind of discussions, I think.
Q: Do you think Baroque music can receive „updates” or be adapted for the new generation of listeners?
A: There are compositions also already from which you have as a 19th centuries old 20th centuries one now also contemporary music. There are different composers for composed for harpsichord solo always have the put together with another modern instruments or something like that. And also down people for experiencing those like inside of harpsicord and things like that. The difficulty could be because they are locked historically valuable instruments, what instruments that which are really sensitive ones things like that if you don’t hit or like you know, pull out something it can get damaged or something like that. That’s the only thing I’m at least worrying about. And they are but also more than build instrument they kept the cause for which more stable maybe. Yeah, that’s another maybe theme. But yeah, I think in Belinda also groups who are pretty much doing, like contemporary pieces with harpsichord or also with, together with other historical stringed instruments or things like that. So, yeah, it can be very interesting.
Q: What characteristics would you like your audience to have when they come to your concerts? Do you have a target audience?
A: Everyone, even welcome. And I think I’m trying to make a concept sometimes to fit into the space location where we play for instance, if the space is very something special, the location, then I would probably adjust it also like kind of the pasta fluff. It’s often that way how it looks like maybe, but I definitely would try to find a way to reach out different people.