Taikoza | Tree Spirit

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Tree Spirit

by Taikoza

Spirit lifting and exciting Taiko drumming and soulful bamboo flute music
Genre: World: Japanese traditional
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  Song Share Time Download
1. Satsuki
5:01 $0.99
2. Nishimonai
2:02 $0.99
3. Lullaby of Itsuki / Moon Over the Ruined Castle
3:22 $0.99
4. Tree Spirit Kodama
6:53 $0.99
5. Tamuke
3:49 $0.99
6. Ohara Bushi
2:35 $0.99
7. Amadare
6:48 $0.99
8. Lullaby of Takeda
1:52 $0.99
9. Tozan Matsuri
3:31 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
Taikoza draws from Japan’s rich tradition of music to create innovative and fresh musical sounds using the thunderous rhythms of the ancestral Taiko drums and the magical sounds of the bamboo flutes performed by Master Marco Lienhard. This CD is dedicated to all his mentor and teachers through the years who shared their passion and love for their instruments.

1.Satsuki(Month of May)五月by Marco Lienhard
Inspired by the May spring festivals in Japan, this song expresses the vibrant energy of the spring season and the cleansing of bad Spirits through Taiko drumming.
2. Nishi Monai西馬音内- arranged by Marco Lienhard
An arrangement of the festival songs of Nishimonai in Akita Prefecture. During the Nishimonai Bon Dance festival, dancers attired in patchwork kimonos dance in a procession through the narrow streets of the town. In this arrangement of Nishimonai, there is a slow movement Ondo 音頭, and a fast movement Ganke 願化

3. Lullaby of Itsuki/Moon over the Ruined Castle 五木の子守唄/荒城の月- arranged by Marco Lienhard
This medley of two popular Japanese songs is arranged and performed by Marco Lienhard on the Shakuhachi. The second song moon Over the Ruined Castle is composed by Rentaro Taki.

4. Tree Spirit Kodama 木魂-by Marco Lienhard
This song reflects my memories of practicing Taiko and bamboo flutes in the forests of Japan. The music would echo throughout the mountains and valleys, creating a tapestry of sounds that would be carried far away in the distance. Kodama means echo but also means mountain gods or tree spirit: "Kodama" (木魂).

5. Tamuke手向 traditional Shakuhachi song
A Shakuhachi meditation Honkyoku song played on a 2.7 Shakuhachi flute from the Ise region, Tamuke means putting your hands together in prayer. This song was played as a prayer to the dead.

6. Ohara Bushi 小原節- arranged by Marco Lienhard
Oharabushi is one of the five well-known folk songs in Japan. This version is from Akita prefecture and tells the story of a hunted deer in the forest.

7. Amadare (Rain Drops) 雨だれ- by M. Lienhard
The first part of Amadare is inspired by Maki Ishii's Monochrome while the second part is derived from the Tama-ire rhythm from Yatai Bayashi, a song performed at the festival in Chichibu.

8. Lullaby of Takeda 竹田の子守唄- arranged by Marco Lienhard
An arrangement of the popular lullaby from Takeda on the Shinobue.

9. Tozan Matsuri (Mountain climbing festival)登山祭 - by Marco Lienhard
Inspired by the traditional festivals in Japan. This song summons the village youths to be led up the mountain (Tozan) for the coming of age ceremony where they become adults.

These traditional Japanese instruments were used by Taikoza to perform the songs in this recording:
Taiko -太皷
Taiko means big drum. A Taiko is traditionally carved from the Keiyaki tree and constructed in one piece. The drum's heads are made from the skins of a two-year-old cow. The Taiko is one of the oldest Japanese instruments. Fifth-century clay dolls found holding drums and seventh-century poems and paintings are evidence that Taiko has been an integral part of Japanese culture for the past sixteen centuries. In the Shinto religion, Taiko was used to call upon and entertain the gods, and in Japanese Buddhism, its sound was the manifestation of the voice of Buddha.

Shakuhachi -尺八
The Shakuhachi originated as a smaller six-hole flute instrument from China. An end-blown bamboo flute with four holes in the front and one in the back, the Shakuhachi was used at one point as a tool of Buddhist meditation. The monk’s philosophy was defined by the words “Ichion Joubutsu一音成仏,” which means, “a single note to reach enlightenment or Buddhahood.” The Shakuhachi was also used in Japanese court music ensembles to accompany the Koto and the Shamisen.

Fue -笛
The Fue is a bamboo flute similar in form to the piccolo. Three versions of Fue are used in this recording: the Matsuribue or festival flute, the Utabue (used to play folk songs), and the Nohkan (a flute used in Noh theatre).

This CD is dedicated to Geoffrey Polischuk
Credits: Photo: George Hirose, Marco Lienhard
Design: Yoshiko Taniguchi
Thank you: Geoffrey Polischuk, Family Lienhard, All Kickstarter supporters.
Editing Recording Engineer: Roy Hendrickson.
Recorded at Avatar Studios in New York, NY May- June 2015
Taikoza: Marco Lienhard, Marguerite Bunyan, Malika Duckworth, Chikako Saito, Yoshiko Taniguchi, MacConnell Evans and Kristy Oshiro.
What the media said:
Reviews for Marco Lienhard and his group Taikoza

“The shakuhachi, played with malleable, expressive attacks, produces a breathy sound, deep in terms of profundity if not pitch. “One can hear already in a single tone the sound of the whole cosmos,” Mr. Hosokawa writes, adding that the instrument evokes “the sadness and beauty of the past.” Marco Lienhard, a Swiss-born master of the shakuhachi, did ample justice to these suggestions.”

