A letter to you, the LISTENER:
During the last 2 years, I have spent a good portion of my time here on Earth preparing for what you have in your hands. And for 2 days in June of 2008, I got together with Tigran, Harvie, Tyshawn, and the staff at the recording studio to document the music. Sal Mormando and I mixed the music in August; in September, I finally mastered it and Tim Song designed the album cover.
Now, it is time for you, the listener to be a part of the musical process. This piece of work will come alive and the process completed only with you listening AND HEARING it!
This artistic experience has fulfilled me greatly as a human being. I hope it prompts you on your own journey, where we can meet as souls again and again. The album is titled “Modes of Limited Transcendence” and is dedicated to all who strive to transcend the “horrors of humanity” and to live a heroic and magical life in spite of it all. A great philosopher said “we all live in the same horror but some of us are looking up”. Indeed, this is very true.
“Ryo’s First Flight” – This piece was written for my son. As I have seen him grow and strive to become a vibrant and beautiful 5 year old, it is my humble Thank You to him. He has brought so much happiness and wonder to both my wife and myself.
“Discovery in Three” – Discovery has been a constant in my life. I find it immensely satisfying to discover new things I did not know, musical and otherwise. I am very drawn to physics, philosophy, electricity, math, music, astronomy, and everything to do with human spirituality and the quest that is required of the individual.
“Trance Chant” – The main theme is a 12-tone row. For the musically inclined, you will hear how the “chant” swings from major to minor. Most of the music is in 7 meter and for me, it creates a trance-like drive with the piano motif/pattern. I wrote this thinking no matter what your beliefs may be, spirituality is an important part to transcendence.
“Art of Nothingness” – Nothing is everything. Everything is nothing.
“Hero to Wizard” – Nowadays, becoming a “hero” is accepted as the epitome of greatness. I believe this to be an infantile stage of thought; we need to evolve beyond just being great on an individual level. Hence, the wizard. To make ourselves able to help others and make magical things happen for others. To help heroes become wizards! Be the “Yoda” instead of “Luke”, know what I mean?
“Messiaen Shuffle” – This piece is in both 4 and 5 simultaneously. A blues type of music with some interesting “sounds” surrounding it. Dedicated to Olivier Messiaen.
“Gagaku Dreams” – Gagaku is the Japanese classical music performed in Imperial Courts. It literally means “elegant music”. One night I dreamt that I was to perform with my jazz group along with an ensemble of Gagaku musicians. So here it is, my take on my Japanese heritage and music in 2008.
“Sufficient Reason” – My musical expression of the “principle of sufficient reason,” to which great thinkers like Gottfried Leibniz have made great contributions. It tries to answer the question “why it should be rather than not be”.
Love, learning, spirituality, knowledge, evolution, fellow men, dreams/other world, reason. These are the 8 modes I have depicted musically as I continue on my path.
I call it “Modes of Limited Transcendence” as I think full transcendence is only attained when we cross to the other side whenever/wherever that may be for all of us.
Finally, thank you for listening.
“The artist alone sees spirits. But after he has told of their appearing to him, everybody sees them.” ~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe