Flutist, conductor, vocalist and musicologist, is the artistic leader of the Ensemble Sporck. He has graduated recorder and flute at the Conservatory in Teplice, where later finished also conducting with Jan Valta. In 2008 – 2011 he studied baroque flute at the Charles University in Prague with Jana Semerádová, now he is studying musicology at the Philosophical Faculty there. During his studies he has won several prizes in various competitions, in 2007 the Leoš Janáček Foundation Prize for the best graduate. He has participated in many interpretation courses with notable performers (Peter Holtslag, Ashley Solomon, Barthold Kuijken, Jostein Gundersen, Anneke Boeke, Petr Zejfart, Jorge Salgado Correia, Florilegium, Jesper Christensen, Peter Kopp) and he also participates in Rebecca Stewart’s classes of vocal polyphony. WEB
A project of six musicians, concerning themselves with eclectic improvisations inspired by the particular spaces they play in. Each performance thus, is a unique work, created by the entire ensemble site-specifically. Topos Kolektiv are Anna Friedländer (vocal performance), Tereza Kerle (performance, percussion, voice), Hana Hrachovinová (harp), Marek Matvija (shakuhachi), Martin Klusák (composition/dramaturgy), Tomáš Kerle (percussion). www.toposkolektiv.com
Marty Regan has composed over 70 works for traditional Japanese instruments and since 2002 has been affiliated with AURA-J, one of Japan’s premiere performance ensembles of contemporary-traditional Japanese music. Widely regarded as the authoritative source on the subject and the only resource of its kind available in English, his translation of Minoru Miki’s orchestration-instrumentation manual Composing for Japanese Instruments was published by the University of Rochester Press in 2008. His “Selected Works for Japanese Instruments” compact disc series is released by Navona Records and his music is published by Mother Earth Co, Ltd. He completed his Ph.D. in music with an emphasis in composition at the University of Hawai’i, Manoa in 2006. One of his newest works, a chamber opera entitled “The Memory Stone,” was commissioned by the Houston Grand Opera as part of the HGCOco’s Songs of Houston: East + West initiative and was premiered in April 2013 at the Asia Society Texas Center. In 2015 he was the recipient of a Helen Wurlitzer Foundation Artist Residency Grant as well as a Clare Hall Visiting Research Fellowship from Cambridge University, UK. He is an Associate Professor of Music at Texas A&M University. URL: martyregan.com
Electroacoustic improvised music, site-specific music, urban shamanism
Tozan-ryu Shakuhachi Shihan (licenced teacher of Tozan shakuhachi school) Tutored under Kozan Yamazaki (recording and turing with well-known shamisen group `Yoshida Kyodai`) from 1990`s. Also studying under Tozan-ryu masters such as Taizan Kawamura and Houzan Nomura at the Tozan-ryu masterclasses over last decade. Currently resides in Prague, Czech republic and performs not just Japanese traditional pieces but modern and improvisational style of music, his co-performers include shakuhachi player Vlastislav Matousek, pianist Martin Kratochvil and percussionist Zangi. Besides studying the Tozan-ryu, he commutes few times a year to Itchoken zen temple in Fukuoka city, Japan to learn its traditional koten honkyoku.
Other music back ground includes academic study of piano and jazz theory and ensemble with Ron Perry and Peter Domingues at the music department of Michigan State University in USA and for playing saxophone, toured with local blues bands in Japan, recording CD with local Moravian band, currently studying under Jiri Kulisev from Jaroslav Jezek Conservatory.
Kikuo is a performer and teacher of koto, sangen (shamisen), and kokyû (bowed lute) in the traditional Nogawa style, a sub-sect of the Ikuta Schoolentered around the Osaka area. He studied with the Living National Treasure, the late Hatsuko Kikuhara and her successor, Koji Kikuhara.In 1997, he received the performing name of Kikuo. Since embarking on his professional career, Kikuo has won several awards and competitions and continues his studies while maintaining an active performance schedule. He is actively sought as an accompanist forjiuta-mai dances has appeared numerous times on stage, radio and television. He uses his mastery of traditional techniques as a solid basis to extend his musical practices into the present and experiments with various other instruments, both western and Japanese. In addition to many performances in Japan, he also has performed in the US, Switzerland, Germany Italy and Korea.He presently teaches at the Mainichi Cultural Center and the NHK Nishinomiya Gardens Cultural School. He also performs the Heike biwa.
