Oct 18, 2015

Sundaze 1542

Hello, well my blanco update page caused a small deluge of requests, it will take some time to fullfill them all but no worry i'll get there.


Today more music from the rising sun. When asked about his music, he said, "I never had education in music, I just learned to trust my ears and my feelings." He credits ‘powers beyond himself’ for his music, saying, "This music is not from my mind. It is from heaven, going through my body and out my fingers through composing. Sometimes I wonder. I never practice. I don't read or write music, but my fingers move. I wonder, 'Whose song is this?' I write my songs, but they are not my songs."...... N'joy

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Kitaro (real name, Masanori Takahashi) was born in Toyohashi, Aichi, Japan, and is a graduate of Sahid University. After graduating, Kitaro moved to Tokyo to experience and become a part of the music scene, and it was there that he discovered the synthesizer. His first synthesizer was analog, and he recalls having “just loved the analog sound that it made compared to today's digital sound”.

His parents were first opposed to the idea of their son having a musical career. In an effort to maneuver him towards their vision, they made arrangements for him to take a job at a local company. In return, he left home without telling them. He supported himself by taking on several part-time jobs such as cooking and civil service work, while composing songs at night. In the early 1970s, he changed completely to keyboards. He joined the Japanese music group Far East Family Band which was formed in 1965, and toured with them around the world. While in Europe, he met the German electronica and former Tangerine Dream member Klaus Schulze. Schulze produced two albums for the band and gave Kitaro some tips for controlling synthesizers. In 1976, Kitaro left Far East Family Band and travelled through Asia (China, Laos, Thailand, India)

Back in Japan, Kitaro started his solo career in 1977. The first two albums Ten Kai and Full Moon Story became cult favorites of fans of the nascent new-age movement. He performed his first symphonic concert at the 'Small Hall' of the Kosei Nenkin Kaikan in Shinjuku, Tokyo. The Silk Road: The Rise And Fall Of Civilizations is an NHK Tokushu documentary series that first aired on 7 April 1980, with sequels being broadcast over a 10-year period. It took a total of 17 years from conception to complete what many consider a landmark in Japan's broadcasting television history. The intention of the program was to reveal how ancient Japan was influenced by the Silk Road trade route. The documentary was narrated by Ishizaka Koji with music composed by Kitaro, who insisted that the show be broadcast in stereo. The music was composed mainly using a Minimoog, Minikorg 700 and Maxikorg DV800. The series of soundtracks sold millions and the success created from the program brought Kitaro international attention.

In 1984, Kitaro embarked on a "Live in Asia" tour. Notably, he was forced to cancel a leg in Singapore because he had long hair and at that time the country had a policy banning it. He entered into a worldwide distribution arrangement with Geffen Records in 1986. This included a re-releasing of six prior albums titled Astral Voyage, Full Moon Story, Millennia, India, Silver Cloud and Asia (each packaged with Japanesque obi strips) as well as a new album, aptly titled Towards the West. In 1987, he collaborated with Mickey Hart of the Grateful Dead for the album The Light of the Spirit and in 1992 with Jon Anderson (Yes) for the album Dream. In 1988, his record sales soared to 10 million worldwide following a successful US tour. He was nominated three times for Grammy Award during his tenure at Geffen Records. His soundtrack for the movie Heaven & Earth won the Golden Globe Award for Best Original Score. In 1989, he wrote the Japanese theme for the film Return from the River Kwai.

Since his 1994 debut for Domo Records, the Grammy-nominated Mandala, Kitaro has released 24 studio albums. Among them, the live An Enchanted Evening (1995), Gaia-Onbashira (1998), and Ancient (2001) were all Grammy nominated. In 1999, Thinking of You won the Grammy for Best New Age Album. In total, Kitaro's albums with Domo Records have received 15 Grammy Award nominations.

Kitaro’s music has long been recognized for its messages of peace and spirituality. In the wake of 9/11, the artist began recording Sacred Journey of Ku-Kai, a series of peace-themed albums inspired by the Shikoku Henro Pilgrimage, the travel of Kūkai more than 1100 years ago. The four volumes in the album series were released in 2003, 2005, 2007, and 2011, respectively. The event of September 11 occurred while he was en route from Japan to Los Angeles. Kitaro's flight was diverted to Honolulu for five days, during which time the conceptual endeavor, which he envisioned as an artistic means to help unify people globally, first took shape. Every track on the 4 volumes of Sacred Journey Of Ku-Kai contains samples from ancient Japanese temple bells (Peace Bells) from 88 sacred temples on the island of Shikoku, Japan.

