An exciting facet of life in America is the coming together of cultures from around the world, particularly through art and music. On the edge of the Pacific Rim lies Portland, Oregon; a multicultural city that offers opportunities to highlight the cultures of China and Japan through two exquisite gardens.
The Portland Classical Chinese Garden and the Portland Japanese Garden attract thousands of visitors each year and invite them to step outside the everyday and experience worlds beyond our borders. Visitors surround themselves in environments that inspire an appreciation for the cultures of China and Japan.
On two special nights in July of 2007, concerts were held at the Japanese Garden Pavilion and outside at the Classical Chinese Garden. Internationally acclaimed performers: Chinese-American soprano, Lea Woods Friedman, and Japanese pianist, Lisa Nakamichi, collaborated to celebrate the special ability music has in bringing people and cultures together.
This album is a highlight of the pieces performed by this pair. From a medley of Japanese and Chinese folk melodies to expressions of joy in the changing seasons. The repertoire is a mix of folk, traditional and modern pieces—all with an emphasis on aspects of life, love and nature, which the gardens inspire.
The album was recorded prior to the concerts in Honolulu, Hawaii where both performers were born and raised, and where the generosity of The Mountain Apple Company and Jon de Mello made it possible to create this album that crosses the boundaries of land, sea and culture.