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New Music for Zen Flute

• Takahashi Yuji Sinubi (Mouming) 2007 for jinashi shakuhachi solo.
• Yumi Hara Cawkwell Nota Bene 2007 for jinashi shakuhachi and amplified clavichord (Michael Bonaventure)
• Frank Denyer Woman with Jinashi Shakuhachi (2008, VVorld premiere)
• Roxanna Panufnik Zen Love Song 2007 for jinashi shakuhachi and double choir (Fever Pitch)
• Mogens Christensen Night Flying Winter Cranes for jinashi shakuhachi and electronics (2009, VVorld premiere)

Kiku Day (jinashi shakuhachi)
Purcell Room, London 26 March 2009

Santiago Genochio presented this concert and he and Kiku Day must be roundly criticised for the poor presentation. In the one-page programme sheet there was no useful information about any of the music (though lots of CVs...). Nor did the soloist, a London based teacher and ethnomusicology PhD student at SOAS, give any spoken introductions; a glaring omission.

There was a goodly sized audience (few Japanese amongst them), 20 leaving their seats to become the choir for Roxanna Panufnik and returning to occupy them afterwards.

The breathy instrument is subtle and beautiful, with its pitch-bending proclivity displayed in the solemn first piece. Kawkwell's gave a rare concert opportunity to hear the clavichord, its fragile tone discreetly enhanced. It went well with the shakuhachi, which seemed to be unamplified (mercifully) throughout, though there were lots of microphones on stage. But its player (a famous organist) was hidden behind the lid - and as it was carried away straight after the sole item, there was no opportunity to see the keyboard or to identify the instrument's maker...

The loudspeakers came into their own with Christensen's electronics score (much of it taken from shakuhachi clips) rising to peculiar loud climaxes.

Best to go to Kiku Day's website. Enjoy her playing on mp3 postings at http://www.myspace.com/kikuday
and a short video One octave apart... at http://vids.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=vids.showvids&friendID=99552018&n=99552018&MyToken=4c8d744f-e718-4ccd-8480-3d4482a68e45

Peter Grahame Woolf