Archive for December, 2008

Ume in the Middle release 3/3/09

Sunday, December 14th, 2008

We’ve set our official release date for our new album “Ume in the Middle” for 3/3/09. We’re very excited to be working with the Planetary Group for radio, press and new media promotion. We’re going to have pre-release copies of album at our upcoming East Coast performances and will also be offering pre-release copies to our mailing list members.

Those of you who bought the album at our annual home concert and recent Minnesota gigs thank you! Your support is what makes our music possible!

Studio Daze pt. 2

Saturday, December 13th, 2008

The EP songs are coming together nicely. Maz and I recorded vocal parts for one of the tracks today. Like I mentioned before the FoundatiOn Team EPs are like our “Works in Progress” concerts, a time for us to stretch and try things outside of our comfort zone. My personal challenge for this EP was to sing and write lyrics. I’m the only On Ensemble member to have never sang or recorded a song with actual lyrics. Maz sang on “Fingertips”, Kris sang “Long Way” in English and “Homeless” in Japanese and Kelvin sings on “Waiting”.

On Sunday Kelvin is coming to Los Angeles for a few furious days of rehearsals and recording. We’ll also be rehearsing with Kenny Endo for our Cerritos Center collaboration in March of next year. More later…

Studio Daze pt. 1

Wednesday, December 10th, 2008

Maz and I spent today in the studio working on our annual FoundatiOn Team EP.  Our FoudatiOn Team EPs are our chance to experiment in the studio with recording different instruments and trying things we aren’t that comfortable with.  Sometimes this will lead to a piece we’ll actually perform or put on our albums.  Yamasong started as a recording idea for our first FoundatiOn Team EP and now we have a live performance version and it appears on our upcoming album as the original and a remix done by our studio mate Charlie Campagna.

This year’s theme for the EP is “13”.  It all started with a collaboration we did with our Patrick Graham back in 2006.  Patrick had all these cool rhythms in meters relating to thirteen: 13/4, 13/8, 13/16, 13/32 etc…  We put together a song based on his ideas and performed it together a couple of times.  Recently Patrick called and asked if we’d record parts for the piece for his upcoming album and we did a long distance recording collaboration.  The piece, now called “Strikes 13” turned out to be a lot of fun and is on his upcoming album and on our EP. (more…)

What is .ogg?

Monday, December 8th, 2008

The following is a bit of information about the ogg audio format, in preparation for the release of version 2 of the 30 Days to Better Shime program, the companion audio files for which are released in both mp3 and ogg formats.


Free Art License 1.3

Sunday, December 7th, 2008

Most of my works (music, writing, photographs, illustrations, graphic design) are covered by the Free Art License 1.3. which allows others to freely share and build upon them.  The following is a brief explanation of the rules for using and sharing my works covered under this license.


Hiroshima’s Spirit of the Season

Friday, December 5th, 2008

Tomorrow I’m performing with Hiroshima for our annual “Spirit of the Season” concert. It’s become a tradition of sorts and if you’ve ever wondered what Christmas classics sound like on koto and taiko this is your chance to find out! Joining the band will be Hiroshima’s former vocalist and current star of “Here and Now, the Legacy of Luther Vandross” Terry Steele and Tex Nakamura the incredible former WAR Harmonica player. The concert is tomorrow 7:30pm at the Japan America Theater in downtown Los Angeles.

Next up: APAP Showcases and East Coast

Friday, December 5th, 2008

Our next performances will be on the East Coast. We’re heading to New York for the annual Association of Performing Arts Presenters Conference. We have two showcases:

Saturday Jan 10th, 6:55pm
Sunday Jan 11th, 11:05pm
Lincoln Suite, 4th Floor, NY Hilton

On our way out to New York we’ll be stopping in Brattleboro for a performance at the Loft on January 9th. After the conference we’re headed to Boston for workshops with Odaiko New England then back to New York for a performance with Kaoru Watanabe at Drom.

Patrick and Kaoru are two of our favorite musicians and collaborators. They are both featured on our live CD “Ukiyo” and on our new upcoming studio album “Ume in the Middle”. “Ume in the Middle” will be released 3/3/09 but we’ll have pre-release copies at both of our East Coast performances.

On Ensemble and Kaoru Watanabe at Drom NYC

Friday, December 5th, 2008

Just added a new performance date! We’ll be joined by New York based Western and Japanese flute specialist Kaoru Watanabe. On Ensemble fans will recognize Kaoru as a frequent collaborator and amazing musician. Should be a great performance. Tickets are $15 and are available now at: 212 777-1157 or at the Drom website.

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