Carpathians Project has been active since 1998, established by Anna Nacher and Marek Styczyński (who previously had been a leader Theatre of Sound ATMAN). Influenced by musical traditions of Eastern and Central Europe (most notably the multicultural region of Carpathians mountains, spanning through Romania, Hungary, Ukraine, Poland and Slovakia), free jazz, the philosophy of sound of classical Indian music and contemporary classic the duo creates compositions based on improvisation using plethora of traditional instruments from Asia, Europa and Australia. Prepared electric guitar, home-made analog electronics, field recordings made during their numerous travels around the world and bastardised radio waves add up to the distinct atmosphere of their music. Anna Nacher is also praised for her vocal technique – she has mastered various types of traditional styles of singing known as throat singing, developped through Central Asia and Eastern Europe. She regularly run voice trainings through a series of workshops (Poland, Greece, Germany, Slovenia).
The Magic Carpathians Project has released highly acclaimed albums on Obuh Records, Drunken Fish Records, Vivo Records, Requiem Records, Reverb Worship as well as on their self-managed label, World Flag Records. They are present on many compilations released in the UK (compilation “New Music from Central and eastern Europe” released by The Wire), Sweden, the U.S, Italy, toured USA in 2001 and 2006 (playing at many clubs: from Knitting Factory, NYC through SXSW, Austin to Bottom of the Hill, SF as well as performing at legendary Terrastock Festival in 2006) and Europe (Germany, France, Belgium, Netherlands, Switzerland, Sweden, Italy, Central Europe). The cooperations include the split CD with the American group Cerberus Shoal released on Northeast Indie and recent album with guest appearance of Eric Arn (of Crystallized Movements and Primordial Undermind).
Listed in All Music Guide. Reviewed in Magnet, The Wire, Downbeat, San Francisco Weekly, Brainwashed.com, FakeJazz.com, Dream Magazine, Ptolemaic Terrascope, The Broken Face (Sweden), Skug (Austria), Rockerilla (Italy). Regularly played at leading free form radio stations across the world: WFMU, KFJC, WNUR , KSPC (in World Top 10 chart for April, the 10th, 2001), WCBN, WMBR, WXYC, KDVS, KZSU, Freies Radio Kassel (Germany), Radio Undo D’Orta (Italy), Radio Centraal (Belgium), Radio Ciutat Vella (Spain) Radio 100, Radio Caroline (the Netherlands), DeutschesRadio, Borderlines, Multi Kulti (Germany), Resonance FM (UK), Radio Akropolis (Czech Republic).
Born in Sendai Japan. She learned koto since her little age by her grand mother and mother. Since 1989 she took lessons by Tadao Sawai and Kazue Sawai.
When she was Sophia University student in Tokyo, she joined world tour (Austria,Ukraine,Russia,Switzerland,Germany,France and middle and south America.)as member of Sawai Kazue Koto Ensemble. She joined Recordings (d’c records). She graduated from NHK (Japanese National Broadcasting Company) School of Performing Traditional Japanese Instruments and obtained master licence. She was selected cultural internship student by the Agency for Cultural Affairs and received prizes from several contest.
She uses her talent in a wide spectrum of activities ranging from premiering new music, commissioning composers, collaborating with other musicians and artists (dance and drama) to playing traditional koto and chamber music.
In 2007, she received “Fellowship of the Japanese Government Overseas Study Programme for Artists”. She went to Frankfurt, Germany, to study contemporary music in IEMA (Internationale Ensemble Modern Akademie) and expanded her skill for modern music.
Now, she lives in Frankfurt, Germany and regularly performs and teaches in Tokyo(Japan) and Germany.
Suizan J.-F. Lagrost is professor of art education at the Conservatories of Le Kremlin-Bicêtre and Asnières near Paris. As a versatile musician, he excels in both the Western and Japanese musics. After a traditional curriculum of concert flute in Mulhouse and Paris, then a DEA of Music of the 20th century at the University of Paris-Sorbonne, he began the shakuhachi in 2000 (Tozan style) and obtained in 2014 the title of Dai-Shihan (grand master).
