Review in Osservatorio Romano, Vatican City for Spirituality Festival in Torino 9/26-27

...Nella giornata di sabato, abbiamo fatto visita a un gioiello nascosto del circuito museale torinese, il MAO (Museo d’Arte Orientale). Chiedendo indicazioni, ci siamo accorti che persino molti residenti non ne avevano mai sentito parlare ed è un vero peccato. Ci ha incantati l’abitacolo di vetro immerso nei giardini giapponesi. Abbiamo ascoltato il soffio che si fa suono nello shakuhachi, tradizionale flauto verticale in bambù, grazie ad un suo vero virtuoso, l’artista svizzero Marco Lienhard. Mentre il maestro suonava il motivo giapponese del Nido della Gru, ci è parso di sentire il verso frignante e dolcissimo dell’uccello dal lungo collo. Francesco Puleo ha letto testi selezionati dalla Rev. Elena Seishin Viviani, tra cui una splendida poesia di Mariangela Gualtieri, che dice: «Ringraziare desidero», in tanti modi e a tante cose. Ci ha ricordato il Laudato si’: «Ringraziare desidero (…) per la quiete della casa, per i bambini che sono nostre divinità domestiche, per l’anima che consola il mio girovagare errante, per il respiro che è un bene immenso». Qualcuno ascoltava tenendo gli occhi chiusi, qualcuno si teneva la mano, qualcuno meditava. Un’esperienza di delicata bellezza...

Roberto Rosano with Osservatorio Romano

Chinese contemporary music has attained considerable visibility and influence in the West in recent decades. Chinese-born composers, some of them scarred by the Cultural Revolution, have made major inroads in the classical music scene in the United States and elsewhere. For various reasons, Japanese contemporary music has had less impact, despite the efforts of worthy organizations like Music From Japan, which celebrates its 40th anniversary on Feb. 7 and 8 at the Asia Society. But now the Juilliard School is also rallying to the cause, devoting its annual weeklong festival of contemporary music, Focus!, to Japanese music since 1945. Joel Sachs, the festival’s director, conducted the New Juilliard Ensemble in the opening concert last Friday at the school’s Peter Jay Sharp Theater, and after chamber concerts from Monday through Thursday evenings, the Japanese conductor Tadaaki Otaka will lead the Juilliard Orchestra this Friday to close the festival. Thirty-nine composers are represented, the lone Western interloper being Debussy. “The choices were limited only by the need to bypass pieces combining Western and Japanese instruments,” Mr. Sachs writes in the festival booklet, mainly because of what it would cost to hire specialist performers. One of the surprises Mr. Sachs found during his research, he adds, was an abundance of prominent female composers to choose from in “a country that has traditionally been male-dominated.” Fifteen are represented in the festival, and the opening work in Friday’s program was by a woman, Misato Mochizuki’s “La Chambre Claire” (“The Luminous Room,” 1999), based on a book about photography by Roland Barthes. It was not entirely clear how Ms. Mochizuki was applying Barthes’s notions of studium (spatiality or extension) and punctum (a small opening or incision) in this colorful work for chamber orchestra. But it may have had to do with forays made by the woodwinds — screeching, warbling or keening — over a steady rhythm in the percussion. Then came the first exception to Mr. Sachs’s general avoidance of Japanese instruments, Toshio Hosokawa’s “Voyage X — Nozarashi” (2009), a sort of concerto for shakuhachi, a bamboo flute, and small orchestra. The shakuhachi, played with malleable, expressive attacks, produces a breathy sound, deep in terms of profundity if not pitch. “One can hear already in a single tone the sound of the whole cosmos,” Mr. Hosokawa writes, adding that the instrument evokes “the sadness and beauty of the past.” Marco Lienhard, a Swiss-born master of the shakuhachi, did ample justice to these suggestions. Somei Satoh’s “The Last Song” (2005) returned to the Focus! Festival, where it was heard in 2006. A setting of Walt Whitman’s “Beginning My Studies,” as much declamation as song, it ends in understated ecstasy. Christopher Dylan Herbert, a baritone and a doctoral fellow at Juilliard, heard recently as the title character in a splendid staging of Handel’s Saul, gave a sterling performance, which seemed all the more expressive for its intense restraint. Robert Fleitz, a student pianist, was an equally fine soloist in Michio Mamiya’s Piano Concerto No. 4 (“Scenes of an Unborn Opera,” 1997), and he for his part was matched in virtuosity in a cadenzalike passage by the bass clarinetist of the ensemble, Shen Liu. Akira Nishimura’s “Orgone” (2005) ended the program. The title, Mr. Nishimura writes, “derives from the word orgasm.” “I hoped to transcribe the ‘orgasm’ of nature,” he added. The piece was a lively jolt, this time with ecstasy perhaps overstated. So was it possible to generalize qualities of Japanese contemporary music from this program? Economy of means and sound? Restrained expression? Unhurried, deliberate motion? A searching spirit? Such traits can occur in almost any style, and their use, even in combination, does not necessarily point back to a Japanese style. Maybe by the end of the festival, listeners will have a clearer idea of what specifically characterizes Japanese contemporary music. And maybe not, given the paucity of Japanese instruments. Correction: January 27, 2015  A music review on Monday about the opening concert in the Focus! festival, presented by the Juilliard School, misidentified the conductor who will lead the Juilliard Orchestra in the closing concert of the festival on Friday. He is Tadaaki Otaka — not Joel Sachs, the festival’s director. ”

