East Winds Ensemble and Masters Masayo Ishigure and Marco Lienhard will present a soulful and exciting concert of Shakuhachi, Koto and Shamisen music. The concert will take you on a journey into the soul of old and modern Japan presented by two international masters of traditional Japanese music. East Winds Ensemble has travelled internationally in Japan, Mexico, Europe and South America. Last November, they toured Brazil with the Japan Foundation. Masayo Ishigure and Marco Lienhard have appeared at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Madison Square Garden, etc. and on numerous national and international TV programs (Regis and Kathie Lee, PBS specials, Nagano Olympics CBS programs, etc). Charles Tang will also appear as part of the Ensemble. Their best selling albums are available on MarcoLienhard.com, iTunes and cdbaby.com.
Quotes from the Media:
“ An amazing Shakuhachi player Marco Lienhard has come out with a new CD, truly a very gifted and wonderful sense of musicality. Not since “ National Treasure” Yamaguchi Goro’s rendition of Kinko Honkyoku music have I felt the need to listen to more of his music. His rendition of Honkyoku form the Watazumi style is incredible and everyone studying the style should listen to it. His powerful and heartfelt rendition of Amazing grace reminded me of such gospel singers as Mahalia Jackson. ”
Hogaku Journal, Tokyo
They have released a CD to critical acclaim and have collaborated on many other projects.
Look on www.taikoza.com for their concerts in your area, also check the website for upcoming CDs.
Check the other cd by Marco Lienhard
Check out our new CD!!! :
M. Lienhard regularly performs in Japan as a guest artist. He recently performed in Tokyo to a sold out house with Kodo member Chieko Kojima.
Marco Lienhard has appeared on many TV shows including "Regis and Kathie Lee Show ," the PBS special "A World of Performances," MTV, NBC's 1998 Macy's Thanksgiving Parade. Lienhard has recorded music for movies and documentaries and was the featured shakuhachi player in the American premiere of "The Temple of the Golden Pavilion" with the New York City Opera at Lincoln Center.
Masayo Ishigure began playing the koto and jiuta shamisen at the age of five in Gifu, Japan. She studied with Tadao and Kazue Sawai, an later became a special research student in 1986 at the Sawai Koto Academy of Music. The aim of the academy was to shed new light on koto music by incorporating everything from Bach to jazz and thus change the koto from being thought of only as a traditional Japanese instrument into an instrument of universal expressiveness. Masayo Ishigure became one of a small group of virtuoso disciples of the Sawais . She recorded with Tadao Sawai on two CDs: The World of Tadao Sawai and Tori no Yoni.
She has performed all over the world, and appeared in such festivals as Bang on a Can (NYC). Ms. Ishigure has been featured in two public television broadcasts, Music Under New York and World of Music. In 1997, she recorded Koto music for CBS Master Work for use during the broadcast of the 1998 Nagano Winter Olympics.
In 1992 Ms. Ishigure began teaching koto and shamisen in the music department of Wesleyan University (CT) as an artist in residence where she formed the Wesleyan Koto Ensemble. She also offers private lessons as the only Sawai Koto School instructor in the New York metropolitan area. Member of Taikoza (Japanese Drum) group. www.letsplaykoto.com
Notes on the instruments:
The shakuhachi is an end blown bamboo flute with four holes in the front and one hole in the back. It was used as a form of Buddhist meditation. In the Meianji temple in Kyoto, monks used to play these pieces as part of their training. The monk's philosophy can be defined by the following words "Ichion Joubutsu," which means, " a single note to reach enlightenment or Buddhahood". It was used later in court music ensemble as accompaniment to the koto and the shamisen( a three stringed banjo-like instrument). Over the years, its presence in popular music has increased and it can now be heard in a wide range of genres. It is believed that it came to Japan from China and perhaps India along with Buddhism- it was then a six hole instrument.
The Koto is a semi cylindrical zither with 13 strings. Each string has a movable bridge, which allows many different tuning combinations. The strings are plucked with small picks on the thumb and the first two fingers of the right hand, while the left raises the pitch or changes the tone. The earliest koto (yamagoto or wagon) had only five strings and was about three feet long. A sixth string was added in the Nara period(710-794). The 13-stringed Koto is modeled on the Chinese Zheng and is approximately six feet long. It also dates from the 8th century and could be found in the court music ensembles. A number of new schools of solo Koto developed in the late 15th century.