Biography

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Akihito Obama@[Shakuhachi Player]

Born in Kagawa Prefecture in 1975, Obama studied various styles of shakuhachi under leading musicians such as Toshimitsu Ishikawa (traditional shakuhachi) and Satoshi Yoneya (minyo [folk music] shakuhachi). After graduating from the NHK Hogaku [traditional Japanese music] Gino-sha Ikusei-kai, the premier one year course for hogaku musicians aspiring to be professional performers, Obama won the Second Annual Shakuhachi Newcomer Competition (2000).

In recent years, Obama draws on his musical experiences and incorporates these influences into his own music. In 2004, Obama recorded his first solo shakuhachi album Fukoku [Wind Carvings] featuring improvised works. During the following year, he undertook a walking pilgrimage concert tour to the eighty-eight temples of Shikoku Island and revealed his second album Nami to Tsubaki to [Waves and Camellias and] consisting of his original compositions. In 2006, Obama was invited to the Swedish International Festival of Wind Music holding solo concerts and appearing with local musicians. This was followed by a month long tour of Europe. In 2007, Obama released visions. collaborating with electronic music artist hajimeinoue. In 2008, Obama was invited to the Japan Festival at The Kennedy Center (Washington, DC) and the Sydney World Shakuhachi Festival. He released Michinone [Street Music, New Sounds] working with satsuma-biwa [Satsuma plucked lute] player Yukihiro Goto. In 2012, Obama lived in New York for six months as a fellow of Asian Cultural Council (ACC) and released SUI [Water] with his band. In 2016, Obama was invited to the International Shakuhachi Festival Prague.He released LOTUS POSITION with Yosuke Yamashita.

Currently, Obama performs as a solo musician and participates in various ensembles including gTAKiOBANDh led by Takio Ito, a minyo singer. He often appears in concerts overseas and has performed in over 35 countries. Obama has developed and refined his technique by performing in venues from small clubs to large concert halls with artists playing hogaku instruments and Western instruments. This has allowed him to penetrate traditional barriers and discover his own distinct sound.

yWebsitezhttp://www2s.biglobe.ne.jp/~obama/akihito

yMyspacezhttps://myspace.com/akihitoobama

yFB English Pagezhttp://www.facebook.com/AkihitoObamaEnglish


Discography

5th CD gSUIh [gWaterh]
First collection of Obamafs compositions with band members are Ko Ishikawa (sho [mouth organ]), Shingo Sekiguchi (guitar) and Akira Horikoshi (drums). An album inspired by Obamafs experiences living in New York City. The works juxtaposes the sho, originally used in Japanese court music and Shintoism, against the shakuhachi, originally used in Zen Buddhist chant. It is also a new synthesis of Japanese and Western instruments creating unique timbres and atmospheres.
4th CD gMichinoneh [gStreet Music, New Soundsh]
New Japanese music using Japanese instruments to represent the modern era. A collaborative work with Yukihiro GOTO (satsuma-biwa [Satsuma plucked lute]). A mixture of traditional music, original compositions, songs, instrumental music and improvisation. Historically, the shakuhachi and biwa have similar religious and artistic landscapes, however, these instruments are rarely partnered. Therefore, this album exemplifies a new fusion of shakuhachi and biwa music.
3rd CD gvisions.h
Innovative music combining a live instrument with electronic music. A collaborative work with hajimeinoue (electronic music artist). Recorded works range from the traditional shakuhachi work gKokuh [gEmpty Skyh] to the minyo [folk music] piece gAmami no Komori-utah [gLullaby from Amami Islandh]. The majority of the shakuhachi performance is improvised.
2nd CD gNami to Tsubaki toh [gWaves and Camellias andh]
Collection of original compositions containing strong improvisational elements. Comprised of duets with Western and Japanese instruments including percussion, double bass, viola, shakuhachi, biwa [plucked lute] and koto [13-stringed plucked zither]. Recorded at Kokei Temple, the temple on which the lyrics of the famous traditional childrenfs song gYuyake Koyakeh [gSunset Glowh] are based..
1st CD gFukokuh [gWind Carvingsh]
Compilation of solo shakuhachi works. All works are improvised except the traditional piece Shingetsu. Recorded at the old playhouse gYachiyo-za,h designated an Important Cultural Property of Japan.
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Significant Overseas Performances