The diversity of his expertise conducts him to appear in a variety of backgrounds : the Ensemble de flûtes de Paris, flute & piano recitals in Taiwan, as a soloist with the Musique de la Garde républicaine, as well as Summer Schools and Festivals of shakuhachi in Europe (Barcelona, Prague, etc.)
He published in 2013 a Japanese chamber music CD entitled “Kyoku” with the koto player Mieko Miyazaki.
As a Senior Advisor of the European Shakuhachi Society, he has founded and administered since 2011 the world’s main forum of shakuhachi (www.shakuhachiforum.eu).
Japanese musician and composer. He began studies of the Shakuhachi at 12 years of age in his native island of Hokkaido. He learned with some of the great masters of the time, including Yokoyama Katsuya. He has received several awards, including first prize in the Hokkaido Shakuhachi Contest and the All Japan Sankyoku Music Contest in 1977. In 1980 he was awarded the second prize in the Pan Music Contemporary Music for Traditional Instruments solo division. Under the auspices of the Japanese Ministry of Cultural Affairs and the Japan Foundation, Sugawara has toured the United States, Portugal, Italy, the former Yugoslavia, and China. He performs many different types of music, from traditional classical music to contemporary, jazz and folk. He also composes and is active as a radio and television performer.
Christopher Yohmei Blasdel began the shakuhachi and studies of Japanese music in 1972 with Living National Treasure Goro Yamaguchi. He also studied Fuke shakuhachi under Okamoto Chikugai, jiuta ensemble playing with Fujii Kunie and ryûteki flute under Shiba Sukeyasu. In 1982 he received an MFA in ethnomusicology from Tokyo University of Fine Arts and Music and is one of only two non-Japanese to be accredited as a shihan master by Yamaguchi. Performing in Japan and around the world, Blasdel maintains a balance between traditional shakuhachi music, modern compositions and cross-genre work with musicians, dancers, poets and visual artists. Discography includes Navarasa (2009), Breath Play (2007), Visionary Tones (2005) and several other CDs of traditional and contemporary music. He has composed and performed music for NHK documentaries and various films. He co-organized the World Shakuhachi Festival ’98 held in Boulder, Colorado and the Sydney World Shakuhachi Festival in 2008. He is the senior advisor to the annual Prague Shakuhachi Festival. His semi-autobiographical book, The Single Tone—A Personal Journey through Shakuhachi Music (Printed Matter Press, 2005) and The Shakuhachi, A Manual for Learning (1988) are two of the most important English language resource books on the shakuhachi. He presently teaches Japanese music at Temple University in Tokyo, is Artistic Director of the International House of Japan and is a coordinator/mentor for the Columbia University Hôgaku Program. He holds a third-degree black belt in Aikido. www.yohmei.com
Kiku Day is a jinashi shakuhachi player from Denmark with Japanese and American background. She gave up her studies in classical Western music on flute to study honkyoku (classic solo repertoire of the komusō monks of the Fuke sect of Zen Buddhism) with Okuda Atsuya in Japan for 11 years. Day has since her return to Europe dedicated her life to the potential use of jinashi shakuhachi today. The jinashi shakuhachi is the older type of shakuhachi, only consisting of the raw untreated bamboo. Several composers from different parts of the world have written for her, among others: Takahashi Yūji, Roxanna Panufnik, Frank Denyer, Vytautas Germanavicius and Yumi Hara Cawkwell. She has performed with performers such as Fred Frith, Joanna MacGregor, Mats Gustafsson and Joëlle Léandre, and as a soloist with Odense Symphony Orchestra and with the Nonsuch Choir. Day has a Phd. in ethnomusicology from SOAS, University of London and has worked as an assistant professor at Aarhus University, Denmark. She is a founding member of the European Shakuhachi Society for which she now serves as chairperson. More information at: http://www.kikuday.com
Gunnar began to study the shakuhachi after having arrived in Japan in 1985. He was after a short period of time introduced to the master Yamaguchi Gorō (1933–99), the youngest ever designated living national treasure. Yamaguchi-sensei was head of the still active Chikumeisha guild of Kinko-ryū Shakuhachi, the oldest of the existing lineages of shakuhachi.
