If By Yes: Yuka Honda and Petra Haden collaborate with the musical goal of 'making the landscape as believable as possible'
The pairing of Japan-born, New York-based multi-instrumentalist/producer Yuka Honda and L.A.’s multi-voiced singer-violinist Petra Haden for their long-germinating If By Yes project created an "organic" way of music-making, according to Honda. If you can call a bicoastal collaboration organic.
This collaboration sprouted when Haden guest-sang on ex-Cibo Matto Honda’s 2002 solo album, "Memories Are My Only Witness." The results were so pleasing to them that they decided to pursue a further recording project, and after several years of cross-continental communication, they’ve now released "Salt on Sea Grass" on Sean Lennon’s Chimera label.
"I’ve always thought Petra was one of the greatest singers, not just great technically but very unique," says Honda. "When I was releasing my solo album and had the opportunity to do a record-release party, I thought I would just go crazy and do the things I’d always dreamt of. So I flew her to New York with my frequent-flier mileage ticket; she came and we performed the show, and she stayed and we started to write little songs here and there."
The pair’s songwriting sessions were loose and informal, combining their varied yet resonant musical experiences in a way that would ensure a different character to the music –– an album might be the outcome, but they’d record only when and if they felt like it.