Wednesday Noon Hours – Breathing the Past: Music from Ancient Japan

Wednesday Noon Hours – Breathing the Past: Music from Ancient Japan

Date & Time: Wednesday, October 29, 12:00pm – 1:00pm

Location: Roy Barnett Recital Hall, Music Building, 6361 Memorial Road

Description:The guest artists are masters of an ancient tradition presenting a diverse programme ranging from contemplative traditional zen repertoire to formal gagaku court chamber music and other Japanese chamber compositions.

Co-production with Vancouver Inter-Cultural Orchestra. Part of the second annual Chrysanthemums & Maple Leaves Festival, which showcases Japanese music in a Canadian and intercultural context. The 2014 festival is also celebrating the 125th anniversary of Japanese-Canadian diplomatic relations.

Artist Bios:

Issui Minegishi (guest artist, ichigenkin) is the great-great-granddaughter of Tokuhiro Taimu (1849-1921), founder of the Seikyodo Ichigenkin tradition. Seikyodo Ichigenkin is the only unbroken line of the three branches of ichigenkin from the original tradition, retaining the ancient philosophy as well as the Zen-inspired practice of removing all unnecessary musical elements and embellishments. Minegishi Issui received her earliest training from her great-grandmother, Matsuzaki Issui, who was the 3rd hereditary head of Seikyodo and who was also designated by the Japanese government as official guardian of the Ichigenkin tradition, as one of the country’s Intangible Cultural Treasures. In 1988 with the death of her great-grandmother, the young Minegishi succeeded to the position of 4th Iemoto, while receiving further instruction from the head teacher Saito Ichiyo who was entrusted as her guardian and tutor in the tradition. Issui received a Bachelor’s degree from University of the Sacred Heart, Tokyo, and also graduated with the 40th class of the NHK (Japanese National Broadcasting Company) training program for young performers of traditional Japanese instruments. Minegishi has an interest in researching other one-string instruments around the world and has studied the dan bau in Vietnam. . In 2000 Issui was responsible for the training of actors and actresses for the popular NHK television drama series “The Ichigen no Koto.” Minegishi has performed on concert tours to Italy France, Germany, Austria, Poland, Croatia, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Turkey, Vietnam, Cambodia, Australia, USA, and Canada, including such prominent venues as Carnegie Hall and the Sydney Opera House. Minegishi has collaborated with a number of contemporary artists including multi-instrumentalist Randy Raine-Reusch and koto innovator Miya Masaoka, contemporary dancer Ueda Nanako, Cambodian Dancer Sophiline Chem Shapiro, and numerous contemporary Japanese musicians.

Naomi Sato (guest artist, sho) was born in Tokyo, Japan in 1975. She graduated from the Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music in 1998, and continued her studies at the Conservatorium voan Amsterdam through 2002, studying saxophone, sho, improvisation and composition. She was a semi-finalist in the 2nd International Adolphe Sax Concours in 1998, and the 3rd prize winner in the Saxophonewettbewerb Gustav Bunke in Hanover in 1999. She studied the Sho (Japanese traditional mouth organ) with Ko Ishikawa at the Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music. She has collaborated with many composers and played with Ives Ensemble, Aurelia Saxophone Quartet, Netherlands Vocaal Laboratorium, Nieuw Ensemble, Dansgroep Kriszitna de Chatel(Netherlands), Fontana Mix Ensemble (Italy), East-West Festival Ensemble (Germany), New Music Network Philadelphia, N-JP project(U.S.). She is the sho player in Atlas Ensemble (Amsterdam, Netherlands) and gives workshops at the Atlas Academy. She has given chamber music concerts in Japan, Netherlands, Luxembourg, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Denmark, Finland , America and Australia with member of her chamber music grope Duo X Project, Japanese traditional instrument trio KODAMA (Sho+Shakuhachi+Koto) and Vlinder Vangers (sho + electronics) and so on. She has also presented lecture concerts about ‘Contemporary music scene in Amsterdam through Japanese traditional music’ in Conservatorium van Amsterdam (2000), North Eastern University (2005), UM Dartmouth (2005), University of Melbourne (2006), UC Davis (2009) and Istanbul Bilgi University (2010). Her compositions have been played in Netherlands, Germany, France, Spain, America and Japan.

Bruce Huebner (guest artist, shakuhachi), a Japan-based Californian, is the first non-Japanese to graduate from the prestigious Traditional Music Department of the Tokyo University of the Arts (Geidai) where he studied under Designated National Treasure Yamaguchi Goro. He has since performed and/or recorded in various contexts with Hara Tomoya, Kikuchi Naoko, The Sawaii Koto School, Tommy Campbell, Jonathan Katz, Todd Isler, Tom Pierson, Susan Osborn, Curtis Patterson, Katou Mie, Takazawa Etsuko, Yamahira Arumando, Steve Sacks, among others. In 2000 he co-founded with jazz pianist and composer Jonathan Katz the jazz-world music group Candela that has toured and recorded extensively in Europe, the US, Canada and Japan. Candela’s first CD “Mogami” was chosen best five by Stereo Magazine in 2002. In 2008 he founded a koto (traditional zither) and shakuhachi duo “Curt and Bruce,” with Sawai Koto School master and long-time Japan-based kotoist Curt Patterson. “Curt & Bruce” perform original compositions, improvisations, jazz and modern classical, as well as traditional music. The duo has released two cds and tours yearly in their unique “Sakura Cherry Blossom Front Tour.” As an educator Bruce is the producer of a popular DVD instructional set in English on playing the shakuhachi, and is a bilingual speaker and clinician. He now resides in Yokohama but continues to teach shakuhachi at Fukushima Prefectural Medical University. Bruce’s frequent sojourns into the wilderness of the Sierra Nevada and northern Japan continue to be a major influence on his life and music.

Miyama McQueen-Tokita is a Tokyo-based koto player who began her studies at the Sawai International Koto School in Australia and Japan with Kazue Sawai (Japan) and Satsuki Odamura (Australia).  After graduating from Australia’s Monash University with a B.Music/Arts, Miyama moved to Tokyo.  In March 2010 she graduated top of the class from the NHK training program (NHK Hogaku Ginosha Ikuseikai) and in 2012, she was first among all candidates for the Sawai Koto School teaching license examination.  Miyama received a scholarship to study at Tokyo Geijutsu Daigaku for four years, and in 2014 she graduated with a masters in musicology, specializing in modern koto music. In addition to performing contemporary and traditional repertoire, Miyama also writes and arranges music, and regularly collaborates interculturally. In 2008 she was invited to India to play in the music score of the film The Japanese Wife, directed by Aparna Sen, and in the same year also performed as a guest in the Melbourne International Arts Festival.  the Melbourne Arts Center and many more.  She has collaborated and performed with include Andy Akiho (percussion), NY Sam Anning (bass), NY Rob Burke (saxophone), Bruce Huebner (shakuhachi).

Ticketing Information: $5.00 at the door. (Cash only) For more information, visit

Open to public. Recommended for UBC community and general public.