Pavel Klusák

Pavel Klusák (*1969) listens to music, writes about it, presents it at audiovisual nights and broadcasts it at Radio Wave, a Czech Radio station. He is the founder and director of festival of experimental music Babel Prague. He has worked in magazines Týden and Respekt, currently he is the editor of weekend attachment Orientace of Lidové Noviny broadsheet. For ten years, he has selected music films for International Film Festival Karlovy Vary. His book on Minimalists will be published in Fall, 2013.

Jindřiška Křivánková

Jindřiška Křivánková is an actress, dancer, choreographer and author with strong interest in the development of contemporary theater performances. She finished her studies at Dance Conservatory Duncan Center in Prague and the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague, with M.A. degree and Theater school Die Etage in Berlin.  Since 2002 she started her professional career as a theater actress with a director Miroslav Bambušek during the project Multiprostor later called Persecution.cz that continuously develops political theater. The first performances of this long term project was awarded by Alfred Radok award. In 2008 she became one of the founding member of Spitfire Company with whom she performs and creates regularly until now. Her credits includes: The Voice of Anne Frank, Dark Laughter of Medusa, The World of Condemned (Grand prix in Festival Zdarzenia, PL, The price of Teatro Roma), the Chaplin’s Trial, Trials 10/48/7830 about the murder of the female political prisoner Milada Horakova by the communist government (award of festival Next wave), 13th Month-Requiem for Bruno Schulz, Prawns a la Indingo. Her independent projects include political performances: Čezko forever (dir.Petr Boháč), Colonia (dir.Lucie Ferenzová), Horáková/Gotwald (choreography) (dir.Viktorie Čermáková), Políbila Dubčeka (choreography) (dir. Viktorie Čermáková), Uran (dir.Miroslav Bambušek). She is also an author and playwright of her own projects (Lovci), host performer in Drama Theater in Ústí nad Labem, Theater in Balustrade in Prague, Meet Factory in Prague, La Fabrica in Prague and many others site-specific and experimental spaces.

Jindřiška Křivánková was also awarded as the Talent of the Year (2010) at the Next Wave festival. She is also a pedagogue of contemporary dance and physical theater in Private Theater Academy in Prague and lector in Spitfire Company Laboratory.

Alexis Leonidou

Alexis Leonidou is a young yet already very successful composer. He was born in Limassol in the Mediterranean island of Cyprus. Alexis graduated from the National Conservatory of Athens in Greece in 2007. On 2011, Alexis has been accepted for graduate studies at King’s College of London and moved to the U.K earning first a Master of Music Degree in Composition and then continuing his academic path towards to a PhD in Composition studying under Silvina Milstein (Alexander Goehr’s Student).

His compositions are praised and performed all around the world. His composition Regardless for solo shakuhachi will be performed by Jim Franklin at the Inner Landscapes, Contemporary Myths concert on 26.08.

Takafumi Tanaka

President and chief editor, Hogaku Journal, LLC. President, Hogaku Association.

Tanaka established the Hogaku Journal, Japan’s only magazine devoted entirely to traditional music, in 1987. From 1999 to 2005, he operated the Live House Wa’on, a gathering and performance space for musicians who played traditional instruments. From 2001 to 2010, he managed and produced the “Sounds of Japan Festival,” Japan’s largest festival of Japanese music. From 2006 to 2010, he produced and lectured at the concert Hôgaku, New Sounds of Japan to accompany the APAP global performing arts conference in New York (with support from the Japan Foundation). In 2006, Tanaka established the Hogaku Association, an association of Japanese instrument makers and began publishing Wagakki Bunka (“The Culture of Japanese Instruments”). In 2010, together with Ogawa Instruments, Tanaka helped to design a small koto for the Japanese astronaut YAMAZAKI Naoko to play in the International Space Station. In 2011, he produced the all Japan tour of two of Japan’s most famous koto players, NOSAKA Keiko and SAWAI Kazue, and in 2012 he planned and produced the international shakuhachi competition for the Kyoto World Shakuhachi Festival.

In addition to being a publisher and producer, Tanaka also performs shakuhachi and lectures on Japanese music.

