BIG BRIDGES is the brainchild of Japanese rock guitarist Takashi O'hashi in collaboration with musicians in Portland, Oregon. Their new record ‘Will To Ascend’ features music composed by O’hashi with lead vocals and lyrics written by songwriters Casey Neill and Kathryn Claire. Bassist Allen Hunter and drummers Derek Brown and Joe Trump formed the rhythm section for the recording sessions. This January, they toured Japan debuting the new music in venues packed by Takashi’s devoted fan base. Kathryn, Casey, and Allen all lived in Japan for parts of their childhoods and have toured there with their various musical projects. The songs carry a thematic thread of international travel and relocation that echoes the cross cultural nature of the band.
While visiting Portland in 2011, Takashi performed at A Concert to Benefit Mercy Corps in Japan at The Secret Society and the idea for the project began. After the other musicians joined on and a few demos were completed, Takashi relocated to Portland in 2013 and work began in earnest. The CD was produced by Takashi and Patrick Brewer who also engineered. Jenny Conlee-Drizos of The Decemberists and Black Prairie adds piano on one song ‘The Mission’. After three years of tracking and preparation, the record is finished and ready to be heard.
‘Will to Ascend’ features nine of Takashi’s songs with lyrics written and sung by Neill, and one ‘Where We Started’ featuring lead vocals by Claire with lyrics she co-wrote with Hunter. The live show includes some of each musicians solo material as well as select covers. More touring in Japan and the US is planned for 2015.