“ In its choreography and its vigor taiko becomes almost a martial art, one in which violence has been sublimated into disciplined exultation a blend of high-decibel virtuosity and sinful shakuhachi solos. Precision and energy are paramount here and the product, for me, was medicinal. It is a combination narcotic, stimulant and vitamin pill.”
Bernard Holland, NY Times

The concert was full of stirring Music from Japan. From the most delicate and mournful bamboo flute song to the loudest and most pulsating beat, the dedicated passion of the musicians was inspiring"
The Richmond News Leader

Taikoza has moved the drums in the foreground and into an exciting visual Explosion,
The Dothan Eagle

“ Few adjectives can explain the sound, emotion and overall experience of the pounding drums of a live performance. My senses were rattles.” Nichi Bei Times

“Something strange and wonderful is coming your way. There was thunder and there was lighting and there was the sea crashing against a cliff, and volcanoes. For a few utterly transporting minutes, there was expressed in the metaphors of merciless rhythms and fluttering melodies, anything a listener had experienced, would experience and could imagine experiencing.”

"Taikoza is the definition of great art and the audience was not mistaken when they broke into thunderous applause."
FAN of Neuchatel

The performance physical at times, meditative at times was very powerful and emotional. The visual beauty as well as the raw energy of the drummers pounding on the taiko took the audience. It created an emotional tension that was only released at the end with the audience’s heartfelt and thunderous applause. The members of Taikoza beyond their professionalism were able to make Taiko music more approachable to the audience
Corriere del Ticino

“ An amazing shakuhachi player Marco Lienhard has come out with a new CD, truly a very gifted and wonderful sense of musicality. Not since Yamaguchi Goro’s rendition of Kinko Honkyoku music have I felt the need to listen to more of his music. His rendition of Honkyoku form the Watazumi School is incredible and everyone studying the style should listen to it. His powerful and heartfelt rendition of Amazing grace reminded me of such gospel singers as Mahalia Jackson.
From article by Mr. Kishi appeared in Hogaku Journal, Tokyo Japan

“The members gave their bodies over to musical performance at times a very physical and musical performance. - The highly appreciative audience was treated to physical dexterity, lovely and magical flute music ”
Boston Herald

“ The drummers were clearly enduring some metaphysical test, but less grueling in the program, Marco Lienhard’s deeply fanciful solos on the shakuhachi looked fully invested and with more than just energy. It is the layering of drums patterns and sonorities in intricate compositions that represent the key to the experience.”
Los Angeles Times

“The musicians’ strong performance really livened up the audience
Taikoza’s energetic performance is a delicate mixture of tranquility and excitement and while using traditional Japanese performing arts they are successful at breaking national boundaries.”
The Arts Cure, 2003

Taikoza uses the powerful rhythms of the Taiko drums to create an electrifying energy that carries audiences in a new dimension of excitement. The Taiko is a large, barrel-like drum that can fill the air with the sounds of rolling thunder. Roughly translated, Taiko means big drums-and that’s exactly what Taikoza brings. Big Drums, powerful rhythms, and electrifying, room-thumping energy. This exciting group draws from Japan’s rich tradition of music and performance to create a highly visual performance. Drawing from Japan's rich tradition of music and performance, Taikoza has created a new sound using a variety of traditional instruments. In addition to drums of assorted sizes, Taikoza incorporates the shakuhachi, the fue (both bamboo flutes) and the Koto (a 13 string instrument). Taikoza’s new CD has been nominated as best Asian Ethnic Album for the Just Plain Folks Music Award. Taikoza has appeared on different TV programs such as Macy’s Thanksgiving parade, the History Channel in “History vs. Hollywood” and ESPN S.U.M.O: The battle of the Giants. Taikoza is featured in the Movie: The Commute.
Taikoza has recorded the music for the Nintendo wii game: Red Steel 1 and 2.
Taikoza and East Winds have been the recipients of many grants for their exciting and energetic programs.

Taikoza presents a very popular program for schools in the New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Philadelphia and Virginia area for Young Audiences and Symphony Space. Taikoza did a tour of Birmingham, AL area schools funded with a NEA grant that the Birmingham International Festival received.

Taikoza was formed in New York City by members of Ondekoza (the group that started the renaissance of taiko in Japan in the 60s and introduced Taiko to the world).
The members of Taikoza have performed in some of the most prestigious halls such as Carnegie Hall, Boston Symphony Hall, Suntory Hall, Osaka Festival Hall, Lincoln Center and many others. They have performed in Russia, Italy, Brazil, Argentina, Switzerland, Germany, France, Mexico, Republic of Georgia, etc.
Performances include corporate events for Merrill Lynch, Gillette, Ameritech, City of Los Angeles, PriceWaterhouse Coopers, Dell Computers, PepsiCo, Bloomberg, Pfizer, Merck, Diesel, Sony, etc



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