Kifu Mitsuhashi

Mitsuhashi was born in Tokyo in 1950. He studied the shakuhachi under the shakuhachi master, Sofu Sasaki of the Kinko-School and Chikugai Okamoto of the Fuke-Shakuhachi. In 1980, Mitsuhashi won the National Arts Festival Excellence Award for his performance in "the 1st Shakuhachi Recital of Mitsuhashi Kifu" at the National Arts Festival of the Agency for Cultural Affairs. He also received the Osaka Cultural Festival Prize in 1981 and the National Arts Festival Prize for his solo recital in 1989. In 1991, Mitsuhashi performed a solo with the Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra at the 100th Anniversary Concert of the Carnegie Hall in New York. In 1992, he was awarded the Nakajima-Kenzo Music Prize, the National Arts Festival Art Works Prize for his CD "Chikurin-Kitan" composed by Makoto Moroi and later released from the Sony Record, and won a prize for his great effort in the Yokohama City Cultural Prize. In 1994, Mitsuhashi joined the Europe tour of the Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra as a soloist and his performances were highly acclaimed by the audience at The Royal Festival Hall in London and in other European countries. In 1996, Mitsuhashi won a prize for his great effort again in the 8th Hida Furukawa Music Prize. His works have been recorded by the Windham Hill Record and some others. He has been conducting actively as a coordinator of the events and the performances in abroad and a producer of CDs. Also, he is now producing "Demon Kogure's Hogaku Restoration", a project for popularizing Japanese traditional music. Mitsuhashi has been invited to perform as a soloist with a lot of orchestras in foreign countries and he has given more than 100 recitals there. He has been contributing much to the introduction of the Japanese culture and the promotion of international cultural exchanges. Mitsuhashi is a master of the Kinko-School, leader of the Kifu-Kai of the Kinko-School and a member of the Pro Musica Nipponia.

Christopher Yohmei Blasdel

Christopher Yohmei Blasdel began the shakuhachi and studies of Japanese music in 1972 with Living National Treasure Goro Yamaguchi. He also studied Fuke shakuhachi under Okamoto Chikugai, jiuta ensemble playing with Fujii Kunie and ryûteki flute under Shiba Sukeyasu. In 1982 he received an MFA in ethnomusicology from Tokyo University of Fine Arts and Music and is one of only two non-Japanese to be accredited as a shihan master by Yamaguchi. Performing in Japan and around the world, Blasdel maintains a balance between traditional shakuhachi music, modern compositions and cross-genre work with musicians, dancers, poets and visual artists. Discography includes Navarasa (2009), Breath Play (2007), Visionary Tones (2005) and several other CDs of traditional and contemporary music. He has composed and performed music for NHK documentaries and various films. He co-organized the World Shakuhachi Festival ’98 held in Boulder, Colorado and the Sydney World Shakuhachi Festival in 2008. He is the senior advisor to the annual Prague Shakuhachi Festival. His semi-autobiographical book, The Single Tone—A Personal Journey through Shakuhachi Music (Printed Matter Press, 2005) and The Shakuhachi, A Manual for Learning (1988) are two of the most important English language resource books on the shakuhachi. He presently teaches Japanese music at Temple University in Tokyo, is Artistic Director of the International House of Japan and is a coordinator/mentor for the Columbia University Hôgaku Program. He holds a third-degree black belt in Aikido. www.yohmei.com

Yuji Kikuo

Kikuo is a performer and teacher of koto, sangen (shamisen), and kokyû (bowed lute) in the traditional Nogawa style, a sub-sect of the Ikuta Schoolentered around the Osaka area. He studied with the Living National Treasure, the late Hatsuko Kikuhara and her successor, Koji Kikuhara.In 1997, he received the performing name of Kikuo. Since embarking on his professional career, Kikuo has won several awards and competitions and continues his studies while maintaining an active performance schedule. He is actively sought as an accompanist forjiuta-mai dances has appeared numerous times on stage, radio and television. He uses his mastery of traditional techniques as a solid basis to extend his musical practices into the present and experiments with various other instruments, both western and Japanese. In addition to many performances in Japan, he also has performed in the US, Switzerland, Germany Italy and Korea.He presently teaches at the Mainichi Cultural Center and the NHK Nishinomiya Gardens Cultural School. He also performs the Heike biwa.

Pamelia Kurstin

Pamelia Kurstin is one of the most interesting and innovative contemporary theremin players. Her boundless repertoire embraces jazz and noise music as well as classical repertoire such as Mozarts violin sonatas, Poulenc’s and Schönberg’s works. Her first solo album Thinking Out Loud was released in 2007 on John Zorn’s Tzadik label.

Pamelia Kurstin is a sensitive, emotional stylist capable of coaxing sublime melodic content out of an instrument usually doomed to B-movie sci-fi soundtracks. (And her walking bass imitation is pretty cool too.)

