Composers at Mabel’s and Flowers, Birds, Wind, Moon: The Music of Marty Regan

by Elizabeth Cunningham

Composers are no strangers to the Mabel Dodge Luhan House. In 1931 Mabel hosted two prominent ones: Carlos Chavez and Leopold Stokowski. At the time both were revered: Chavez as Mexico’s greatest modern classical composers, Stokowski as the greatest American composer of his time. Known for popularizing classical music, the latter also performed and recorded compositions across the musical spectrum. His mission in Taos was to study and record Taos Pueblo songs. Ever open to new musical forms, Stokowski had traveled to Asia prior to staying with Mabel. He had always wanted to introduce aspects of eastern music to the western hemisphere.

Leopold Stokowski, 1930s. Library of Congress 35520u

Leopold Stokowski, 1930s. Library of Congress 35520u

Now, some ninety years later composer Marty Regan, currently residing in Taos as a Helene Wurlitzer Foundation Fellow, introduces a new flavor of Japanese music to Taos. On Sunday August 9th from 5:00-6:30 p.m. at the Mabel Dodge Luhan House conference center, he will present a concert of contemporary works for traditional Japanese instruments. Performing with him are internationally known guest artists Duo YUMENO: Yoko Reikano Kimura (koto/Japanese 13-string zither, and voice) and Hikaru Tamaki (violoncello). Regan himself will perform on the shakuhachi, the end-blown Japanese bamboo flute.

The program features the Flowers, Birds, Wind, Moon Suite for koto and violoncello, a series of four works based on core images of nature that recur throughout Japanese literature and the arts. Commissioned by Duo YUMENO, this performance marks the New Mexico premiere of Marty Regan’s extended work.Flowers Birds Marty Regan 8-9-15_blog

Admission: $20 (cash at the door)
NOTE: Seating is limited to 60 guests. Please email your name and number of people attending to  mregan1972@gmail.com to guarantee seating.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Marty Regan has a long-time interest in Japan’s musical traditions:

Since 2000, I have cultivated a deep relationship with the musical culture of Japan. My compositional work since then has been focused on expanding and developing the repertoire of contemporary music for traditional Japanese instruments and creating musical works that explore cross-cultural exchange.

Marty Regan

Marty Regan

Regan has composed over 70 works for traditional Japanese instruments. Since 2002 he has been affiliated with AURA-J, one of Japan’s premiere performance ensembles of contemporary-traditional Japanese music. His musical endeavors include “Selected Works for Japanese Instruments” (a compact disc series released by Navona Records), and his newest work, a chamber opera entitled “The Memory Stone,” commissioned by the Houston Grand Opera, which premiered in April 2013 at the Asia Society Texas Center. Currently Regan is an Associate Professor of Music at Texas A&M University. He comes to Taos as the recipient of a 2015 Helene Wurlitzer Foundation Artist Residency Grant. URL: martyregan.com

Hikaru Tamaki and Yoko Reikano Kimura

Hikaru Tamaki and Yoko Reikano Kimura

 

 

 

 

 

Based in New York, Duo YUMENO’s koto / shamisen player and singer Yoko Reikano Kimura and cellist Hikaru Tamaki create a singular fusion of sound, inspired by tradition but with a contemporary sensibility. Their repertoire includes a dynamic range of compositions, all of which explore the dialogue between classical Japanese and western music. Kimura and Tamaki first collaborated at the Fort Wayne Cherry Blossom Festival in 2008; since then they have performed together in Japan and the United States. Their performances have been enthusiastically received in Tokyo, Kyoto, New York, Chicago and throughout the US. A New York Times review extolled their work: “The blending of Japanese and European chamber tradition with a very American rhythmic propulsion was unexpectedly groovy.” Recent awards for Kimura and Tamaki include the Chamber Music America Classical Commissioning Program grant (2014), and the Baroque Saal Award given by the Aoyama Foundation in Kyoto (2015). Their performance in Taos is part of a national tour that ends in 2016. URL: www.duoyumeno.com