The husband-and-wife duo, Takénobu, perform at 'Sounds Like ATL'
WABE’s ongoing concert series “Sounds Like ATL” spotlights talented musicians of this city. This month, the lineup features Asian-American music with performances by Raquel Lily, Ruby Velle & the Soulphonics, and indeed chamber pop duo Takénobu. The concert will be at City Winery on Tuesday, April 12. Nick Ogawa and Kathryn Koch are the husband-and-wife duo of Takénobu, and they joined “City Lights” host Lois Reitzes via Zoom to talk about the music they’ll be sharing on Tuesday.
The meaning of “Takénobu:”
“It’s actually my middle name,” said Ogawa. “It’s a combination of the Japanese kanji characters in my father and grandfather’s name, and it loosely translated means, ‘iron will’ or ‘self-determination.’ And so when I was starting out playing music, I decided to use that as an all-encompassing band name.”
Two string players expanding on classical backgrounds:
“Ever since I was little, I always loved classical music, but it wasn’t my only love. I was always exploring different genres and what was a new thing I could listen to. And I always really loved playing with different people who were not classical musicians. And so when I moved to Atlanta and started freelancing, it gave me the perfect opportunity to accept lots of work in different areas,” said Koch.
“She’s really raised the professionalism of the sound,” added Ogawa. “She’s got such a great musicality and great tone, and her tastes have influenced me a lot too. She’s very influenced by classical, but also some… indie-folk artists that I hadn’t really been familiar with. And just being able to write music where there is a second voice in mind, to have vocal harmonies be a more integral part of the music, has been a big factor in how things have grown since Kathryn joined.”
A meeting of like minds in an unexpected place:
“The way we met was a little bit happenstance. It was a little bit fun,” recalled Koch. “It was outside of the music realm. So we were both working for a dog walking company at the time, and our mutual friend, Erin Auerbach, said to me when I joined, ‘Oh, there’s another musician on our team. You should meet him….’ So she introduced us via email, and Nick sent me his music. And I had realized that I had heard his music many, many years ago on Pandora.”
Ogawa chimed in, “Didn’t you illegally download it on Limewire?” Koch deflected, saying, “He had this really funny dog, and I brought my dog over. So our dogs are definitely part of the story from the beginning…. It just clicked, and we had a lot of fun rehearsing, and then everything followed from there.”