2016
[Taipei, Taiwan]
Held a joint concert with Ying-Chen, LiniSaxj at WENSHUI ART AND CULCURAL CENTER. Held a shakuhachi workshop.
[Kaohsiung, Taiwan]
Held a recital at HOTEL KINGDOM. Held a shakuhachi workshop at Chang An Ku Chin Kuan.
[Munich, Germany]
Performed with Takuya Taniguchi (taiko) and Karin Nakagawa (25-stringed koto).
[Antwerp, Belgium]
Performed with Takuya Taniguchi (taiko), Aki Sato-Vergels (koto,shamisen) and Grete Moortgat (taiko) at AMUZ.
[Prague, Czech]
Invited to gInternational Shakuhachi Festival Prague 2016h. Performed traditional and contemporary works.
[Shanghai, China]
Performed with Akira Horikoshi (Ds.) as a member of "LOTUS POSITION".
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2015
[New York, United States of America]
Held a solo recital of traditional pieces at Still Mind Zendo.
[Lima, Peru]
Performed as a member of Lucho Quequezana's gSonidos Vivosh at National Stadium North Grandstand.
[Slovakia,Czech]
Performed with Yosuke Yamashita(Jazz Piano) and Akira Horikoshi(Ds.) sponsored by The Japan Foundation.
[Prague,Czech]
Held a lecture at a high school of music,GMHS.
[Prague,Czech]
Held a shakuhachi workshop at a university,HAMU.
[Milano,Italy]
Performed as a member of Takio ITO's (minyo [folk music] singer) band ongHokkaido Dayhin the Japan Pavilion, Expo Milano 2015.
[New York, United States of America]
Held a recital at Tenri Cultural Institute sponsored by Kyo-Shin-An Arts.
[New York, United States of America]
Performed with EmmeiVo.jand Shu Odamuraiguitarj at CRS.
[Houston,United States of America]
Performed the world premier of James Mathesonfs Concerto for Two Shakuhachi and Chamber Orchestra with James Nyoraku Schleferishakuhachijand River Oaks Chamber OrchestraiOrch.j.
[Houston,United States of America]
Performed with James Nyoraku Schleferishakuhachijat Asia Society Texas Center.
[Algiers&Constantine,Algeria]
Performed in ensemble "Wa San BOM" (shakuhachi, tsugaru-shamisen and taiko), sponsored by The Japan Foundation.
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2014
[Turkey, Saudi Arabia]
Performed with Masahiro Nitta (tsugaru-shamisen) and Shinta (taiko) sponsored by The Japan Foundation.
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2013
[New York, United States of America]
Performed with Ralph Samuelson(Shakuhachi), Nobuko Miyazaki(Fue) , Sumie Kaneko(koto) and Isaku Kageyama(Taiko) at Carnegie Hall
[New York, United States of America]
Held a shakuhachi workshop at Japan Society
[New York, United States of America]
Performed with Shu Odamura(guitar) and Akihiro Yamamoto(bass) at Nightingale Lounge
[New York, United States of America]
Performed with Masayo Ishigure(17-stringed Koto) and Min Xiao-Fen (Pipa) at Miller Theater,Columbia University
[New York, United States of America]
Held a solo recital of traditional pieces at Still Mind Zendo
[Huston, United States of America]
Performed with Ralph Samuelson(Shakuhachi), Kaoru Watanabe(Fue,taiko) and Sumie Kaneko(koto) at Asia Society Texas Center
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2012
[Italy, Switzerland]
Performed with Karin(25-stringed koto).
[New York, United States of America]
Performed with Yoshiko Chuma (dance) and Roy Campbel(Tp.) atgVision Festival vol.17h.
[New York, United States of America]
Performed with Ralph Samuelson(Shakuhachi) and Kaoru Watanabe(Fue,taiko) and Sumie Kaneko(koto) at St. John Devine Cathedorel.
[New York, United States of America]
Performed with Akira Horikoshi(Ds.) and Joel Harisson(Guitar) at SOMETHN'JAZZ CLUB.
[New York, United States of America]
Performed with Emme (Vo.).
[New York, United States of America]
Held a solo recital of traditional pieces at Ran Tea House.
[Cualicum Beach and Victoria,Canada]
