EN means "Affinity" and this husband-wife duo have an affinity for Japanese music based on years of study in Japan. Award-winning artist Elizabeth Falconer (koto) and John Falconer (shakuhachi bamboo flute) perform original compositions and well-known pieces from Japan, as well as their own arrangements of American spirituals, a romantic classical work, and a lilting Cuban melody. Reaching beyond the style of "meditation music," this is an utterly refreshing take on the versatile sounds of these traditional Japanese instruments.
"If you need to turn off the noise of the outside world, turn on Affinity....At exactly one hour, it's great for massage, spa, or sleep sessions. Affinity is perfect for any fan of the timbres and style of Japanese music and is one of the most calming and serene in-store plays imaginable." - New Age Retailer
"They've managed to achieve a balance between precision and relaxation in this fresh recording with ancient Japanese roots." - Sound Roots
"If you love the sound of plucked koto and whispering shakuhachi bamboo flute, you are going to love "Affinity." Elizabeth Falconer and her husband John Falconer form the duo "En" --"affinity" in Japanese. There certainly is an affinity for koto and shakuhachi. The dry but fluid sound of the flute blends with the harp-like dripping of the plucked koto. Mrs. Falconer is one of the few American koto players who are actually licensed as a true Japanese master of the instrument. She and her husband met while studying Japanese, and their affinity for each other has created a wonderful musical partnership.
What's marvelous about this cd is that it includes koto-shakuhachi arrangements of popular tunes like "Scarborough Fair" and "Je Crois Encore Entendre" and "Amazing Grace." There are also traditional Japanese tunes mixed in and original works. I was amazed at how Japanese Simon & Garfunkel could sound!
I like relaxation music. I find that I can turn off all the "noise" in my brain by listening to quiet music right before bed. This cd is going right into the bedside CD and I have a feeling it's going to be staying there for quite a while. This is gorgeous music. If you have kids that need settling down before bed, I'd recommend you try this music for them. You could read a beautiful bedtime story, a psalm or bible verse, or look at a soothing picture book and make a wonderful bedtime ritual. Or just sit and cuddle and teach them to calm themselves after a busy day. For adults, this is also something very romantic. Dinner by candlelight? Sofa and fireplace? Sitting on the porch or deck on a lovely evening? The music evokes dark silhouettes of pine trees and twinkling stars and the breeze stirring the floating leaves.
If you have a friend who is a fan of Japanese music, or who likes world sound or who might need something relaxing, this would make a wonderful gift. I think this is a great addition to any cd library and so far, tied with "Deep Pool" this is my favorite of all the Falconer koto albums so far. Absolutely excellent and highly recommended." - Amazon Top 10 Reviewer Joanne Daneman