Ikkan Fugetsu Vol. 2: Tomoshibi
On July 10, my second album “Ikkan Fugetsu Vol. 2: Tomoshibi” was released at long last! Thank you for your patience and support, everyone.
For this album, I didn’t limit myself to playing Japanese songs since I play a Japanese bamboo flute… I decided to include a wide range of songs that I like, ranging from Russian folksongs to American sprituals, from my own originals to Uyghur folksongs.
I invited Mikio Tsuji (eleven-string alto guitar), Yumi Nogami (piano & vocals), and Yoshie Abe (tategoto [vertical koto harp] & vocals) to collaborate with me on the album. They are all such unique performers and they shared their talents without restraint. I chose my bamboo flute, either makobue or shinobue, especially to suit each song… but actually, I really had no choice but to play a shinobue for many of the pieces to suit the delicate tones of Mr. Tsuji’s guitar and Ms. Abe’s harp.
Just like on my first album, the last track is kind of like a bonus track, so to speak. I dedicated this track to the late Akira Nino, the pianist who performed on my debut album. I thought the lyrics of “Nobody Knows the Trouble I’ve Seen” sounded like his inner monologue during his life, so I chose this piece for him. When you listen to it, when the lyrics say the word “Lord,” please think of the word “Music.”
By the way, here’s the word on the street:
“Music these days is all downloadable, cheap and convenient.”
“Not at all, it is better to buy a CD that spins and have a cover to hold and read.”
And here’s what I say:
“One or the other, or both, I don’t mind… just please listen to the music.”
Discography | Ikkan Fugetsu Vol. 2: Tomoshibi
Announcing the July 10 Release of Motofumi Yamaguchi’s Second Solo Album “Ikkan Fugetsu Vol. 2: Tomoshibi”
All seven of these peaceful, contemplative recordings were created in the naturally serene surroundings of Kodo Village on Sado Island. Centered around the bright, crisp tones of the makobue & shinobue bamboo flutes, “Tomoshibi” floats across a rich sonic landscape: from the intricate harmonics of the eleven-string alto guitar, to a passionate duet where flute and piano intertwine in the Russian folksong, “Огонёк,” also known as “A Little Light” in English & “Tomoshibi” in Japanese. Ikkan Fugetsu Vol. 2 Tomoshibi also includes the soulful spiritual “Nobody Knows the Trouble I’ve Seen,” which is dedicated here to the late Akira Nino, the pianist who performed on the debut “Ikkan Fugetsu” album released in 2009.
Release Date: July 10, 2015
Discography | Ikkan Fugetsu Vol. 2: Tomoshibi
Available from July 10 from Kodo Online Store! http://kodo.shop.multilingualcart.com/goods_en_jpy_80.html
Over the weekend, Kodo performed Maki Ishii’s masterpiece Mono-Prism with the Osaka Philharmonic Orchestra.
It was wonderful for our ensemble to have the opportunity to perform this piece live with an orchestra again. If you came along and would like to hear it again, or have yet to hear it and are curious, we hope you’ll purchase our Mono-Prism album from the Kodo Online Store.
We also stock an array of Kodo albums that are not often found in stores, so we hope you’ll browse through our discography and see if there is anything else from Kodo that you’d like to add to your collection and playlist. (Shipping internationally is more economical for bulk buys!)
CD Mono-Prism (CD / 1991.10.25 / SRCL 2175)
Live recording of Mono-Prism, a collaborative performance with composer/conductor Maki Ishii and the New Japan Philharmonic.
http://www.kodo.or.jp/store/15_761.html (Japanese store page)
Listen to track samples of Mono-Prism here (Japanese discography page):
For orders in English, please contact the Kodo Online Store by email: firstname.lastname@example.org
I composed this piece for the “Amaterasu” encore performances in 2013.
According to Japanese legend, once upon a time when Amaterasu, the sun goddess, hid away in a cave, the world was plunged into darkness. Greatly troubled by this situation, all the other gods & goddesses came together to discuss what could be done. Kuwa-wake depicts this scene from the famous tale.
To express that conversation between the gods, I focused on incorporating elements such as combinations of rambling changes of rhythm and pianissimo sounds. Kusa-wake differs from other Kodo compositions to date in that it makes the most of hollow sounds as well as hearty sounds. This piece incorporates a wide, dynamic range of volume from really tiny sounds to huge, strong sounds.
There are theatrical elements to our performance of this piece in “Amaterasu,” so when we perform this piece in “Kodo One Earth Tour: Mystery,” we put those theatrical elements into our musical expression instead. However, we are very careful to maintain that feeling of having a conversation with each other while we perform it.
When we perform it on stage, we let ourselves go with the flow as the rhythms push, pull, and repeat. I hope you’ll enjoy the unique vibes and groove created by our “conversation.”
The “Kodo One Earth Tour 2015: Mystery” North America Tour is about to begin. This production premiered in Japan in December 2013 and it has just set off on its first tour abroad. We are really looking forward to seeing how the audiences in the USA and Canada react to this new programme.
Last year, we released the music from “Mystery” as an album, which captures the work in another unique light. The composers created new arrangements of their stage pieces especially for the album, which we then recorded at Kodo Village.