Pamelia Kurstin (born Pamela Stickney May 28, 1976 in Southern California) is a notable American theremin player. She has performed and recorded with artists including David Byrne, Richard Cheese, Béla Fleck and the Flecktones, Barbez, and Ulver, and was instrumental to the final design of Robert Moog’s Etherwave Pro Theremin, for which she was the primary test musician. Pamelia has made various film, television and radio appearances, most notably on Saturday Night Live, Open Source Radio, and in the 2004 documentary Moog, and her music for theremin orchestra featured on CNN. Pamelia has also presented talks at events such as TED. Her background as a jazz musician on the upright bass has led to develop a “walking bass” Theremin technique. She was based in New York until 2005; she now lives in Vienna. She was first introduced to the Theremin during production of the album Into the Oh in 1999 by Luaka Bop duo Geggy Tah – singer/writer Tommy Jordan and keyboardist Greg Kurstin. Kurstin recorded Gymnopedie in 2000 as a member of the Theremin/keyboard duo called “The Kurstins” with her then-husband, Greg. Her first solo album Thinking Out Loud was released in 2007 on John Zorn’s Tzadik label. She also appears on the Foetus album “Love”.

Visit her workshop site for more information.

Mika Kimula

Trying to find an answer to the question of how to best utilize voice and Japanese language in contemporary theater and music, Kimula began her vocal studies at Tokyo University of Fine Arts and Music (Geidai). At Geidai she also studied the Noguchi Taisô body awareness method (including the techniques of how language is respondent to the voice and one’s inner image) with the late Michizô Noguchi and life morphology (how life responds to the voice) with the late Dr. Shigeo Miki. She was an artist in residence at Earlham College in 1988, and in 1997, she taught Japanese language and voice for a year at Chatham College (Pittsburgh) as a Fulbright Scholar. Presently, Kimula performs, records, teaches, writes and gives workshops throughout Japan, the United States and around the world. She currently teaches at Ferris University Open College, Yokohama as well as gives regular classes at Sarasya, aspace for creative body work and the Serotonin Dôjô (training center), both in Tokyo. Her work is included in the DVD & Book, Japanese Voices A Video Archive of Singing and Techniques in the Japanese Language (compiled by I. Nakayama, Osaka Univ. of Arts, AD POPOLO Inc., 2008), which features the singing styles of 79 representative Japanese singers from 32 genres (including Kimula).

Gunnar Jinmei Linder

Gunnar began to study the shakuhachi after having arrived in Japan in 1985. He was after a short period of time introduced to the master Yamaguchi Gorō (1933–99), the youngest ever designated living national treasure. Yamaguchi-sensei was head of the still active Chikumeisha guild of Kinko-ryū Shakuhachi, the oldest of the existing lineages of shakuhachi.

In 1993 Gunnar received the Japanese Monbukagakushō Scholarship, to study shakuhachi as soloist, at the traditional music conservatoire at Tokyo National University of the Arts (Tokyo Geidai). After two years of studies, Gunnar passed the entrance exam to the Master's program, and finished with an MA degree as shakuhachi soloist in 1997, the second non-Japanese to do so. Gunnar received his traditional license, shihan, and the name Jinmei (儘盟) from Yamaguchi Gorō in the summer of 1998, right after the first International Shakuhachi Festival to be held outside of Japan, in Boulder CO, USA. Very sadly, Yamaguchi Gorō passed away only months after that.

From 1997 to 2005 Gunnar was professionally active as performer and teacher of shakuhachi in Japan, but also teaching and performing in Europe and the US.

In 2005, after some 20 years of activities in Japan, Gunnar moved to Europe. He is now actively performing and teaching both privately and through regular workshops in Stockholm and Helsinki, and other shakuhachi events. He is working as Associate Professor at the Department of Oriental Languages, Stockholm University, conducting research in the traditional (or pre-modern) genres of Japanese music. Presently he is studying the structure of some Edo-period music genres, as well as the song texts of the chamber music of the 18th and 19th centuries Japan (so-called jiuta-sōkyoku or sankyoku). Gunnar is also a teacher of shakuhachi at the Royal College of Music in Stockholm (KMH).

Jim Franklin

Dr Jim Franklin is a master performer of the shakuhachi. He initially studied composition and musicology in Australia, Germany and Holland. During his studies he encountered the shakuhachi, and was fascinated by it. After learning the instrument in Australia with Dr Riley Lee and in Japan with Furuya Teruo and Yokoyama Katsuya, he received the title Shihan (“master”) in 1996 from Yokoyama-sensei, and was thus officially licensed to teach and perform shakuhachi. As a composer, Franklin is active in the areas of contemporary and electroacoustic music. He composes for shakuhachi solo and in combination with other instruments, and frequently performs projects with shakuhachi and live electronics, often in combination with dance and video art. The interface between shakuhachi and electronics, and shakuhachi and visual media, is a key area of interest. In the area of solo shakuhachi, Franklin has specialized in the honkyoku of the school of Yokoyama Katsuya (Kokusai Shakuhachi Kenshukan) and in modern music. Since 2004 Franklin has lived in Germany. From 2006 to 2009 he was Chairperson of the European Shakuhachi Society. www.bambooheart.com

