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#1 2006-06-09 15:26:22

From: Portland, ME
Registered: 2005-10-09
Posts: 613

shakuhachi and the American experimental tradition

A couple of interesting recent findings:

1. At a large library or bookstore, check out page 164 of Vivian Perlis and Libby van Cleve's "Composers' Voices from Ives to Ellington." There's a wonderful 1944 photo of Edgard Varese listening intently as Henry Cowell blows a ro for him!

2. I recently discovered in an old American Music journal that when John Cage moved to Los Angeles in 1935 his first public musical activity was to organize a concert of shakuhachi music at Cowell's request. The shakuhachi soloist was of course Kitaro Tamada, Cowell's mentor, but Lou Harrison, who attended the event, remembers that Tamada was joined by koto and shamisen for some sankyoku music. This was very early in Cage's career, before he'd even studied with Schoenberg. His letters from the time indicate that he was occasionally taking French horn lessons!

I also have a question that somebody might be able to help me with: there was a Japanese businessman who taught shakuhachi in New York City in the early 1950's. Does anyone know who this might have been?


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