March 31, 2015, BY Kathryn Kopchik

Kojiro Umezaki (photo credit: Jean Davidson)Kojiro Umezaki, performer of the shakuhachi and composer of electro-acoustic works, will give a concert Tuesday, April 7, at 7:30 p.m. in the Rooke Recital Hall of the Weis Music Building at Bucknell University.

The concert, which is free and open to the public, is part of the University's ongoing Gallery Series.

Noted by The New York Times as a "virtuosic, deeply expressive shakuhachi player and composer," Kojiro Umezaki  performs regularly with the Grammy-nominated Silk Road Ensemble with whom he appears on multiple recordings including Off the Map and A Playlist Without Borders.

Other recordings with his work have been released on Brooklyn Rider's Dominant Curve; Yo-Yo Ma's Appassionato; Beat in Fractions' Beat Infraction; The Silk Road: A Musical Caravan (Smithsonian Folkways); and Huun Huur Tu's Ancestors Call. His new album of mostly original works, Cycles, was released in April 2014.

Born to a Japanese father and Danish mother, Umezaki grew up in Tokyo. He is associate professor of music at the University of California, Irvine, and a core member of the Integrated Composition Improvisation and Technology (ICIT) faculty.

As a composer of electro-acoustic works, his music encompasses traditional and technology-based music mediated by various forms of electronics. He is a technologist with interests in integrating global musical practices with electronics.

Made from the base of a bamboo stalk with holes drilled into the center and the sides, the shakuhachi has been used in Japanese Zen Buddhist meditation since the 15th century. The sounds produced by the instrument range from soft whispers to strong piercing tones, intended to reflect sounds in nature, such as birdcalls, wind and water.

The Gallery Series, a public program of experimental and world music, was founded by William Duckworth, professor emeritus of music, as part of his commitment to fostering new audiences for contemporary music.

 

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