New York Times

DooBeeDooBeeDoo a cross-cultural on-line music magazine Home Contact Editorial Staff Chief editor’s message About Links Newsletter Subscription DooBeeDooBeeDoo is a cross-cultural on-line magazine, based on the view that music and community are indivisible, and that musicians, consumers and record companies are all part of one community. The basic thrust of the editorial content is that a social awareness can be fostered through music. Concert review: Taikoza banged the big barrel-sized taiko here among the steel and concrete skyscrapers of New York… 18.05.2012 by Sohrabeyal Category Concert and event reviewJapan Date: Saturday, May 5, 2012Venue: The Manhattan Movement and Arts CenterVideos and photos: by Sohrab Saadat LadjevardiConcert review by Jim Hoey Taiko is an ancient form of Japanese drumming that most New Yorkers have no familiarity with, yet recently theTaikoza group, led by Swiss-born director Marco Lienhard, banged the big barrel-sized  taiko here among the steel and concrete skyscrapers of New York in the time-honored, Japanese, tradition of cleansing the Spring atmosphere of evil spirits through the banging of drums, dancing, and playing of flutes (shakahachi and fue), and a Japanese 13 strings instrument (koto).     To get to this show took a little trooping, you had to hit West 60th street, close to the water, at the Manhattan Movement and Arts Center; but once there and downstairs and inside, the theater presented an intimate setting for the presentation of these traditional Japanese musical forms. Taikoza, the group, has a unique history because Lienhard came to Taiko music and mastered it as an outsider, “gaijin“, in Japan, yet he was able to find his way to study with a famous drumming group in Japan, Ondekoza, known for their intense discipline and training. This group in Japan would also run marathons while on tour to maintain their purity of spirit! As a former flute player in Switzerland, he also took quite quickly to the shakahachi, the instrument which he excelled on in this performance. In 1995 he took this experience with him when formed Taikoza here in NYC.   The high level of intensity suggested by such feats was definitely evident in their performance this night in New York. The Taiko, when first wheeled out onstage, looked immense when compared to what’s common in the West, reminiscent of war drums beaten on the eve of battle, and the players, all accomplished disciples of the tradition, performed their varying roles to perfection during the display. The pummeling battery of snare drums and Taiko was intense on a number of selections from the performance, reverberating deeply around the theater to the core of the audience, but the subtle adjustments to shakahachi (Japanese flute) and Koto (Japanese harp), throughout the night balanced this out, and made for a truly profound juxtaposition.     Yuki Yasuda, especially, on solo Koto, delivered a tremendous version of Tori No Yoni (Like A BIrd). While playing alone before the audience, she built the intensity of her song to a profound pitch, exhibiting a dexterity of playing worthy of  her Japanese teachers.     Taikoza, for this night only, was fortunate to be joined by Hawaii Matsuri Taiko, the first Japanese Taiko group of its kind in Hawaii. Many of its multi-ethnic members have been featured internationally, and on US television, mixing Hawaiian and Buddhist rhythms in their music.     Lienhard and Taikoza should be commended for bringing this intense and beautiful Asian music to New York, in all of its authenticity, and also for working to connect with other practitioners of this ancient tradition around the world. Not only were they able to capture the elegance and power of the songs, but through the dancing and acting portrayed in some of the compositions, they were also able to keep the spirit light, and bring a lot of smiles to the faces in the audience, many of whom were young kids. At no point did this feel like a walk through a museum, an encounter with a dead art. The energy in the room was bristling, the performers dripping in sweat, and the members of the crowd throughout the performance were ready for more, and ready to reach over and try their own hands at the big Taiko drums that were sitting idle on the stage in the few moments after the show. Lots of people took pictures and tried to grab a stick, bang a drum, and catch a bit of the vibe that was still hanging in the air, profoundly.   Please check also out a recent interview with Marco here. Trackback URI | Comments are closed. ← Welcome to Japan, Sohrab!! Recommended concert: pianist/composer Jeremy Siskind performing jazz and classical music at Carnegie Hall! → Categories About music Books CD Review Concert and event review Dance DVD release Event listings Events Exhibition Film Film and soundtrack Film feature Film screenings Film trailer International artists International cultural festivals and events Interview Japan Listings Movie review Music around the world Music business and Trading Music listings Music vs Politics: Iran Musicians Musicians in New York NY street performers Recommended YouTube videos Special women around us TV movies and documentaries Uncategorized What's happening today WEEKLY NEWSLETTER Subscribe for highlights and music/event listings! RSS Subscribe our RSS Recent Posts Recommended Kickstarter Campaign: recording of compositions for piano and shakuhachi by the Japanese composer Rando Fukuda played by Marco Lienhard and Charles Tang! Film feature: Violeta Went To Heaven @ The Film Society of Lincoln Center (LATINBEAT 2012)! CD recommendation: Togo’s Fela Kuti speaks out for the 2nd time with music jumping “Between 2 Worlds”! A Documentary Film: THIS TIME – an unflinching celebration of six diverse artists living on the flip side of the music industry! Event review: 2012 Istanbulive 4 brought Turkish music and culture back to NY again. Music listings – 8/6 through 8/12 Dafnis Prieto: one of my favorite NY drummers in NY Archives August 2012 July 2012 June 2012 May 2012 April 2012 March 2012 February 2012 January 2012 December 2011 November 2011 October 2011 September 2011 August 2011 July 2011 June 2011 May 2011 April 2011 March 2011 February 2011 January 2011 December 2010 November 2010 October 2010 September 2010 August 2010 July 2010 June 2010 May 2010 April 2010 March 2010 February 2010 January 2010 December 2009 November 2009 October 2009 September 2009 August 2009 July 2009 DooBeeDooBeeDoo © 2007 - 2010 All Rights Reserved. WordPress - Entries - Saur made by Nurudin Jauhari ” - Jim Hoey

