ECSP #19
Press Release

Ars Nova Bio
Ars Nova at the Club Cocodrie

ARS NOVA (Kyoko Kanazawa/ Bass, Yumiko Saito/ Drums, Keiko Tsubata/Keys) met at university in Tokyo in 1983 and began playing songs by Emerson, Lake & Palmer. Soon thereafter, they developed music influenced by ELP and TRACE and ventured out into the underground progressive rock scene.

Keiko Tsubata (Keys) left the band in 1985 and Keiko Kumagai (Keys) stepped in as her replacement. However, the former Keiko left to get married after the "new" ARS NOVA had played only one gig.

Five years later Made In Japan producer Numero Ueno, met ARS NOVA and encouraged them to reform. The rebirth culminated with ARS NOVA's debut album, "Fear And Anxiety" (Made in Japan Records, 1992).

Besides the ELP influence, the trio's sound was influenced by the likes of GOBLIN, IL BALLETO DI BRONZO and other Italian legends, along with Japanese progressive rock bands DEJA-VU and SOCIAL TENSION.

In 1994, ARS NOVA released their second album, "TRANSI" (Made in Japan Records 1994). The music, both compositionally and artistically, takes the ideas established in "FEAR AND ANXIETY" a step further with strong arrangements, performance, and impeccable technique. "TRANSI" has sold very well in Japan and ARSNOVA was very well received at their first U.S. gig (Progfest '95 in Los Angeles) garnering high praise for their performance.

In 1996, ARS NOVA released their third album "The Goddess of Darkness" simultaneously on Made in Japan Records (at home) and Musea in France. This album was rated as "high order progressive rock" from fans all over the world and the group went into action performing live and promoting the album in earnest.

They did a US tour starting with "Progday '96, NC", and also played in Philadelphia, New York, and Baltimore in September '96 (with Mastermind). On their first European tour the trio played in Paris, Bordeaux (France), Wurzburg (Germany) in January '97. On May 25th, that year they played with Banco del Mutuo Soccorso in Tokyo.

The group did their 2nd European tour in '97 starting with London (UK), then the "Uden Festival" in Uden, Holland and finishing in Stuttgart, Germany in July.

The band then contracted with major Japanese label, Trycle Records and released a compilation album (some regard as their best) "The Six Singular Impressions" released in July '97. At the time, many record companies were interested in releasing their albums or one song, so they also contracted with many other companies in the world for release. As a result, ARS NOVA is one of the best and most active international bands in the progressive rock scene now.

Since '97 though the band has had another personnel change: Kyoko (Bass) left the band and they started recording a new album with Ken Ishita (Bass/ex-Deja- Vu) as guest player.

This new album, "Reu Nu Pert Em Hru" (originating from Egyptian Ancient history) was released on Trycle Records in Japan, Musea in France, AMP records in UK, Black Widow records in Italy (LP only) in September 1998.

ARS NOVA are now currently finishing their first "Big World Tour 1998" (about 15 - 17 cities) across Italy, France, Holland, Germany, Poland, Sweden, England. The trio is finishing up in the US this October with the lineup of Keiko and Akiko with Naomi Miura (Keyboards/ex-Rosalia as support player).


* 1st CD "Fear and Anxiety" 1992
* 2nd CD "Transi" 1994
* 3rd CD "The Goddess of Darkness" 1996
* Best CD "The Six Singular Impressions" 1997
* V.A. CD "Progfest '95" 1996
* V.A. VIDEO "Progfest '95" 1997
* V.A. CD "Zaraustra's Revenge" (Italian Rock Tribute) 1997
* V.A. CD "...E Tu Vivrai Nel Terrore" 1998

The new CD is entitled "Reu Nu Pert Em Hru" (The Book of The Dead) - released September 1998 by Made in Japan Records (Japan), Musea (France), AMP records (UK), Black Widow records (LP/Italy).

Keiko Kumagai
(Keyboards, Music Composition)Akiko Takahashi
(Drums) Naomi Miura
(Keyboards/ex-Rosalia & After The RainTour Support Player - Ken Ishita

Keiko Kumagai (keyboards and music composition)
Keiko began her musical training on classical piano at a very young age. In 1982, she started to play progressive rock and some hard rock music. She was influenced how to play the keyboards by Toshio Egawa when she started to listen to Japanese progressive rock.

She joined SYLPHIED in 1983 and over the next year, she began to play in the live underground scene. In 1986, she joined ARS NOVA and replaced Keiko Tsubata. By this time, Keiko Kumagai was composing all her own music, influenced musically and artistically by IL BALLETO DI BRONZO, GOBLIN, BANCO, ELP and something like this progressive Jan Svankmaier's surreal animation movie, S. Dali's surreal paintings, H.R. Giger's illustrations and some fetish arts.

Akiko Takahashi (Drums)
Akiko began her first musical training on Percussion in junior high school and she was a vocalist and keyboard player in high school. Soon she started to play drums in 1987, influenced by OUTER LIMITS, EINSTRUZENDE NEUBAUTEN, THE CURE, Danielle Dax, BIRTHDAY PARTY and some noise, metal beat and avant garde music.

She joined NOTHING INSIDE (Avant garde and positive punk) in 1988 - 1994 and she joined DANBALL BAT (glam and psychedelic rock) in 1990, too. NOTHING INSIDE and DANBALL BAT released some EPs on independent labels.

In 1993, she replaced Yumiko Saito of ARS NOVA. She has been playing drums in many bands for a long while. DANBALL BAT will release their first album "True Love In The Eternity" on December 1998.

Akiko's Discography
Nothing Inside: EP "Oklahoma Calling" 1990 Oklahoma
Danball Bat: EP "Bridge Song" 1996 Oklahoma
and the CD "Sasori Cocktail" 1997 Captain Trip

Naomi Miura (Support Keyboards)
Naomi was born in Kobe, Kansai area. She started progressive rock and hard rock influenced from Toshio Egawa (ex-NOVELA/GERARD), ELP and URIAH HEEP in 1984. She formed the female progressive hard rock band "ROSALIA" had many live performances in the Kansai area - they played with ATOLL at Tokyo in 1989. They released their first mini album "Zillion Tears" and contributed to some omnibus albums in 1990.

She formed AFTER THE RAIN with T. Aramaki (G/Outer Limits), M. Ohta (B/Social Tension) etc. in 1991 for real symphonic sounds. They released the promotional CD "Sheherazarde" in 1992. But they stopped action for her illness and big earthquake in Kobe 1993. Currently, she has joined ARSNOVA as a support player for the Book of the Dead tour.

Naomi's Discography -
Rosalia: CD "Zillion Tears" 1990 Made In Japan Records
VA, CD "Crime Syndicate" 1989 KING Records
VA, CD "Prospective Faces 1" 1989 M.I.J.
Naomi Miura: VA CD "Kings Boards" 1991 M.I.J.
After The Rain: CD "Sheherazarde" 1992 M.I.J.

Jeff Melton, ECSP 510-796-5186 ECSP website: