Archive for January, 2014

The first of hopefully many “blog” posts

Thursday, January 30th, 2014

Okay…  So one of my New Years resolutions is to start regular blog posts.  It’s hard to know where to start so I’m just going to start and figure it out along the way.

I’ll start with a great moment.

My daughter loves to dance.  As a parent I hate having to resort to videos so I can have a moment to cook or do something that needs both hands around the house. In order to alleviate my guilt and because of my extreme dislike of crappy children’s programming I started her off with ballet DVDs.  I figured I might as well start her off with high art because by the time she gets a taste of Thomas the Tank Engine that’ll be all she’ll want to watch.  So the first thing I ever let her watch was Baryshnikov’s version of Don Quixote with the American Ballet Theater.  It went over better than I could have ever imagined.  She started asking about the characters and especially the “Pink Lady” and would try to dance along with the video.  I thought “well at least she’s moving” and putting that DVD on would give me enough time to get dinner done.

This led to one of my favorite daily rituals: our morning dance parties.  Over the summer the first thing we’d do together is put music on and dance.  One day I asked her what kind of music I should put on for our dance party and she said: “Daddy’s music!”  My heart just about broke.  Finally someone who actually wants to listen to my music!  Sure this little person doesn’t know any better, is completely dependent on me for shelter and sustainance and is as genetically similar to me as anybody can be, but she still requested music that I made!  Amazing!

Recent book reviews — January 2014

Friday, January 24th, 2014

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On Ensemble and Sumie Kaneko at the Getty Center

Tuesday, January 21st, 2014

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On Ensemble’s next public performance will be at the Getty Center for their Sounds of LA series on February 8th and 9th. We’ll be bringing Sumie Kaneko an amazingly talented singer, songwriter, koto and shamisen player from NY out to Los Angeles for these two special performances. The best part? The concerts are FREE but reservations are required! The reservations are available from today so get your tickets soon!

On Ensemble + Sumie Kaneko
Sounds of LA
Saturday Feb 8th 7:00pm
Sunday Feb 9th 3:30pm
Getty Center
Harold M. Williams Auditorium
Reservations instructions and information available at:
http://www.getty.edu/museum/programs/performances/sounds_la.html

Works In Progress 2013-14 Finished!

Monday, January 20th, 2014

WIP Miles 2014

We had our last Works In Progress concert of the season last Saturday night at the Miles Memorial Playhouse and have a ton of people to thank. First of all a huge thank you goes out to Justin for allowing us to use his amazing theater. We always enjoy performing at the Miles. A huge thank you goes out to Kaz, David, Yuta and Jason who performed with us and to Courtney who helps with everything. Also thank you to the large group of taiko peeps that stayed afterwards and helped us load out! Sometimes at On Ensemble I feel like our goal is to have the highest ratio of drums to performer possible so the extra help is always appreciated:

Time lapse video of the set up. (Thank you Kaz for the video!)

Finally a huge thank you goes out to all of our generous FoundatiOn Team donors who helped make all of our Works In Progress concerts possible. In the coming months we’ll be working on all the thank you gifts including the new EP and will be posting our progress here. We are very excited about the new pieces and can’t wait to share them with you! (Thank you Ayano & Kim for the photos!)

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Works In Progress at the Miles Memorial Playhouse

Wednesday, January 8th, 2014

Come join us in the new year for our final Works In Progress concert of the season! We’ll be performing at the Miles Memorial Playhouse on Saturday January 18th at 8:00pm.

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. For this final Works In Progress concert we’ll be joined Yuta Kato, David Wells, Kaz Mogi and Jason Osajima and will be featuring some larger ensemble versions of the pieces we’be been working on. Should be a lot of fun and a great way to cap our Works In Progress season.

Work In Progress 2014
Saturday Jan 18th
8:00pm
Miles Memorial Playhouse
1130 Lincoln Blvd.
Santa Monica, CA 90503

Tickets: $5 students/seniors $10 adults
Reservations: (310) 458-8634 or email name, date, number of tickets and phone number to milesplayhouse@smgov.net

Happy New Year!

Friday, January 3rd, 2014

Happy New Year everybody!

2013 was a great year for On Ensemble. We started the year off by driving across the country for some dates to showcase at the APAP conference and for performances in Montreal and Ohio. We shot some new videos with frequent collaborator Patrick Graham while we were in Montreal including some of the new pieces we we working on at the time:

Later in the Spring we had tours to the Pacific Northwest and Mountain West with stops in Mountain Home ID, Ontario OR, Dillon MT, Salmon ID, Missoula MT, Helena MT, Sandpoint ID, Whitefish MT, Edmonds WA, Seattle WA, Ashland OR and Anacortes WA.

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Then we released our new album Bizarre Heroes! The album was a big step forward for us artistically as I feel like we are really starting to bring together all of our different musical explorations into a more cohesive whole. Of course I say that every album… Every time we record a new album it feels like we take a step forward and our music gets better… and every time it just makes me feel excited about what is next which I guess is the whole point.

The highlight of year was definitely returning to Japan to perform at the Kokuritsu Gekkijyo (National Theater of Japan) for their Nihon no Taiko concert and following that up with a joint concert with our mentor and taiko hero Kenny Endo called Taiko Crossover Live at Shibuya O-Nest. It was really great to be able to return to Japan after 10 years and share our music. I had forgotten how much I love Tokyo and look forward to returning!

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Finally at the end of the year we presented two Works In Progress concerts and will start 2014 with another at the Miles Memorial Playhouse in Santa Monica on Jan 18th. After that we’ll be performing at the Getty Center as a part of their Sounds of LA series. 2014 promises to be another big year with more music, more creativity and more commitment! Yes that’s right commitment. As in Maz will be getting married in March! So I hope your 2014 is off to a great start. One of my new year’s resolutions is to start a weekly series of blog posts! I haven’t quite figured out what day I’ll be posting regularly but thought I’d get it started with this one. HAPPY NEW YEAR!

-shoji

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