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Toshio Hosokawa Landscapes

Landscape, V; Ceremonial dance; Sakura für Otto Tomek; Cloud and light

Mayumi Miyata, shô; Münchner Kammerorchester/Alexander Liebreich

ECM new series 2095 476 3938 [recorded October 2009]

This disc featuring the shô is unique; hauntingly beautiful or "a horrible noise" (my wife's verdict) according to taste...

ECM's productions are every one carefully produced, but there is a certain perversity which must militate against sales.

Many of the cover images are austere in the extreme; this one L, a photo by Ana Gart, is so beautiful that I reproduce it nearly full size. Parts of the cover texts are practically unreadable; small print, black on darkest grey, would you believe...

Cloud and light for shô (Mayumi Miyata) & orchestra was featured in a Prom 2009 and I recommend Musical Pointers' review by Anne Ozorio "keening arcs of sound that seemed to vibrate across the massive space that is the Royal Albert Hall" to help you decide whether to explore this CD, recorded soon afterwards; lovingly compiled and, no doubt, expertly performed and recorded.

Peter Grahame Woolf

See & hear the shô demonstrated comprehensively by Naomi Sato (in English) at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yUpr1F1dZt0
recorded in 2009 at the Atlas Academy, Amsterdam. Interviewed by composer Fabio Nieder


Nimbus NI 5510

Equally recondite to unschooled Western ears is this disc, a scholarly production of music from an obscure corner of SouthWest China, where the Tibet-Burman language is quite different from Chinese. It was recorded during the Dayan Ancient Music Association's visit to the UK in 1995. Their Naxi Dongjing Music, adapted from Han Chinese music, has been part of local ritual life for hunderds of years.

Far from easy on the ear, with some strident flute playing, this recording is one to admire and appluaud, and I am glad to have had an opportunity to sample it. But it is more for ethnographic departments than for the ordinary musical explorer.



a Tibet-Burman language quite different from Chinese and have their own very distinctive culture. In 1995 a group of Naxi musicians travelled outside China for the first time ever. This recording was made during their visit to the UK. The kind of music they perform - Naxi Dongjing Music - was adapted from Han Chinese music and has been part of local ritual life for hunderds of years.