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Gaspar Claus

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Tradition belongs more to the present than the past.

For three weeks Parisian cellist and composer Gaspar Claus met with traditional and modern Japanese musicians in a Tokyo studio to record Jo Ha Kyu. Performing with Claus on this piece are: Eiko Ishibashi (voice, piano, drums), Keiji Haino (voice), Kakushin Nishihara (voice, satsuma biwa), Ryuichi Sakamoto (piano), Hirochimi Sakamoto (electric cello), Sachiko M (sine wave), Otomo Yoshihide (turntable), Leonard Eto (wadaiko), Kazutoki Umezu (tenor saxophone) and Kazuki Tomokawa (voice, guitar).

Modern Japanese culture is colored, in part, by ancestral shades. Where other countries are willing to forget their past as they move forward, Japan values local tradition over global culture.

Japanese tradition is clearly evident in the music of the Japanese avant-garde. Listening to the music of the Japanese avant-garde, one can easily detect that they belong to the great tradition of Japanese music which continues through them.

Jo-ha-kyu is a concept of modulation and movement applied in a wide variety of traditional Japanese arts. Roughly translated to “beginning, break, rapid”, it essentially means that all actions or efforts should begin slowly, speed up, and then end swiftly. Jo-Ha-Kyu has been used in many aspects of Japanese culture including writing music, dance, theater, literature and even floral arrangement or tea service

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