In 2007, Kitaro composed the music for Impression West Lake, a large-scale opera, directed by the renowned Chinese film director Zhang Yimou. The opera reflects Hangzhou city’s history and culture through music and dance. Using modern technology, the stage is 75 centimeters below the lake’s surface during the day so as not to affect the landscape and boating activities. In the evening, the stage is a few centimeters below the lake’s surface so actors can walk and perform freely over a surprising water mirror that compose with the lights and colors. The one-hour event had its opening night in March 2007. In 2009, Domo Records released the original soundtrack album Impressions of the West Lake which was nominated for the 2010 Grammy Awards.

Kitaro's latest studio album is Final Call, which is a homage to Kitaro's lifetime reverence for Nature and was released in September 2013. A year later, in September 2014, his latest live album Symphony Live In Istanbul was released. It was recorded live at the Halic Congress Center in Istanbul, Turkey during Kitaro's Symphonic World Tour, balancing the artists trademark signature sound and expanding it to new heights with the addition of a 38-piece chamber symphony orchestra. Both Final Call and Symphony Live In Istanbul were nominated for Best New Age Album; Final Call for the 56th Annual Grammy Awards and Symphony Live In Istanbul for the 57th Annual Grammy Awards, becoming Kitaro’s 15th and 16th career Grammy Award nominations.

In 2010, Kitaro performed in Singapore in March, in Mexico for the Zacatecas Cultural Festival in April,[12] in Xi'an, China for the opening event of Daming Palace National Heritage Park in September, in Aichi, Japan for the Thousand Drums Event at COP10 for the Convention on Biological Diversity in October. From March to April, 2011, Kitaro toured Thailand, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Singapore and Malaysia. He donated part of the CD sales and concert profits to Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami Relief.

While Kitaro has been touring, Domo Records released Kitaro's compilation Album, soundtracks to Toyo's Camera and 442 - Live With Honor, Die With Dignity, as well as the Grammy nominated Sacred Journey Of Ku-Kai, Volume 4. In February 2014, Kitaro launched the Symphonic World Tour and has so far performed in Warsaw, Moscow, Bucharest, Istanbul, Singapore, Nagoya, Omachi and Tehran among other historic locations. Early 2015 he released the soundtrack to 442 Extreme Patriots Of WW II - Live With Honor, Die With Dignity.

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The Silk Road: The Rise And Fall Of Civilizations is an NHK Tokushu documentary series that first aired on 7 April 1980, with sequels being broadcast over a 10-year period. It took a total of 17 years from conception to complete what many consider a landmark in Japan's broadcasting television history. The intention of the program was to reveal how ancient Japan was influenced by the Silk Road trade route. The documentary was narrated by Ishizaka Koji with music composed by Kitaro, who insisted that the show be broadcast in stereo. The music was composed mainly using a Minimoog, Minikorg 700 and Maxikorg DV800. The series of soundtracks sold millions and the success created from the program brought Kitaro international attention

Kitaro's music is fluid and harmonic, as he blends smooth electronic lines with influences from traditional Japanese music, rock, and the romantic Western tradition. Silk Road is a phenomenal success and very possibly the best Kitaro release. There are incredible transitions throughout the pieces, making this a true masterpiece and a treasure to own.



Kitaro - Silk Road I  (flac 229mb)

01 Silk Road 4:12
02 Bell Tower 2:27
03 Heavenly Father 4:07
04 The Great River (Yellow River) 2:40
05 The Great Wall Of China 1:54
06 Flying Celestial Nymphs 4:38
07 Silk Road Fantasy 4:40
08 Shimmering Light 3:20
09 Westbound 2:57
10 Time 3:30
11 Bodhisattva 2:12
12 Everlasting Road 5:33
13 Theme From Silk Road (6:14)

Kitaro - Silk Road I   (ogg 106mb)

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It can be easy to dismiss a Kitaro album as more "new age fluff." Indeed, many reviewers have done so, thereby depriving their readers of an honest appraisal and an opportunity to experience the sheer joy of this music. Silk Road, Vol. 2 is the second collection from Kitaro's soundtracks for the Japanese television series of the same name. These light, symphonic synthesizer pieces are elegant and glamorous. Kitaro approaches his craft tenderly and lovingly and it shows in his gentle touch. The ebb and flow of these pieces is warm and friendly. Kitaro is in the elite class of new age artists.