Performed as a member of Takio ITOfs (minyo [folk music] singer) atgHarvest of Music Festival h.
[Colombia, Ecuador,Peru]
Performed with Mikita Hase (taiko) and Hiroe Morikawa (koto) sponsored by The Japan Foundation.
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2011
[Vancouver, Calgary, Ottawa, Toronto, Canada]
Performed with TsuguKaji-KOTO (koto) and Makoto YAMAMOTO (taiko) sponsored by The Japan Foundation.
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2010
[Shanghai, China]
Performed as a member of Takio ITO's (minyo [folk music] singer) band ongHokkaido Dayhin the Japan Pavilion, Expo 2010 Shanghai.
[Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, Myanmar]
Performed as a member ofgKarin Grouphwith 25-stringed koto, piano andpercussion musicians,sponsored by The Japan Foundation.
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2009
[Cairo, Egypt]
Performed with Nobuto YAMANAKA (tsugaru-shamisen),sponsored by The Japan Foundation.
[Taipei and Tainan, Taiwan]
Held solo concert at thegWenshan Art and Culture Festival.hHeld a lecture concert at Tainan National University of the Arts.
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2008
[New York, United States of America].
Performed with Yukihiro GOTO (satsuma-biwa) atgHogaku: New Sounds of Japan,hsponsored by The Japan Foundation and the Asia Society.
[Los Angeles, United States of America]
Performed with Yukihiro GOTO (satsuma-biwa) atgHogaku: New Sounds of Japan,hsponsored by The Japan Foundation and the Japanese American Cultural and Community Center.
[Washington, United States of America]
Invited to the Japan FestivalgJAPAN! culture + hyperculturehat The Kennedy Center. Performed solo improvised works at the Junko Koshino Fashion Show.
[Paris, France]
Performed as part of The Japan Foundations's Performing Arts Exchange ProgramgMusic for Waterhwith sho [mouth organ], koto and taiko musicians.
[Sydney, Australia]
Invited togWorld Shakuhachi Festival.hPerformed traditional and contemporary works.
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2007
[Turkey, Morocco, Algeria]
Performed in ensemblegWa San BOMh(shakuhachi, tsugaru-shamisen and taiko),sponsored by The Japan Foundation.
[Libya, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Zambia]
Performed in ensemblegCO-CHIh(shakuhachi, and taiko),sponsored by The Japan Foundation.
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2006
[Jonkoping, Sweden]
Invited to thegSwedish International Festival of Wind Music 2004.hPerformed in solo recitals, as a guest artist and during mass at church in eight locations.
[Dusseldorf, Germany]
Performed at the exhibitiongStillness and Crossing Pointhcollaborating with Mikako KAWAI (artist).
[Solingen, Germany]
Performed solo works at the opening of Takaya FUJI's (artist) exhibition,gTIME STREAM LIFE PURIFICATION salth.
[Copenhagen, Denmark]
Performed solo works atgRestaurant TOKYO.h.
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2004
[Las Vegas, United States of America]
Performed with Yukiko ISOMURA (piano) at thegInternational Consumer Electronics Show.h.
[Frankfurt, Germany]
Performed with Yukiko ISOMURA (piano) atgMusik Messe 2004.h.
[Frankfurt, Germany]
Held a solo recital of traditional pieces and improvised works titledgAkihito Obama: Solo.h.
[London, England]
Performed with Yukiko ISOMURA (piano) at the opening of gA Blueprint for Life: Designers Photographed by Steve Speller.h
[Fiji, Solomon Islands, Papua New Guinea]
Performed withgHa.Ya.To,ha taiko ensemble, sponsored by The Japan Foundation.
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2001
[Seoul, Republic of Korea]
Invited tog2001 Japan Korea Art Festival.hPerformed solo withgYugi-kukanh(theatrical ensemble) and was responsible for music.
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