All posts in the "Recordings" category.
All posts in the "Recordings" category.
Back in 2010 a good friend and super talented puppet filmmaker Sam Koji Hale put together a short film for our track ‘Yamasong’ off of the album ‘Ume in the Middle’.
The first moment I read one of Sam’s ideas for ‘Yamasong’ I knew he’d be the perfect person to put visuals to our music. Fast forward 5 years and Sam has now taken the world of Yamasong and developed it into a feature length film! The full length film will follow events of the short film and greatly expands the world of Nani and Shojun. Sam has gotten an amazing cast of vocal talent for Yamsong including: Nathan Fillion (Firefly), Abigail Breslin (Maggie), Whoopi Goldberg (Star Trek: The Next Generation), Freida Pinto (Slumdog Millionaire), Peter Weller (Robocop), Malcolm McDowell (A Clockwork Orange), George Takei (Star Trek), Ed Asner (Up), and Bruce Davison (X-Men). I’m such a huge Firefly and Star Trek and Star Trek TNG fan and when I heard that Mal, Mr. Sulu and Guinan were going to be a part of Yamasong I almost fainted. I’ll be posting more about the music that I’m creating for the film soon but in the meantime enjoy the awesome trailer!
In the next few weeks we’ll be posting new videos! The fist sets of videos comes from our friend and filmmaker Ian Mora. We grew up playing taiko with Ian and he came to our Taiko Heroes concert last October and put together these great videos. More coming soon!
We had a great performance this past Saturday at the Aratani World Series. A huge thank you goes out to Judy, Anu, Marcia and the staff and volunteers of the Festival of Sacred Music for all of their behind the scenes work. Thank you to EJ for making the production side run smoothly. Thank you to Ric for the GREAT lighting design and a huge thank you goes out to Nana for making us sound so great!
Here’s a few of the tracks we played! Videos coming soon!
Recently I was inspired to dig through some orphaned tracks and have decided to post a few. We do a lot of experimenting when it comes to song writing and end up having a lot of different tracks that don’t quite fit into the On Ensemble sound for one reason or another. As a composer one thing I’ve always tried to do is to challenge myself to do the thing I’m least comfortable doing when it comes to making music. When I first started off I was just intimidated to finish a song so I would force myself to finish pieces and present them to whatever group I was in. Then it was writing pieces in non 4/4 time, then it was writing melodies and then harmonies and now it’s writing lyrics. Some of these explorations get turned into On Ensemble material some of them get spun into other projects then there are some that kind of fall between the cracks. This track is one of those tracks. It’s a free jazz inspired piece based on a 13/8 groove. For a while I got all inspired to write songs in 13 after we had done a collaborative piece with Patrick Graham based on different patterns in 13. Before that it was pieces in 5 and now I just want to write things in 7. I don’t really know how 13 snuck in there in-between the 5 and current 7 obsessions. Anyhow I original wrote this as a piece that we could play with Russel Baba and he’s featured on Saxophone along with Kaoru Watanabe on fue. This is a live recording from the first and currently only time we’ve performed this track. I’m thinking of featuring it on our next album but we’ll see how it all works out. The pictures during a sunrise at Borobudur taken during my Indonesian Arts Education fellowship in central Java. Enjoy!
The FoundatiOn Team thank you packets have been sent and we’ve already received a lot of positive feedback from this year’s EP. We’ve also received requests for more in depth track notes so without further ado…
We got a nice review from Underwire a popular culture blog at Wired.com:
On Ensemble’s most recent effort, Ume in the Middle, is an interesting hybrid that should appeal equally to fusion aficionados and left-fielders in search of something stranger than the average jazz-hop fare found on indie labels like Ninja Tune.
Wired magazine is one of the few magazines I actually buy. Usually it’s at an airport for inflight reading material, but being a magazine on all things high tech maybe I should be visiting the website instead.
BTW a lot of my favorite artists are on the Ninja Tune and Big Dada (Ninja Tune’s hip hop arm) including: Anti Pop Consortium, Diplo, DJ Vadim and the Cinematic Orchestra. So Ninja Tune if you are reading this we are not too strange for you… really… please sign us.
One particular Jason Swinscoe Cinematic Orchestra album that has had an influence on my music is Everyday. It’s a great album featuring vocals by Fontella Bass and amazing drumming by Luke Flowers. I blame the track “Flite” for convincing me that, yes odd time grooves with just a bit of melodic material are interesting for six and half minutes.
A number of stations added “Ume in the Middle” this week including KBSU in Boise ID, WRBU in Peoria IL ,KRCX in Denver CO, and WBRS in Waltham, MA. KEXP in Seattle spun “Yamasong”, KSYM in San Antonio played “After Rain” and lots of support from WXDU in Durham who played “After Rain”, “Waiting”, “Yamasong” and “Hiroya vs. Miniboss”. We’ve had a substantial increase in radio airplay this week with more stations giving “Ume in the Middle” light and medium airplay. We’re getting medium ariplay from KRUA Anchorage, WSDP Canton, WGTB Washington, WPTS Pittsburgh, WUAG Greensboro, XTSR Townson, WPMD Norwalk and KNDS Fargo. We’re getting light airplay from over twenty stations across the country including WCSB and WRUW Cleveland, WIIT Chicago, KEXP Seattle, WMBR Cambridge and KSYM San Antonio. We made the New World charts at several stations inlcuding: WCCS (#22), CJAM (#5), WXDU (#5), WMPG (#4) and WITR (#8), this was all enough to have “Ume in the Middle” debut at #40 on the CMJ New World Chart this week! (more…)