http://www.doobeedoobeedoo.info/2012/05/18/concert-review-taikoza/

Here is an intereview by a fellow musician who runs a website for music.  We actually met in Japan when i was 18 and been in touch all along. He recently moved to NYC, check his music out - he is a Sax player     http://www.doobeedoobeedoo.info/2012/04/29/musician-in-ny-marco-lienhard-his-taikoza-the-man-keeping-japanese-culture-alive/ ” - Sohrab

http://www.doobeedoobeedoo.info

From article by Mr Kishi appeared in Hogaku Journal, Tokyo Japan: “ An amazing shakuhachi player Marco Lienhard has come out with a new CD, truly a very gifted and wonderful sense of musicality. Not since 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 school 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.” - Kishi

— Hogaku Journal

  Taikoza Performs in Inwood's Isham Park   An annual Inwood gem, Taikoza gave its free concert in Inwood's Isham Park today. The performance, as always, was wonderful, but my favorite part was watching the little kids dance and play throughout the park. Families even had dinner delivered to the park, causing some confusion for at least one Chinese food deliveryman.As you can probably tell from the photos, everyone had a lovely time.  ” - Carla Zanoni

Blog: The Streets Where We Live

http://gammablog.com/2009/09/07/taikoza-at-the-howl-festival/ ”

