Shirley Kazuyo Muramoto on Japanese koto and Shigeo Tachibana on shakuhachi (bamboo flute) present a collaboration of contemporary Japanese songs and one American song on these two traditional instruments.
Shigeo Tachibana has won many awards in Japan for shakuhachi, and holds an instructor's degree on his instrument. Shirley Muramoto was the first foreigner (American) from her school to win the "Yushusho" honor with her "Shihan" or instructor's license from the Chikushi Kai in Fukuoka, Japan. She now holds a "DaiShihan", (equivalent to a "Master's" degree) from this Ikuta koto school.
Two of these numbers are variations on Japanese traditional songs, "Itsuki No Komori Uta" and "Kojo No Tsuki". Each also performed one solo: "Tori No Yo Ni", one of Muramoto's favorite koto solos by Tadao Sawai; Tachibana Sensei's "Banshu No Utage", a soulful and deep reverie.
"Sublime, exquisitely tender and yet energized by a gentle, expressive fire, these contemporary pieces for Japanese shakuhachi flute and koto are not only beautifully accessible to the general public because of
the modern approach to melody and musical conversation but being steeped in the rich traditions, with two of the pieces based on traditional songs, this disc respectfully and innovatively carries this dynamic music forward into a 20th century space. Remarkably evocative and reflective of the imaginative titles, such as, “Moon Over the Ruined Castle,” and “Invitation to the Stars,” these eight, generously-spirited pieces combine for a transcendental
“I am truly honored and privileged to know Shirley for so many years. Her koto playing and energy for constant creativity is inspirational to me. Her spirit and soul touches me deeply. I am forever grateful to her for her friendship and her sharing of musical knowledge and philosophies with me to help me grow as a musician and composer but most important as a person."
Hiroshima, jazz ensemble)