Tuesday, March 5th
Songs on the Wind (Kaze no Uta) Concert
Traditional Shakuhachi and Koto Music Past and Present
Bruce Huebner, shakuhachi player and Masayo Ishigure, koto player
7:00pm in Eben Holden

Huebner and Ishigure will perform Songs on the Wind—a Japanese shakuhachi and koto concert from 7pm to 8 p.m. This event will be a campus wide community event, open and free to the public.

The concert will survey Japanese music spanning over 500 years of history. We will hear how the music is deeply rooted in Buddhist and imperial court music, but was transformed by cataclysmic social and political upheavals that bookend the Edo Period (1608 to 1863). As we enter the Meiji Restoration we will see how it survived as an exquisite remnant of Edo culture that had flowered during that nearly 250 years of peace, unprecedented in world history. The second half of the concert brings us into the second post-war flowering, that of Modern Music for Japanese Instruments (Gendai Hogaku), and we will hear the influence of jazz and experimental music through the works of Yamamoto, Hozan, Sawai Tadao and others.

This event is co-sponsored by the Hovey/Brown Endowment for the Arts
Other contributors:  Philosophy, History, Music, Religious Studies, and CIIS


Bruce Huebner is a shakuhachi player. California-born Bruce studied shakuhachi under the late Goro Yamaguchi (Living National Treasure) at the prestigious Tokyo University of Fine Arts and Music. He is the first non-Japanese to receive a master's degree in traditional Japanese music performance at the university. He earned his master’s license from Chikuyusha, one of the oldest shakuhachi guilds, in 1997, and gave two solo shakuhachi recitals of Japanese classical music. In 1998 Bruce produced an instructional video on shakuhachi performance in English, and in August 2000 he led the Contemporary Sankyoku Ensemble's six-state US Tour while releasing a solo CD of traditional shakuhachi music, "Song of Daybreak." In 1999 Huebner co-founded the Jazz/World Music group "Candela," which has recorded and performed to wide acclaim in Japan, as well as at venues in the United States, Canada and Europe. A long-time Japan resident, Huebner is attempting to go where others have dared not: to create a straight, honest sound for the shakuhachi. Applying what he has learned through over 25 years of traditional study and Western training he performs a repertoire stretching from classical to jazz, including new works, as well as his own arrangements of music not normally associated with these instruments. At times improvisational in nature, his music comes freely, in tune with the present while rooted the past. It is a fresh musical outlook for these ancient instruments - sometimes bringing to mind the mountains and rivers of Japan - at other times becoming a simple reflection on daily life (see http://www.brucehuebner.com/).

Masayo Ishigure began playing the koto and jiuta shamisen at the age of five in Gifu, Japan. After initial studies with Tadao and Kazue Sawai she became a special research student in 1986 at the Sawai Koto Academy of Music. The aim of the academy was to shed new light on koto music by incorporating everything from Bach to jazz and thus change the koto from being thought of only as a traditional Japanese instrument into an instrument of universal expressiveness. Later, Masayo Ishigure became one of a small group of virtuoso disciples of the Sawais and successfully completed the 33rd Ikusei-kai program sponsored by NHK to foster and train aspiring artists in Japanese music. In 1988, Ms.Ishigure received a degree in Japanese Traditional Music at Takasaki Junior Arts College with a concentration on koto and shamisen. The same year she was recorded on the CD entitled "The World of Tadao Sawai". She played koto and shamisen on the educational video. In 1994 she appeared on the CD entitled "Tori no Yoni": (Flying Like a Bird) Tadao Sawai compositions. She released her own solo CD "Grace" in 2001. In 2003 she recorded "East Wind Ensemble" which featured Hayao Miyazaki's animation songs arranged for koto and shakuhachi music.