Archive for November, 2013

Recent book reviews — November 2013

Thursday, November 21st, 2013


Monster of the Sky Post Production Kickstarter Campaign

Monday, November 18th, 2013

My friend and super talented director Sam Koji Hale has launched his Post Production Kickstarter Campaign for his latest puppet masterpiece Monster of the Sky. In the interest of full disclosure I should mention this short film was inspired by the Stereo Alchemy track “Monster of the Sky” that Christopher Tin and I wrote. Sam and I also collaborated on his last film Yamasong which was based on the On Ensemble track that I wrote of the same name. But this isn’t about me at all. It’s about Sam and how awesome he is! Check out his work and help make this amazing film a reality.

While you are at it you can check out a bit of Yamasong:

Works In Progress ’13

Monday, November 18th, 2013

We are very excited to announce our Works In Progress ’13 concert series! Our Works In Progress concerts are the foundation of our creativity. They allow On Ensemble to experiment, to push our boundaries, and deepen our musical exploration. This practice is particularly important this year as we have gone through some changes in personnel. Kelvin has decided to step away as a full time member to focus more on his family and his own creative endeavors. Kris, still a full member of On Ensemble, will be balancing serious teaching commitments to the Los Angeles Taiko Institute which will limit his participation in upcoming performances. However, On Ensemble will continue moving forward! Joining us in this next chapter of our musical journey will be two new members, Abe Lagrimas Jr. and Eien Hunter-Ishikawa. Maz, Kris, and I hope you’ll be as excited about what Abe and Eien bring to the mix as we are.

Abe Lagrimas Jr.
Abe Lagrimas Jr. is a multi-instrumentalist equally proficient on vibraphone, drum kit and ukulele. Abe has toured throughout the world performing with notable musicians Eric Marienthal, Eric Reed, Azar Lawrence, Bill Mays, Jon Irabagon, Michael Paulo, Lalo Schifrin, Gabe Baltazar, James Morrison, Benny Rietveld, Jake Shimabukuro, James Ingram, Michael Ruff, Valery Ponomarev, Michelle Coltrane and many others. He is a member of Prelude, one of South Korea’s top jazz groups and is an active educator. He has released several albums his latest entitled Solo Ukulele – King of Pop pays tribute to pop king Michael Jackson and was recognized by the Hawaii Academy of Recording Arts as the EP Release of the Year

Eien Hunter-Ishikawa
Eien Hunter-Ishikawa is a versatile drummer, percussionist and taiko players with a multifaceted musical background. He earned his Bachelor of Music Education at Central Michigan University where he performed, recorded and toured as a member of the Robert Hohner Percussion Ensemble. He earned his Master of Music at the University of Hawaii Manoa. During his time in Hawaii, Eien performed and toured extensively as a member of the Kenny Endo Taiko Ensemble. Currently based in Vancouver, Eien collaborates with shakuhachi artist Alcvin Ryuzen Ramos and has performed with a wide variety of musicians from electro acoustic groups Isshin Denshin and Haagen & Ryuzen to dancer Colleen Lanki to bag pipe ensembles, African band Kow Kanda and rock/reggae band Still Creek.

This year we’ve taken an additional step and have extended an open invitation to composers and groups in the taiko community to present a piece at our Work In Progress concert series. We intend to turn this concert series into a creative foundation not only for On Ensemble but for the larger taiko community! Look out for more special guests at these concerts!

Support Works In Progress by joining the FoundatiOn Teanm!
The FoundatiOn Team is our core group of supporters that has continuously empowered On Ensemble to create new pieces that deepen and expand our musical exploration. This year the FoundatiOn Team donations will fund three Works In Progress concerts and a new recording project: EP6! FoundatiOn Team fundraising letters are in the mail now so if you’ve gotten your letter and would like to make your donation online simply use the button below. If you’d like to join the FoundatiOn Team send me an email at: shoji at and I’ll send you a FoundatiOn Team letter!


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