In 1993 Gunnar received the Japanese Monbukagakushō Scholarship, to study shakuhachi as soloist, at the traditional music conservatoire at Tokyo National University of the Arts (Tokyo Geidai). After two years of studies, Gunnar passed the entrance exam to the Master’s program, and finished with an MA degree as shakuhachi soloist in 1997, the second non-Japanese to do so. Gunnar received his traditional license, shihan, and the name Jinmei (儘盟) from Yamaguchi Gorō in the summer of 1998, right after the first International Shakuhachi Festival to be held outside of Japan, in Boulder CO, USA. Very sadly, Yamaguchi Gorō passed away only months after that.
From 1997 to 2005 Gunnar was professionally active as performer and teacher of shakuhachi in Japan, but also teaching and performing in Europe and the US.
In 2005, after some 20 years of activities in Japan, Gunnar moved to Europe. He is now actively performing and teaching both privately and through regular workshops in Stockholm and Helsinki, and other shakuhachi events. He is working as Associate Professor at the Department of Oriental Languages, Stockholm University, conducting research in the traditional (or pre-modern) genres of Japanese music. Presently he is studying the structure of some Edo-period music genres, as well as the song texts of the chamber music of the 18th and 19th centuries Japan (so-called jiuta-sōkyoku or sankyoku). Gunnar is also a teacher of shakuhachi at the Royal College of Music in Stockholm (KMH).
Dr Jim Franklin is a master performer of the shakuhachi. He initially studied composition and musicology in Australia, Germany and Holland. During his studies he encountered the shakuhachi, and was fascinated by it. After learning the instrument in Australia with Dr Riley Lee and in Japan with Furuya Teruo and Yokoyama Katsuya, he received the title Shihan (“master”) in 1996 from Yokoyama-sensei, and was thus officially licensed to teach and perform shakuhachi. As a composer, Franklin is active in the areas of contemporary and electroacoustic music. He composes for shakuhachi solo and in combination with other instruments, and frequently performs projects with shakuhachi and live electronics, often in combination with dance and video art. The interface between shakuhachi and electronics, and shakuhachi and visual media, is a key area of interest. In the area of solo shakuhachi, Franklin has specialized in the honkyoku of the school of Yokoyama Katsuya (Kokusai Shakuhachi Kenshukan) and in modern music. Since 2004 Franklin has lived in Germany. From 2006 to 2009 he was Chairperson of the European Shakuhachi Society. www.bambooheart.com
Doc. Vlastislav Matoušek PhD. studied composition and post-gradual courses in Musical Theory at the Academy of Performing Arts, the Faculty of Music in Prague where he has been teaching ethnomusicology since 1991. There he received his Ph.D. degree in theory of composition. Six months as a fellow of Japan Foundation he studied shakuhachi playing with a shakuhachi master Kifu Mitsuhashi and Japanese Traditional Music at Prof. Yamaguchi Osamu in Japan (1996).
As a soloist concert performer he mainly plays honkyoku – traditional pieces for Japanese bamboo flute, shakuhachi. He is an art-director and a conductor of his contemporary music Ensemble 108 Hz which presents experimental music and his own compositions for voices and other even exotic and folk instruments from his personal extensive collection, often in combination with electronics. www.shakuhachi.cz
Born in 1940, he is a venerated priest of the Rinzai Sect of Zen Buddhism and the head abbot of Hosshin-ji Temple in Tokyo. Hosshin-ji has a centuries old connection with shakuhachi, as it was the Edo urban branch of Reihô-ji Temple, the main Fuke shakuhachi temple in the Kanto Region during the Edo Period (1603-1868). Abbot Kosuge is also an accomplished performer of the shakuhachi, having studied the Kinko Style with Yamaguchi Goro and various styles of Myôan shakuhachi. He began and has sponsored the Komusô Study Group since 1982 and has published numerous books and articles about the shakuhachi, its notation and relationship with Zen Buddhism.