Kitaro: Kojiki & the Universe
Kojiki and The Universe
will be presented Thursday evening, November 16, at 8:00pm at David and Dorothea Garfield Theatre, 4126 Executive Drive, La Jolla.
Tickets are available online at https://tickets.alistixs.com/event/kitaro-sd.
The exclusive and very limited access KITARO VIP EXPERIENCE includes Gold Circle seating, an intimate, in-person post-concert reception with Kitaro and personally autographed copies of his Kojiki and The Universe DVD, his most recent CD album release—Sacred Journey Of Ku-Kai Volume 5—and his tour poster.
If you could take a journey to outer space and beyond, would you? What if you knew you could go and still wake up in your own bed tomorrow, here on Earth?
Well … now you can. Grammy nominee and Golden Globe Award winner Kitaro invites you an inner journey of the soul, a chronicle of astronomical research and a beautiful introduction to modern astronomy—this could be the ride of your life! LIVE in CONCERT, he brings us Kojiki and The Universe. This is Japanese mythology set to Kitaro’s own Kojiki music, accompanied by violin soloist DeLaney, the Tenrin Taiko drummers, and Butoh dancer Aya Irizuki. The literally out-of-this-world performance features time-lapse images expertly intertwined with real-time films provided by and in cooperation with Kyoto University astronomy professor Kazunari Shibata, NASA, and The Hubble Space Telescope.
A little background on Kitaro: According to encyclopedia.com, Kitaro was born in Japan in 1953. His given name is Masanori Takahashi, but he took the stage name Kitaro, meaning “man of joy and love.” He has sold millions of albums in Japan, and after a long period as a cult figure in the United States, has emerged as a premier New Age star.
TLC: Kitaro, please introduce us to Kojiki and tell us why you’re bringing it to us as a multimedia performance.
KITARO: Kojiki is a well-known Japanese mythological story written 1300 years ago, about the creation of this world. Kojiki talks about the creation of Japan, of Heaven and Earth and the universe as it was known to those people living at that time. Part of the myth is interpreted as a description of an ancient solar eclipse.
TLC: What was the inspiration to merge your music with these visuals?
KITARO: I feel that it is only appropriate that these visuals of our known universe are presented with it. The DVD is based on the original version of the Kojiki myth. The images presented on the DVD were selected based on inspiration from my Kojiki music.
Visual images of the universe contain many different elements: color, movement, etc. Using a telescope, we can actually see the stars and nebula in the universe. The distant images of the universe and music have similarities in that they both inspire our imagination. In 2012, the first annual solar eclipse to be observed in Kyoto, Japan in 282 years was going to occur. Journalist Ms. Sachiko Tamashige brought me to Kwasan Observatory at Kyoto University to meet Professor Kazunari Shibata. He gave me a tour of the observatory, including the oldest actively used telescope in Japan, the Sartorius telescope. It was at this time that I agreed to perform a collaboration at Kyoto University on the day of the annual solar eclipse, in May 2012. It was then that Kojiki And The Universe, an experiment in merging music and movies of the universe, was born.
TLC: How long have you been interested in astronomy/space?
KITARO: Ever since I was child I have been very interested in space and the universe. I looked to the stars and wondered what was out there. Was it intelligent life? Was there ever water on Mars? The solar system, the planets and their relationship to Mother Earth have always fascinated me. Now, I have an opportunity to explore and work with space by creating sound waves through it.
Do you see this concert as a story being told, or as more of an assembly of images to convey an emotional or spiritual message?
Each song in the concert has a theme and a related visual. I feel that’s the reason it works so well—because there’s a balance between the music and the visual movements. Music has many meanings. Through its sound waves, it communicates and talks to people. This combination of music and sound works well and is very powerful. The concert is the Kojiki myth told through music and visuals. All of the images we present are important from the viewpoint of astronomical research, which makes this film project a useful introduction to modern astronomy. I hope people will enjoy the presentation and concert as Kojiki interprets the story of the universe with beautiful music.
TLC: Can you tell us a little about the Japanese mask and Butoh dancers we’ll be seeing in the presentation?
KITARO: My current and live concert interpretation of Butoh bows to the traditional while adding Kitaro’s signature flair. Starting in the early 1980s, Butoh experienced a renaissance as Butoh groups began performing outside Japan for the first time. The style was marked by full body paint (white or dark or gold), elaborate masks (Kitaro’s tour poster features a stunning mask image), shaved heads, outlandish costumes, clawed hands, rolled-up eyes and mouths open in silent screams.
TLC: Now let’s talk about your new album. You launched the Ku-Kai series after 9/11, yet all around the world the message of peace remains elusive. What do you do to keep peace in your life, and what can we do to bring peace into our collective lives?
KITARO: I see so much conflict and fighting in the world today. I started the Sacred Journey of Ku-Kai series as part of my 88 Temples Peace Bells project. The point of this project is to promote, “inner peace” which I believe will help to bring about World peace. For me, peace comes from the creative process and my connection with nature through my music and photography. I enjoy the recording process and touring the world. It brings me peace to know that my music is a source of enjoyment and oftentimes relaxation for my fans, which I hope will bring them inner peace.
TLC: Does this new Volume 5 deviate at all from the previous volumes in tone, and/or how does it build on the previous volumes musically?
KITARO: For the creative process on the Sacred Journey of Ku-Kai Volume 5, we had a very interesting approach. Each song was created that very day in the studio. We purposefully didn’t prepare anything in advance and composed songs purely through our inspiration at the moment. Before going into the studio, we tried to clear our minds as we do with meditation. With clear minds, we entered the recording studio, picked-up on the emotion and energy of the moment and created our first impressions by recording them immediately in the moment.
It pleases me to tell you that the previous four volumes of Sacred Journey Of Ku-Kai were all Grammy-nominated albums. Having said that, Volume 5 is a continuation and expansion of the musical dynamic and melodies of Volumes 1 through 4. Because Volume 1 was released long ago, Volume 5 definitely builds on the musicality of Volumes 1 through 4 and I feel, reflects my growth as an artist and composer.
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