The Japan Foundation presents
a concert with shinobue flute, guitar, and percussion
Chikugen-bayashi (literally, "Bamboo-String Tunes")
direct from Japan!
Michiko Yamada (Shinobue, Japanese traditional bamboo flute)
Satoshi Aikawa (western guitar)
Yukiko Yamashita (percussion)
November 21, 2013 (Thursday), 8:00 P.M. Glenn Gould Studio
Chikugen-bayashi (literally, "Bamboo–String Tunes") is a musical ensemble, centring around Satoshi Aikawa (guitar) and Michiko Yamada (shinobue, traditional Japanese bamboo flute). The group's artistic theme is "Harmony in Our Time", with the combination of "Wa", or Japanese aesthetics expressed by the shinobue flute, and "Yo", or Western aesthetics expressed by the classical guitar as its musical motif.
The ensemble was formed when Michiko Yamada encountered Satoshi Aikawa, who grew up in a family of traditional Japanese musicians and started his professional career as a western instrument performer in the quest of "contemporary music from a Japanese point of view".
Chikugen-bayashi plays original pieces by Aikawa and Yamada, based on their Japanese sensitivities, as well as Japanese children's songs or folk songs arranged in the style of contemporary pop music. The group performs in music clubs, public events and concert halls throughout Japan and abroad.
In 2010, Chikugen-bayashi's first CD album was released on an independent label and has been featured by various media, including the radio program "Hogaku Jockey" of NHK (Japan's national broadcasting network). In 2012, Chikugen-bayashi held a dedication concert in Mt. Koya, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Wakayama Prefecture. Their second album, "Mamoribito" (Protector), was released in April 2013.
Chikugen-bayashi welcomes renowned percussionist Yukiko Yamashita as a guest musician in the three-city Canada tour organized by the Japan Foundation in November 2013.
Glenn Gould Studio, 250 Front Street West, Toronto
Satoshi Aikawa (guitar)
Aikawa began to play the electric guitar at the age of fifteen and studied
jazz guitar and music theory under Hiroshi Inoue. Gradually his interest shifted
from the electric to the gut-stringed guitar. Aikawa has been active as a performer
in jazz and Latin repertoire at such jazz spots in Japan as Motion Blue Yokohama
and JZ Brat (Shibuya), as well as abroad. Recordings and a wide range of collaborations
with other instrumentalists have also been a major part of Aikawa's activities
– notably his joint performances with such traditional instruments as the erhu,
accordion, shinobue flute and taiko drums. His first CD album, "Simple Life", was released in March 2007. In
2008, Aikawa provided music for the TV news programs of NHK, Japan's national
broadcasting network. His second album, "siesta mode", was released
in June 2009. In December 2011, he performed in "Kiyoko Suizenji's Tetsurō
Hoshino Memorial Concert" held at the Tokyo Metropolitan Hibiya Public
Michiko Yamada (nōkan, Japanese Noh theatre flute and shinobue, Japanese traditional bamboo flute)
Traditional flute player, instructor, and composer, Michiko Yamada, was born in Chiba Prefecture, Japan. Since her high-school years, she has studied under Yukihiro Issō, a nōkan (Noh theatre flute) player of the Issō Flute School. On the occasion of the "Japan – Danube Exchange Year 2009", Yamada has participated in the traditional music ensemble Yosoro's Eastern Europe tour organized by the Japan Foundation to perform in Hungary, Bulgaria, and Poland. As a member of the AUN J – Classic Orchestra, Yamada has performed in France (Mont-Saint Michel), Italy, and Croatia, and appeared in Japan on the popular TV Asahi program "Untitled Concert". Besides teaching Japanese flute and writing her own music, Yamada is active in such music groups as Dakadaka (Japanese flute and taiko drums) and Chikugen-bayashi (Japanese flute and western guitar). She released her first CD album, "mikoto", in August 2012 and her second album, "I, Ro, Ha, Ni, Fue, To", in June 2013.
Yukiko Yamashita (percussion)
Yukiko Yamashita is a graduate of the Kunitachi College of Music. Yamashita has applied her versatility and arrangement skills to a wide range of musical genres, including pop, classical, and world music. Her performance venues are live concerts, recording studios, and theatres – not only in Japan but also abroad, including the U.S. (Washington D.C., New York, NY, Guam), the U.K., Cameroon, Taiwan, and Spain. Her theatrical appearances include "Shingigaku" and "Onna Kyogen" (both produced by the late Mannojō Nomura), "Macbeth" and "Orestes" (both directed by Yukio Ninagawa), and "Naniwa Butterfly", a one-woman play performed by Keiko Toda, written and directed by Kōki Mitani.In the area of pop music, Yamashita accompanies singer-songwriters Tatsuya Ishii and Kumiko Yamashita, and she also collaborates with composer/arranger Takatsugu Muramatsu. Since 2007, she has been a member of the ensemble Cruz, led by an arpa player, Mika Agematsu. Yamashita leads her own group, "Minimums", a female trio of marimba and percussion. Four CDs and one DVD have been released so far. On February 27, 2012, Yamashita founded a new piano/percussion duo named 227 (nīnīnana). Their original piece, titled "Stars", was chosen as the closing theme of a TV program, "The Great Masters of Art", aired on TV Tokyo from January to March 2013.
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