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Christopher Y. Blasdel
CULTURE / Music
Mar 4, 2000
Synthesizing the old and the new
The individual genres of the traditional Japanese performing arts rarely stood alone. Each instrument or genre had a role to play, either religious, theatrical or social, and Japanese instrumental music, with a few exceptions, existed to provide accompaniment to song, dance or theater.
CULTURE / Music
Feb 19, 2000
Retracing Takemitsu's 'Steps'
In 1967 a performance occurred in New York City which changed hogaku forever. Under the direction of Seiji Ozawa, the New York Philharmonic Orchestra commemorated its 125th anniversary by commissioning pieces from composers around the world.
CULTURE / Music
Feb 5, 2000
At last, a live house for hogaku
Tokyo, being a vibrant, world-class metropolis, is home to hundreds of small musical venues ("live houses") which offer everything: the top names in the jazz world, rock and punk, piano parlor music, ethnic music from Asia, China, Korea, Africa, India, among others, as well as American and European folk...
CULTURE / Music
Jan 1, 2000
A little air time for Japan's own
Television in Japan is not known for its extensive coverage of the traditional Japanese performing arts. It is much easier to tune into a performance of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra than it is to catch one of Japan's own Living National Treasures performing. There are weekly radio and television...
CULTURE / Music / HOGAKU TODAY
Dec 18, 1999
A banquet of deities and genres
In January 1993, a group of like-minded young and mid-career performers of traditional Japanese music and dance got together and created Tokiza. Their aim was to create new group venues and markets for their music and dance, while maintaining their individually high standards of excellence.
CULTURE / Music / HOGAKU TODAY
Dec 4, 1999
Innovative star takes the stage
Those who appreciate the finest koto and shamisen music will be familiar with the name of Satomi Fukami. Fukami is considered to be one of the most innovative of all mid-career hogaku performers. She developed a highly disciplined style based on classics combined with a modern sensibility. This enables...
CULTURE / Music / HOGAKU TODAY
Nov 20, 1999
Still hope for the musically challenged
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CULTURE / Music / HOGAKU TODAY
Oct 2, 1999
New audiences for Japanese music
It takes a lot of planning and creative effort to successfully present a public concert, and hogaku is no exception.
CULTURE / Music / HOGAKU TODAY
Sep 4, 1999
Bang a gong, sing a sacred Buddhist song
Sound is an integral part of traditional Buddhist ceremony in Japanese temples. Time in the temple is structured around a procession of ceremonies: rising, meditating, giving alms, eating, etc., and each ceremony is accompanied by the sonorities of men chanting sutras in unison, called shomyo.
CULTURE / Music / HOGAKU TODAY
Aug 21, 1999
Cool sounds for a hot season at Japanese music recitals
Summertime is usually a slow time for hogaku performances. In the old days, the halls weren't air-conditioned, and neither the performers nor the audience cared to sit for hours in the heat. The serious hogaku performance season and music festivals began in the autumn months, along with the cool breezes...
CULTURE / Music / HOGAKU TODAY
Jul 17, 1999
Chilling out with the ghosts of summer
The summer months have traditionally been a time when Tokyoites tried to avoid the urban heat either by escaping to the mountains, beaches or, if that was not possible, venturing out during the evening to sit on the riverbank, drink cool, refreshing beverages and listen to ghost stories.
CULTURE / Music / HOGAKU TODAY
Jun 19, 1999
From court to village across the centuries
During the upcoming early summer weeks, one can experience a wide variety of fine hogaku concerts, including sublime gagaku court music, a lively group of kagura performers from Iwate Prefecture, contemporary koto music played by several fine young women performers, a large-scale biwa presentation and...
CULTURE / Music / HOGAKU TODAY
Jun 12, 1999
Open door to a world of dreams
David Wheeler, shakuhachi performer, teacher and writer on Japanese music, will be presenting a shakuhachi recital June 19 at Hamarikyu Asahi Hall.
CULTURE / Music / HOGAKU TODAY
Apr 3, 1999
Shamisen ballads bridge the musical and spiritual
Kioi Hall's large hall will be used for a concert of classical Japanese music April 6, for the first time since its opening in 1995.

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