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27. januar 2007 Af OLE LAURITZEN

I selskab med Biwa og Shakuhachi

Symfonikoncert, "Wien - orienten t/r"
Shakuhachi og Biwa, sådan hedder de to traditionelle japanske instrumenteer, som var i forgrunden i Tôro Takemitsus raffinerede "November Steps" fra 1967. Den sjette stjerne gives til de eminente solister, Kiku Day og Junko Ueda, der spillede værket sublimt og dybt indlevet.
"November Steps" er ikke improvisation eller lån fra gammel japansk musik, men et frit komponeret værk.

Langfløjten shakuhachi kender man måske fra Peter Gabriel-hittet "Sledgehammer", biwaen er en slags lut. Fløjtens toneranker er fulde af glidende toner og besvares med accelererende, dumpe rytmeklange fra biwaen, som trakteres med et stort trekantet plekter.
Musikken er blottet for drama og dynamisk bevægelse. Den får tiden til at stå stille. Orkestermusikerne spillede hver sin stemme, og musikkens uendeligt forfinede klange virkede som flimrende støvkorn i sollyset. Der blev lyttet med store ører i den musestille sal.

En fremragende udførelse fik også det andet fremmede værk, "Duo Ye", skrevet 1985 af den kinesiske Chen Yi. Musikken er for spinkel kammerbesætning, men ligeså raffineret som Takemitsus koncert. Det korte stykke gav et godt indtryk af komponistens tonesprog, der blander blid lyrik og skarpt tegnede motiver, inspireret fra de gamle kinesiske melodiformer.

Lan Shui indrammede de fjernøstlige værker med et par flot klingende udgaver for fuldt orkester af mindre kendte wienske klassikere. Både Beethovens ouverture til "Athens ruiner" og Schuberts 4., den såkaldt "tragiske" symfoni var formet stramt, og Shuis opførelser var fyldt med energi og spændstige rytmer. Der blev ikke givet ved dørene. De rappe tempi klædte

Schuberts symfoni, som trods tonarten c-mol mestendels går i livlig dur.

Anden satsen - som uvægerligt minder en dansk lytter om salmen "Her vil ties" - var usentimental og frisk gennemlyst.

Lan Shui er godt nok fra Kina, men tæt forbundet med Danmark, p.t.som 1.gæstedirigent ved Aalborg Symfoniorkester, og fra næste sæson tiltræder han som chefdirigent for Sjællands Symfoniorkester. Det var hans første besøg i Odense. Han må godt komme igen.

Om koncerten
Musik af Ludwig van Beethoven, Chen Yi, Tóru Takemitsu og Franz Schubert
Solister: Kiku Day, shakuhachi og Junko Ueda, biwa
Odense Symfoniorkester
Dirigent: Lan Shui
Carl Nielsen Salen, Odense Koncerthus, torsdag

- Fyns stifttidende


Zen Kaiju
By Eyal Hareuveni

Berkeley-based experimental guitarist Henry Kaiser has gained a justified reputation for his eclectic tastes and the way that he fuses his influences into an idiosyncratic guitar style. He began playing the guitar after listening to seminal free-improv guitarist Derek Bailey and has a deep knowledge of the Grateful Dead's musical journeys, as well as the 1970s electric-era of Miles Davis, as documented in the three volumes of his Yo Miles! band with trumpeter Wadada Leo Smith. He also has a keen interest in musical traditions from around the world, as his musical tours to Madagascar and Norway with fellow-guitarist David Lindley testify. Tokyo-born and Copenhagen-based, Kiku Day studied the ji-nashi shakuhachi—the bamboo flute that is so identified with Zen Buddhism in Japan---and later improvisation with Joëlle Léandre and Fred Frith, with whom she recorded his dance piece The Happy End Problem (Fred Records, 2007). She first collaborated with Kaiser on Domo Arigato Derek-Sensei! (Balance Point Acoustics, 2006), his heartfelt tribute to the late Bailey.
The title of this stunning meeting of minds supposedly represents what Day and Kaiser bring to the table. It defines a clash between the meditative, serene and introspective side of Zen, and the reckless, vocal, violent mutation of the Kaiju—which translates to strange beast in Japanese and refers to the generic name for Gojira, the famous Godzilla and extended family of mutated/strange creatures that starred in a 1960s wave of monster films. It is clear that Kaiser is also an expert in that field; all twelve pieces portray vivid meetings of extremes between all sorts of Kaiju in times when they are called to reflect upon their deeds, in a kind of spin on the Japanese wabi-sabi aesthetic concept.

The most amazing thing about this recording is that both Day and Kaiser are able create a new common ground, one that references the disciplined shakuhachi tradition, but moves onto another plain. In their tight and intimate timbral explorations, Day uses the shakuhachi as a drone instrument, while Kaiser bends and sustains notes indefinitely on guitar. When she slurs or shouts on the bamboo flute, he lightly distorts the sound and squeezes the strings as a metallic percussion instrument. While she investigates microtones and multiphonics he caresses and gently rubs the strings, and when he tries to dictate a vague rhythm she offers sympathetic and subtle dance-like sentences. Kaiser plays in a much more restrained manner than usual, opting for more a precise and subtle extension of Day's language; but such a nuanced approach pays off, since it leaves much more room for the colorful and suggestive sounds of both to linger on.

Day and Kaiser are powerful improvisers with a wealth of ideas and an endless need to open new sonic vistas. This unique recording suggests a new way towards a sonic enlightenment—unconventional, selfless and compassionate as Zen enlightenment, but also a liberating one from our sonic or life conventions and costumes, just as Bailey suggested.

Visit Kiku Day and Henry Kaiser on the web.



Track listing: Gojira Examines a Monk in Meditation; Anguiras Pacifies the Mind; Fairy Mothra's Preaching Sign, Gyaos Washes the Bowl, Dagora Calls His Own Master; Varan's Wheel, Gamera's Dog, This Mind is Not Pigmon, Ultraman Investigates, Jiger Twirls a Flower; A Philosopher Asks King Ghidorah; Tripping Over the Oxygen Destroyer.

Personnel: Kiku Day: ji-nashi shakuhachi; Henry Kaiser: electric and acoustic guitars.

Style: Fringes of Jazz - all about jazz


Discography


Kiku Day - Shakuhachi
Henry Kaiser - Guitar
Zen Kaiju
Balance Point Acoustics bpaltd303
• Henry Kaiser: Domo Arigato Derek-Sensei!
Balance Point Acoustics. bpaltd202
• Fred Frith: The Happy End Problem.
Music for Dance Vol. 5,
Fred Redords
• Myles Boisen & Jon Raskin: Music + One. An Improvisation Compendium.
Rastascan Records. BRD 054

Photos

Bio

My playing style of honkyoku, the traditional repertoire of the komuso monks of the Fuke sect who used to play shakuhachi as a tool for meditation is coming from Watazumi Doso Roshi and other fere-spirited shakuhachi players playing on the old style instrument called the jinashi shakuhachi. My teacher Okuda Atsuya was a jazz trumpeter and his flexibility in style has influenced my own approach to shakuhachi. Each sound of the music reflects the universe and the breathing is the rhythm of the music. The sound of the raw bamboo is an evidence of nature. The long shakuhachi used have a deep and meditative feeling. At the same time I explore the possibilities of this older type of shakuhachi in new music and often collaborate with composers to create new pieces for this instrument.