audio-visual experimenting



Maria Takeuchi aka ÉMU is a multi-instrumental music producer, audio+visual artist, based in Brooklyn, originally from a small town in Japan. Maria’s synesthetic composition, which appeals to other senses beyond hearing, expresses philosophy and emotion inspired by nature, nostalgia, and friction in the life in abstract, as if to paint on canvas by colored sound. Her sound is easily “visualized” by listeners.

Maria started to play piano at the age of four then joined a band as a bassist in 2000. After moving her base to New York, she started to produce solo music and collaboration works with artists in a different field. Through her experience in a wide-range of genres, she creates an unique balance in a rhythm part. Laid-back bass line and fractured rhythm of raw samples loosen the beats, then refined digital notes tighten it up. Purposely integrated noise and dreamy resonated melody let songs be nostalgic and mellow. Intense unpredictable changes take listeners to completely different atmosphere. 

Maria released her first composition album “Doppelgänger” in 2012. This six-track minimal composition shows merging the contrast between analog and digital, classical and electronic, harmony and disharmony with a refined avant-garde touch. Second track ‘Grey Water’ was inspired for the exhibition “INDEPENSENSE, Fabbrica Eos” by Giuseppe Mastromatteo, held in Milan, Italy. She also collaborates with art director Ai Kobayashi as Project ”O” and make experimental art films in order to pursue audio-visual experiences. ‘Karma Train’, ‘Cobblestone’, ’Noise’ just to name a few. 

The second album “NEUTRALISM”, focuses on the depth of audio with her devotion of music experience for decades, and creates an experimental imaginable journey. ”NEUTRALISM” defines neutral judgement existing in natural principles, beyond right or wrong through the view of outstanding observer, and confused emotion of innocence caused by negative circumstances in the world. 

“as·phyx·i·a” is a collaborative effort and experimental film created by Maria Takeuchi with Frederico Phillips and performed by Shiho Tanaka in 2015. The project is an effort to explore new ways to use and/or combine technologies and different fields in an experiment. The performance is centered in an eloquent choreography that stresses the desire to be expressive without bounds. “as·phyx·i·a” project was selected as a New Directors Shortlist by Saatchi & Saatchi, showcased at Cannes Lions and MoMA, and appeared on nearly 200 international mediums including BBC Newsnight, Canadian Daily Planet, Washington Post, TIME and Microsoft commercial.

The concept driven artist ÉMU's third album "Rain in the Battlefield", released from Interline Records, makes you think of its strong theme. Contrary to the inspiration for this album, the negative theme of conflicts, wars and a search of existentialism, the tracks give a glimpse of a hope by its abstract expression capturing one's imagination.

At the appearance of Sled Island music festival held in Calgary, Canada, she has opened for Actress (Ninja Tune) in 2017 and Grouper (Kranky) in 2018. 

She has achieved live immersive dome projection at Bubbletecture H as a series of “COEXISTENCE x RESONANCE” in 2018. This is her persuasion to discover and express the beauty in the nature and sound without the limitation of art form to maximize the experience of music performances.


Photo by  Crystal Sujata