Vlastislav Matoušek

Doc. Vlastislav Matoušek PhD. studied composition and post-gradual courses in Musical Theory at the Academy of Performing Arts, the Faculty of Music in Prague where he has been teaching ethnomusicology since 1991. There he received his Ph.D. degree in theory of composition. Six months as a fellow of Japan Foundation he studied shakuhachi playing with a shakuhachi master Kifu Mitsuhashi and Japanese Traditional Music at Prof. Yamaguchi Osamu in Japan (1996).

As a soloist concert performer he mainly plays honkyoku – traditional pieces for Japanese bamboo flute, shakuhachi. He is an art-director and a conductor of his contemporary music Ensemble 108 Hz which presents experimental music and his own compositions for voices and other even exotic and folk instruments from his personal extensive collection, often in combination with electronics. www.shakuhachi.cz

Dietmar Ippu Herriger

Dietmar studied shakuhachi at Itchoken, old shakuhachi temple of the komuso, which is part of the Saikoji temple complex in Fukuoka where he also served as a priest. After twenty-four years of studying shakuhachi with heads of Itchoken he was awarded a master title and performance name Ippu.

Dietmar Herriger (1959, Langenfeld, Germany) studied art history and musicology in Marburg and flute at Detmold University of Music. In 1988 he went to Fukuoka, Japan, to learn shakuhachi from Iso Genjo Oshu-san and Iso Genmyo Oshu-san. Dietmar also became a priest of the Saikoji Temple. Since 1989 Dietmar is frequently returning to Japan to complete his studies. He teaches flute, saxophon, clarinet und shakuhachi at the Leo Kestenberg music school in Berlin. Performs solo concerts with shakuhachi, flute  und live electronics. He is also performing with the “Kunst der Pause“ saxophone quartett. Since 2006 he concerts with Villu Veski, Tiit Kalluste and Taavo Remmel in Estonia. In 2012, he was awarded with the master title Kaiden and name Dietmar Ippu Herriger.

Kiku Day

Kiku Day is a ­jinashi shakuhachi player from Denmark with Japanese and American background. She gave up her studies in classical Western music on flute to study honkyoku (classic solo repertoire of the komusō monks of the Fuke sect of Zen Buddhism) with Okuda Atsuya in Japan for 11 years. Day has since her return to Europe dedicated her life to the potential use of jinashi shakuhachi today. The jinashi shakuhachi is the older type of shakuhachi, only consisting of the raw untreated bamboo. Several composers from different parts of the world have written for her, among others: Takahashi Yūji, Roxanna Panufnik, Frank Denyer, Vytautas Germanavicius and Yumi Hara Cawkwell. She has performed with performers such as Fred Frith, Joanna MacGregor, Mats Gustafsson and Joëlle Léandre, and as a soloist with Odense Symphony Orchestra and with the Nonsuch Choir. Day has a Phd. in ethnomusicology from SOAS, University of London and has worked as an assistant professor at Aarhus University, Denmark. She is a founding member of the European Shakuhachi Society for which she now serves as chairperson. More information at: http://www.kikuday.com

Michal Rataj

Michal Rataj (born 1975) studied musicology at the Charles University in Prague and composition at the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague (with prof. Ivan Kurz and prof. Milan Slavický), where he earned his Ph.D. in 2005 in the field of electroacoustic music and radioart. Since 2006 he is assistant professor and runs electroacoustic music theory and composition classes there. Michal Rataj was awarded scholarschips to study musicology and composition at Royal Holloway University of London, Egham, UK in 1995, Humboldt Universität zu Berlin in 1998 and Universität der Künste in Berlin, 2002. In 2007 he was awarded a Fulbright Grant to guide a research in the field of electroacoustic music and real-time sound applications at CNMAT, University of California Berkeley, CA. Michal Rataj also works as radio art producer in the Czech Radio, Prague where he curates program slot Radioatelier and website rAdioCUSTICA for contemporary radioart activities. He is a member of the EBU Ars Acustica producers group, he teaches composition at the NYU in Prague and other art schools. Michal Rataj composes mainly electroacoustic and chamber or orchestral instrumental music and receives performances throughout Europe and broadcasts worldwide. Recently he has been active as real-time performer of his acousmatic music and he gives sound performances alone or with different music partners. www.michalrataj.com