Each performer took great care to pack each and every sound with feeling. We hope you will enjoy the album, as a fresh look at the music from this “One Earth Tour” stage performance.
“Mystery” is available from Kodo performance venues, Kodo Online Store, iTunes, CD Baby, and Amazon MP3.
【Listen to Track Samples Online】Discography | Mystery
【Purchase CD】Kodo Online Store
【”Kodo One Earth Tour: Mystery” Preview】YouTube
Thank you for your patience! Kodo original chappa (cymbals) are back in stock and now available from Kodo Online Store!
Our chappa are made by craftsmen in Niigata who use a special metal-spinning technique. The rings are cut from a metal cylinder so they don’t have any joins. Each ring is attached to the chappa by hand, which we do ourselves with great pride, checking the tone and fine tuning them as required to make them function and sound just right.
Kodo Original Chappa (5 (go)-sun size) http://kodo.shop.multilingualcart.com/goods_en_jpy_5.html
DVD “Legend” and CD “Mystery” are now on sale, too! Please browse through our lineup at the Kodo Online Store!
Kodo “Legend” http://kodo.shop.multilingualcart.com/goods_en_jpy_76.html
Kodo “Mystery” http://kodo.shop.multilingualcart.com/goods_en_jpy_77.html
Kodo Online Store
Our brand new album, “Mystery,” was released today! It is now available at our performance venues in Japan and from the Kodo Online Store.
The first 300 customers to purchase it will receive a special gift: an original Kodo “Mystery” sticker. We hope you’ll add it to your album collection.
Kodo Online Store
CD “Yamazu Megurumo”
An Interview with Yoko Fujimoto by Johnny Wales
On March 3rd Yoko Fujimoto released her 2nd solo album ‘Yamazu Megurumo’ (Circle of Life) with Otodaiku. You can order her CD at the Kodo Online Store.
The seed for this project was when my mother in Tokyo became ill and I wondered what I could best do for her living so far away. Well, for me, that is singing. So that’s how it began, a private thing for mum.
I began to think about how life is one long continuous line from time immemorial to now. And relationships – just when you think one might be over – What?! It’s started up again! The ties that bind are re-tied. I wanted to express in song how extraordinary a thing life is, how it renews itself, carrying on in a never-ending cycle. I will be happy if – in some small way – these songs serve as a comfort and encouragement to people who hear them. Incidentally, mum is much better now.
I saw a wonderful Italian movie, “L’uomo che verrà” (The Man Who Will Come) in which an 8 year old girl and her newborn brother are left alone in a mountain village in Italy during the war. Her other little brother had died in her arms the year before and from that shock she lost her ability to speak. She resolves to do anything and everything she can to protect him. The movie ends with her finding her voice by breaking into a lullaby to her little brother. Even this tiny, seemingly powerless girl found the strength to carry on the line of life. And so it has ever been. This power that has allowed our race to continue to this day. So I wrote a poem about that. Then I learned the traditional Italian lullaby from the movie and began singing it.
As it happened last year was a very confusing time for me, there were so many changes in my life. I was even thinking about quitting singing for good. A close friend said to me, ‘Stop being confused! You have been blessed with the chance to sing with Kodo for 30 years, stop whining!’ She opened my eyes. I showed her my poem. She said, ‘You should do this! Make this into a song!’. That friend who helped is an abstract painter. I wanted to use one of her paintings on the CD cover. She asked me the name of the CD project and I told her, ‘Circle of Life’ and she said, ‘Wait there!’ and disappeared into another room. She reappeared with a smallish painting and said ‘This is my favourite painting! And its called ‘Circle of Life’ (Meguru Inochi). That settled it.
I first recorded the songs with no accompaniment and sent them to Shunsuke Kimura who laid down the accompaniment. He played fue (bamboo flute) and some Japanese percussion, and added other musicians on Tsugaru shamisen, wadaiko, 13 and 17 string kotos, world music percussion and violin. ▶ read more
Cradled by the rich sounds of musician and producer Derek Nakamoto, this collection of lullabies is an endless flow of gentle, clear, echoing melodies. Though sung in Japanese, these songs transcend borders through a universal language of heartfelt emotion.
To purchase this album, please click one of the links below:
- For orders in Japan only Kodo Online Store (In Japanese) http://www.kodo.or.
- For international orders CD Baby http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/
- On iTunes https://itunes.apple.
Yoko’s second solo album is about to go on sale (March 3), but if you haven’t got your copy of her solo debut album, why not order it now?
Have a listen to all the tracks here: http://www.otodaiku.co.jp/
Watch interviews with Yoko about each song here: (in Japanese) http://www.otodaiku.co.jp/
Kodo Online Store
This is the debut solo album by Motofumi Yamaguchi, Kodo’s principal flautist. Recorded at Kodo Village using makobue flutes made from local Sado madake bamboo, this “home-grown” album has a deep, rich sound. This is a collection of original songs and beautiful arrangements of folk favorites from around the world.
You can listen to album tracks “Gaftai Baile Bui(Irish Folk Song)” and “Yamauta” on YouTube.
For orders, please visit the Kodo Online Store:
This album is also available on iTunes.