video blog

  “ In its choreography and its vigor taiko becomes almost a martial art, one in which violence has been sublimated into disciplined exultation a blend of high-decibel virtuosity and sinful shakuhachi solos. Precision and energy are paramount here and the product, for me, was medicinal. It is a combination narcotic, stimulant and vitamin pill.” Bernard Holland, NY Times   The concert was full of stirring Music from Japan. From the most delicate and mournful bamboo flute song to the loudest and most pulsating beat, the dedicated passion of the musicians was inspiring The Richmond News Leader   Taikoza has moved the drums in the foreground and into an exciting visual Explosion, The Dothan Eagle   “ Few adjectives can explain the sound, emotion and overall experience of the pounding drums of a live performance. My senses were rattles.” Nichi Bei Times   “Something strange and wonderful is coming your way. There was thunder and there was lighting and there was the sea crashing against a cliff, and volcanoes. For a few utterly transporting minutes, there was expressed in the metaphors of merciless rhythms and fluttering melodies, anything a listener had experienced, would experience and could imagine experiencing.” ERIC HUBLER, WASHINGTON POST   Taikoza is the definition of great art and the audience was not mistaken when they broke into thunderous applause. FAN of Neuchatel   The performance physical at times, meditative at times was very powerful and emotional. The visual beauty as well as the raw energy of the drummers pounding on the taiko took the audience. It created an emotional tension that was only released at the end with the audience’s heartfelt and thunderous applause. The members of Taikoza beyond their professionalism were able to make Taiko music more approachable to the audience Corriere del Ticino    “ An amazing shakuhachi player Marco Lienhard has come out with a new CD, truly a very gifted and wonderful sense of musicality. Not since 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 School 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. From article by Mr. Kishi appeared in Hogaku Journal, Tokyo Japan    “The members gave their bodies over to musical performance at times a very physical and musical performance. - The highly appreciative audience was treated to physical dexterity, lovely and magical flute music ” Boston Herald     “ The drummers were clearly enduring some metaphysical test, but less grueling in the program, Marco Lienhard’s deeply fanciful solos on the shakuhachi looked fully invested and with more than just energy. It is the layering of drums patterns and sonorities in intricate compositions that represent the key to the experience. Los Angeles Times   The musicians’ strong performance really livened up the audience Taikoza’s energetic performance is a delicate mixture of tranquility and excitement and while using traditional Japanese performing arts they are successful at breaking national boundaries. The Arts Cure, 2003          ”

— NY times, LA times ,etc

Morris Arts   Home About About Board of Trustees Staff Newsletter Arts Calendar Upcoming Arts Events Arts Classes and Camps Submit An Event Arts In Education For Artists/Arts Organizations Artists Opportunities Artists Development Workshops Networking Events Artists with disabilities Arts Organizations Local Arts Grants Workshops Networking Events Accessiblity in the Arts Programs Arts Everywhere Art Galleries Gallery at 14 Maple Atrium Gallery Coladarci and Ehlers Arts Scholarships First Night Morris County turns 21! Music Beyond Borders 3rd Saturdays at Morris View Artist/Student Mentoring Program Events Celebrate The Arts Giralda Music and Arts Festival Arts In Education Showcase Great Conversations Support How To Support Morris Arts 10 Reasons to Support Morris Arts Our Funders Contact Music Beyond Borders brings Japanese Taiko drumming to Green Posted on July 10, 2013  Roughly translated, taiko means big drums – and that’s exactly what the group Taikoza brought to the Morristown Green on July 9, 2013 – big drums (some weighing 150 lbs.!), powerful rhythms and electrifying, heart pounding energy that draws from Japan’s rich musical traditions. Led by Marco Lienhard, this internationally acclaimed, NYC-based ensemble has performed at Carnegie Hall, Madison Square Garden, Symphony Space and Lincoln Center as well as to sold-out houses in Russia, Japan and Europe. Breaking prior attendance records for Music Beyond Borders, over 375 people came out to hear the powerful, mesmerizing rhythms of the large taiko drums and to enjoy the melodies of  the fue andshakuhachi flutes. The ensemble also performed on a variety of drums and and entranced the audience of young and old with Japanese folk dances and comedic mime performed by Chikako Saito. The children especially enjoyed dancing, cymbal playing and trying their hands at the big drums. Want more? On September 15, 2013 at 7pm, a larger contingent from Taikoza will be performing with Ichiro Jishoya, a guest from Japan, at Symphony Space in NYC. Tickets are available atwww.symphonyspace.org. Taikoza also has a new CD at http://www.cdbaby.com/group/taikoza andhttp://www.cdbaby.com/cd/marcolinehard3.                     L-R: An enthralled audience; Drummers Marguerite Bunyan and Marco Lienhard; Drummers Marco Lienhard and Chikako Saito.                         L-R: Young girl tries her hand at taiko drumming; Mime encourages child to approach drums; Marco Lienhard plays fue flute.                 L-R: Chikako Saito twirls parasol as part of rain dance; The Taikoza trio in action with Marco Lienhard, Chikako Saito and Marguerite Bunyan. To see Chikako Saito perform the rain dance, click here. To see the Taikoza trio drumming with flagged drumsticks, click here.  Watch Chikako Saito perform dual parasol dance here. For calendar and class information, visit www.taikoza.com/ Click here for pre-event coverage on MorristownGreen.com. Click here for coverage of the event in the Star Ledger. ” - Lynn Siebert

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