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Shakuhachi retreat in Vermont, Ralph Samuelson April 25- 26,

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Perry Yung
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Joined: 22 Mar 2011
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Localisation: New York City, UWS

PostPosted: 2015-02-27, 01:40    Post subject: Shakuhachi retreat in Vermont, Ralph Samuelson April 25- 26, Reply with quote

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With Ralph Samuelson and Yoko Hiraoka

It's a long, cold winter. Come welcome springtime in beautiful Vermont, with beautiful Japanese music!

Ralph Samuelson (shakuhachi) and Yoko Hiraoka (shamisen, koto) will lead a music study retreat in West Halifax, Vermont (near Brattleboro) on April 25 and 26. They will also be performing in concert at the Latchis Theater in Brattleboro on the evening of April 25. The weekend will focus on ensemble music for shakuhachi with koto and shamisen, but will also include some attention to the honkyoku of the Kinko Ryu. Shakuhachi students from everywhere are invited to participate.

The classical chamber music of Japan known as sankyoku is a music of rich beauty and depth. Typically set to sung poetic text, it is characterized by the interweaving and elaboration of melodic line, subtle and elegant ornamentation, microtonal pitch nuance, an emphasis on tone color, and a kind of flexible breath rhythm. The workshop will explore these elements of the music and the manner in which the different parts of the ensemble—shamisen, koto, song, and shakuhachi-- come together while each expresses its own unique voice and character.

2 Days of Music Study
-Saturday, April 25, 10 AM-3 PM. The focus will be on small-group study of one or two individual pieces from the classical repertoire. Students will be divided into groups according to playing experience; study pieces will be selected once the level of participation has been clarified.

-Saturday, April 25, 7 PM. Concert. “Music across Borders: Sounds of Japan”, at the Latchis Theater in Brattleboro. The program features traditional and contemporary pieces, and a new work created especially for Yoko and Ralph by acclaimed composer Elizabeth Brown.

-Sunday, April 26, 10 AM-4 PM. This day will have 2 simultaneous tracks: group study with Ralph focusing on details of Kinko Ryu shakuhachi technique and expression, and lessons with Yoko on an ensemble piece of one’s choosing (or to be chosen by the teachers if so requested).

Driving is best, but for those without cars, Greyhound and Amtrak both have service to Brattleboro. From the New York area, Amtrak to Albany is the easiest route, and pick up at Albany-Rensselaer station can be arranged. If necessary, transportation will also be provided from place of lodging to the workshop site.

Study sessions will take place on a lovely, spacious farm in West Halifax. A list of B&Bs and hotels in the nearby town of Wilmington and elsewhere in the area will be made available to participants. The workshop fee of $300 includes two days of study with lunch provided, and a ticket to the concert. Space is limited and early registration is recommended. Please register, or request further information, by sending your email to Ralph at

We look forward to welcoming you to Vermont!

The Teachers
YOKO HIRAOKA is a master performer of koto, shamisen, biwa, and jiuta vocal music. She is a native of Kyoto, Japan, and studied classical and modern koto (13-
string zither) and shamisen (3 –string lute) from an early age. She also trained in the tradition of the 5-string Chikuzen biwa. Her performance career originated in Japan and spans more than 30 years. Her repertoire also includes contemporary compositions. Since moving to the United States in 1993, she has performed extensively at festivals, concerts, lecture-recitals and on television, radio, and studio recordings. She has appeared at the Art Institute of Chicago, Princeton University, Yale University, UCLA, Bowdoin College, Wesleyan University, Columbia University, and many other venues across the US. Ms. Hiraoka has been the beneficiary of funding and support from the Consulate Gen. of Japan and has undertaken residencies at Duke University, Texas A & M, and elsewhere. She taught world music ensemble at the University of Colorado and has been teaching at Naropa University in Boulder since 1995.

RALPH SAMUELSON is a performer and teacher of the Japanese bamboo flute, shakuhachi. He was trained in the classical tradition of the Kinko School under the tutelage of the late Living National Treasure Goro Yamaguchi, as well as by Shudo Yamato and Kodo Araki V. He has performed in leading concert venues in the United States, Europe, and Asia. He has been presented in live radio and television broadcasts in the US and Japan and has recorded for Music of the World, Lyrichord Records, CBS Masterworks, Axiom, Tzadik, and other labels. Mr. Samuelson was the featured shakuhachi soloist in the New York City Ballet production of Jerome Robbins’ "Watermill”, with music by Teiji Ito, and his Flutes of Hope ensemble commemorating the 3/11/11 triple disaster in Japan was presented at Carnegie Hall and performs annually at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York. He has been an artist-in-residence at the Lou Harrison House in California and is a guest artist and advisor at the Seoul Institute of the Arts in Korea. He is also the former director of the Asian Cultural Council, a foundation supporting US-Asia cultural exchange.

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