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Masao Tonari / Blog

Kamidaigo

This piece of music was inspired by a visit to Daigo-ji temple in Kyoto with Naoko Arai;a chromatic harmonica player,Yoshihiko Kitamura a studio technician and me, Masao Tonari when I was 32years old. A priest informed us that there was another temple that we could find if we climbed up the steep mountain. We climbed there with curiosity. The sound of the temple bell on the top of the mountain made a deep impression on my heart that day in the winter of 2005.

More information about Daigo-ji temple:

http://www.daigoji.or.jp/e/index.html

On that day, we recorded Naoko playing her harmonica in the grounds of the Juntei-do, Kamidaigo in Daigo-ji temple. I requested her to play it with her free feelings in a range ofC,D,E,G,A,C,D and E.

It took over 1 year for me to complete this piece of music based on her harmonica track. I had to study her breathing and to understand her uniquetempo, but it only took a half day to finish the piece with my own input, which was mostly ad-libbed.

In the field recordings you can hear many natural sounds such as the drifting wave sounds in Kurahashi shima: The sounds of hammering on a construction site in Onomichi. The acoustic guitar sound produced by a Kurzweil K-2661 synthesizer. And if you listen carefully you might be lucky enough to hear the soft voice of a Japanese woman whispering the words,‘Yoroshiku onegai shimasu' a polite greeting.

Masao Tonari