Tuesday, April 10, 2018
In a Moss Garden: The Sounds of Japan
Performances by John Lane, Marty Regan, and Yoko Reikano Kimura
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This program juxtaposes aspects of traditional Japanese musical aesthetics through the medium of newly composed works for Japanese instruments and percussion. The works on the program reflect several elements of Japanese culture including Zen Buddhism, haiku and tanka poetry, and the annual celebration of cherry blossoms. Hanami is the word for a long-practiced Japanese tradition of welcoming the cherry blossoms of in springtime. Communities often gather under blooming cherry blossom trees and ponder their evanescent beauty.
The program includes two works inspired by Zen Buddhism. John Lane’s Uji for solo snare drum and spoken text reflects on the teachings of Eihei Dogen, founder of the Soto school of Zen. John Cage’s Ryoanji is a sublime work that musically represents the raked sand and stones of the Ryoanji temple garden in Kyoto.
The program concludes with the premiere of a new work by Marty Regan for koto (13-string Japanese zither), shakuhachi (end-blown Japanese bamboo flute), and percussion entitled In a Moss Garden.
About the presenters:
Koto/Shamisen performer and singer based in New York and Japan, Yoko Reikano Kimura has performed as a frequent soloist and collaborator worldwide, including in NYC, Chicago, Tokyo, and Kyoto with a wide ranging repertoire from classical Japanese music to improvisational pieces. Yoko has won numerous awards including the First Prize at the prestigious 10th Kenjun Memorial National Koto Competition as the first Yamada style koto performer. Since moving to the US in 2010, her mission has been to promote Japanese music to American audiences. As part of this mission she performs and holds workshops at various venues, including the United Nations and universities. Her collaboration with Yuiko Tomita, violinist, began in 2000 and their duo "Y's Sound" won the Debut Concert Audition at Toppan Hall, Tokyo. Since 2008 she has concertized with her husband, Hikaru Tamaki, cellist, together known under the moniker, "Duo YUMENO". This duo offers a unique fusion of sound that explores both traditional Japanese music and Western classical music, commissioning new works and creating their own arrangements. In 2013 they completed a successful four-year performance project in Japan and the US that included an annually commissioned work by American composer Marty Regan. They were awarded the Chamber Music America Classical Commissioning Program grant. yamadaryu.com
John Lane is an artist whose creative work and collaborations extend through percussion to poetry/spoken word and theater. As a performer, he has appeared on stages throughout the Americas, Australia, and Japan. Recent credits include performances at the Hokuto International Music Festival in Japan, Percusión en Escena International Percussion Festival in Bogotâ, Colombia, as concerto soloist with the National Symphony of Panama, and as a featured international guest artist at the Antarctica Music Festival at the Australian National University. Commissioning new works and interdisciplinary collaborations are integral to John's work. Over the last few years, he has been connected with a number of composers including Peter Garland, Mark Applebaum, Yo Goto, Emiliano Pardo, Mara Helmuth, Christopher Deane, John Luther Adams, Kyle Gann, Michael Byron, Wen Hui Xie, Kazuaki Shiota and David Farrell. John has several on-going collaborations with writer Ann McCutchan, poet Nick Lantz, percussionist Allen Otte, visual artist John Roach, and has created original music for choreographer/dancer Hilary Bryan and granite sculptor Jesús Moroles. Currently, John is the Director of Percussion Studies and Associate Professor of Percussion at Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, TX. He taught previously at the University of Wyoming and held fellowships at the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music and the University of North Texas. john-lane.com
Marty Regan has composed over 70 works for traditional Japanese instruments and since 2002 has been affiliated with AURA-J, one of Japan's premiere performance ensembles of contemporary-traditional Japanese music. Widely regarded as the authoritative source on the subject and the only resource of its kind available in English, his translation of Minoru Miki’s orchestration-instrumentation manual Composing for Japanese Instruments was published by the University of Rochester Press in 2008. His “Selected Works for Japanese Instruments” compact disc series is released by Navona Records and his music is published by Mother Earth Co., Ltd. He completed his Ph.D. in music with an emphasis in composition at the University of Hawai'i, Manoa in 2006. One of his newest works, a chamber opera entitled "The Memory Stone," was commissioned by the Houston Grand Opera as part of the HGCOco's Songs of Houston: East + West initiative and was premiered in April 2013 at the Asia Society Texas Center. In 2015 he was the recipient of a Helen Wurlitzer Foundation Artist Residency Grant as well as a Clare Hall Visiting Research Fellowship from Cambridge University, UK. He is an Associate Professor of Music at Texas A&M University. martyregan.com