Kitaro - Silk Road II (flac 252mb)

01 In The Silence (Shizukesa No Nakade) 3:41
02 Takla Makan Desert (Takuramakan Sabaku) 3:17
03 Eternal Spring (Inochi No Izumi) 5:26
04 Silver Moon (Karakhoto No Genso) 5:03
05 Magical Sand Dance (Shimpi Naru Suna No Mai) 6:06
06 Year 40080 (40080 Nen) 4:39
07 Time Travel (Jikukan) 2:39
08 Reincarnation (Saisei) 4:17
09 Dawning (Yoake) 3:12
10 Tienshan (Tenzan) 4:43

Kitaro - Silk Road II   (ogg 148mb)

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The instrumentation on Tunhuang is heavy on the analog synths and the dreamy, soft soundscapes that would not be out of place on a Tangerine Dream or (especially) Vangelis album from 1977 - 1979 are everywhere on Tun Huang (aka Silk Road 3). I would also throw 1975 Pink Floyd in there too, but that might be stretching it a bit...but not much I might add. The analog synthesizers used by Kitaro include instruments by Roland, Prophet (Prophet V), and Moog (mostly mini-moog), along with the mellotron - everything sounds incredibly warm and organic. Kitaro is also quite the multi-instrumentalist and plays a full drum kit and percussion on a few tracks, along with the sitar (on Lord of the Sand only), tabra, acoustic guitar, chanting bell, and wind chime. Joining Kitaro on this album is violinist Yasuo Kojima - he contributes some excellent playing.

The music is richly textured, contemplative, deeply haunting and sad at times, exhilarating, sweeping. Musically, there is far, far too much going on in this recording to simply lump it with the static and motionless approach of ambient music or the homogenized mood pieces that characterize much of current New Age music. Harmonies are used to good effect, there is melodic counterpoint and dynamic range along with shifts in rhythm, not to mention variation in timbre. The pieces all flow together in one song-cycle suite which adds a bit of drama to the overall work, although there is a slight break between Tun Huang and Free Flight.



Kitaro - Silk Road III Tunhuang (flac 252mb)

01 Lord Of The Wind 4:33
02 Fata Morgana 3:42
03 Pilgrimage I 3:48
04 Lord Of The Sand 5:22
05 Tunhuang 4:52
06 Free Flight 4:20
07 Mandala 5:20
08 Tao 4:26
09 Pilgrimage II 6:22

Kitaro - Silk Road III Tunhuang  (ogg   101mb)

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Silk Road IV Ten Jiku (India) has been described as the fourth album of the ' Silk Road ' series, characterized by a fragile beauty of many flute and wind melodies with a much traditional feel.  "India" is one of the few perfect recordings. Complete with opening fanfare, floating, relaxing introduction comprised mainly of synthesized, agreeable chords, free of heavy drums or pounding rhythms, "India" is nothing short of sacred to me. Track 5, "Ganga" is the one single piece that truly makes me feel right next to God and thankful for His healing power. No way I'm trying to convert you or push anything on to you, I'm just telling you how it is. "India" will never again leave my collection, and in the middle of my bout with pneumonia it has already helped me on my road to recovery. Every second of the forty-two minutes of Kitaro's perfect recording is precious, not to be simply enjoyed but to be assimilated by the soul, healing in power and for clearing the mind. Truly, Vishnu has his hand in this one.  A modern melancholy tribute to India, the motherland of Hinduism and Buddhism.



Kitaro - Silk Road IV Ten Jiku (flac 208mb)

01 The Mist 6:08
02 Caravansary 4:57
03 Mountain Stream 4:46
04 Pray 6:36
05 Ganga 3:30
06 Sunset 5:02
07 Linden 3:28
08 Moon Star 8:52

Kitaro - Silk Road IV Ten Jiku  (ogg   93mb)

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1 comment:

Request said...

Great post - thank you & look forward to future reups.