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Music & Artists

Silk Road Ensemble percussionists passing sheet music around a picnic table at Tanglewood

© PETE CHECCHIA

Developing New Music
Silk Road Ensemble percussionists Dong-Won Kim, Sandeep Das, Shane Shanahan and Joseph Gramley collaborate on new music. Commissioning workshops and Silk Road Ensemble retreats provide opportunities for Ensemble members to improvise and trade ideas for new compositions. Percussionists developed the popular piece "Vocussion," recorded on the New Impossibilities album during a workshop at Tanglewood.


Kojiro Umezaki

© TODD ROSENBERG/SONY BMG MASTERWORKS

"My mother is from Denmark and my father is Japanese. My multinational background may be one of the reasons why I don't limit myself to the traditional repertoire. In all my work, I try to put the shakuhachi in a more contemporary, musically diverse context. Hopefully this work can become part of the evolutionary process of the instrument."

- KOJIRO UMEZAKI


Kojiro Umezaki

Shakuhachi, composer (Japan) Kojiro Umezaki grew up in Tokyo with a Japanese father and Danish mother. He studied Western flute and the shakuhachi, and his career encompasses both traditional and technology-based music mediated by various forms of electronics. Ko is Assistant Professor of Music at the University of California, Irvine, where he is a core faculty member of the Integrated Composition, Improvisation, and Technology (ICIT) group. 

Recent commissioned works and producer credits include those for Brooklyn Rider (2009), Joseph Gramley (2009, 2010), Huun Huur Tu (2010), and the Silk Road Ensemble (2012). He performs regularly with the Grammy-nominated Silk Road Ensemble and has recorded on the Sony BMG, World Village, and Smithsonian Folkways labels.


Shakuhachi

© ALEX NICKOLAUS

Instrument
Shakuhachi


Artist website
KojiroUmezaki.com


Interview
Newsletter profile


Other Ensemble members from Japan
Haruka Fujii