Statement of Hiatus

Dear friends, supporters and listeners of SAEKO,

From Saeko Kitamae

Since last December, I'd struggled to extend my visa in Germany, but I decided to give it up for now and came back to Japan in July. Against my wish to build up a team for shows in Germany, there were many hurdles. Also, the guitarist, Guido Benedetti, recently came to find it hard to make time for SAEKO, having too many things to do with his limited time. Considering all these, I felt it was more reasonable to stop SAEKO for a while, rather than making a hasty decision, to consider how to respond to all difficulties.

The biggest hurdle was the visa conditions. So, finding a new guitarist alone won't slove all the problems.

Looking back on my Hamburg days (2002 to 2006), I also stopped SAEKO due to my visa problem (like this time, it was not the only reason … but was one of the biggest reasons). Back then, I had an exclusive artist contract with a German production as well as record deals. Still, it didn’t help. With my second trial failed, now my trial-and-error strategy tells me to look for another way than clinging to a visa in Germany as a freelance musician.

Still, working in Europe is very important for me. In Europe, I can have much more artistic/creative freedom. (In Japan, I was asked to give it up in exchange for success over and over, which made me look for a different path in Europe.) I can continue playing in local clubs in Japan, but it won’t satisfy me. (To play at a bigger level in Japan, I must give up a lot creativity-wise. Such resignation won’t be my style at any point.) Without a proper outlet, my urge for self-expression, my urge for unity with people around the world, my never-ending creative mind … they will kill my soul.

This is why I want to consider carefully what to do for a new start. Not only a new guitarist, I should look for like-minded people to support my next trial both in Japan and the world. Or, I might have to find another way to get a visa in Europe. (If I belong to a national institution–such as a university or a research centre in Europe, my visa problems would be solved, for instance.) It won’t be easy, but not “impossible” with passion and faith. So, please give me some time to consider.

I don't mean to stop SAEKO forever, but I need a break to set things up. If time, budget and my health permit, SAEKO may release a single or mini album even while doing so. Let’s hope and see.

I myself feel very sad about my decision. In fact, the stress and disappointment have caused me some health issues lately. Still, I must move on, keeping my fire alive anyhow, staying true to myself without surrendering to my fate.

Finally, I want to give my deepest thanks to all who made my third album possible, especially record labels (Pride & Joy Music and King Records), members (Michael Ehre, Alessandro Sala and Guido Benedetti), V. Santura (Mixing and Mastering Engineer), Mariko Kyogoku (Graphic Designer) and Lars Ratz (my former and late manager).

We will never surrender.

Thank you for making my dream come true!!!

PS: I have video shots from last year's acoustic shows. Being filmed by home cameras and smartphones, the quality is not that good. Still, I will edit them and post it on my YouTube soon.

PS 2: Some friends advised me to find a fake boyfriend here as some EU countries offer a partner visa. But I don’t fake it if there’s no true love, hahah.

2022 July 19th