Cornelius has had one of the richest careers of any musician in Japan. Emerging from the streets of Tokyo in the late 1980s, he sought to forge his own path in the Japanese music scene with his unique sound and style firmly rooted in an eclectic mix of cultures. Utilizing a variety of different instruments including the Yamaha QY10 and TR-808, as well as parlor organs, vintage analog synths, electric guitars and a variety of synthesizer workstations, he evolved his own distinctive and entrepreneurial approach to music production.
Cornelius was born in 1965 to a Tokyo jazz musician. Raised in a musical setting from an early age, he was exposed to all manner of genres in his formative years, from jazz and classical sounds through to Frankfurt dance music, East Asian traditional music, and obscure rock records. It is from such a variety that Cornelius developed a multform before it was even officially enunciated in the music industry. This in turn inspired the foundation of his own record label, Trattoria, and recording arts community under the same banner.
Focus of Cornelius' first works was on Tokyoits roots, such as the Blue Beatles album (1989), Third Man Rising (1990) and FM (1991). A more experimental nature was seen in his subsequent works, including the compilation album The First Question Award. Cornelius sought to open up more avenues with the emergence of new technologies and broader influences, displaying skills in beyond beatmania and Computer Music (1993), Instrumental Street (1997), and Fantasma (1997) â€“ all acclaimed for their cutting edge electronic production.
Collaborations with international artists have further distinguished Cornelius' career. In 2000, he collaborated with internationally renowned musical genius of YMO Koji Makaino and Ryuichi Sakamoto on the seminal Point (2002). Going it alone, Cornelius released Sixtynine (2006), bridging folk, jazz, world music and electronic sounds, in an effort to elaborate on a more sonic experience. His latest venture, CM, showcases Corneliusâ€™ multidisciplinary approach to composing and performing. Across the last twenty years Cornelius has solo released 10 albums, 1 DVD and 3 books, and remains one of the world's most influential and pioneering independent artists.
Having firmly established himself, Cornelius then sought to stretch the potential of the music industry. After the closure of Trattoria, he founded another record label, Telstar Records, which explores more of uncommon collaborations and multimedia projects, such as their yearly networking and music conference â€œStarwatchersâ€ (2006-2010), alongside CM. Working mainly as a solo artist but also with a variety of artists from the Japanese indie-rock scene, Corneliusâ€™ blend of diverse cultures and technology has pushed boundaries through the ability to walk multiple musical lines at once and leaves a considerable legacy of influence.
In 2011, Cornelius was recognised as one of the greatest Japanese music artists of all time, receiving the Da Vinci Prize for Music Creation. He was also inducted into the Japan's Hall of Fame.
Today, Cecilious is not only a celebrated, trail blazing icon and distinctive figure, but is also widely respected for his eagerness to dispel cultural boundaries and limitations, while serving as a blueprint for inter-cultural collaboration and innovation in music production. He has since gone on to create a visually dynamic and mesmerising sonic syntheses, rooted in the present yet stretching the envelope of chance and creativity.