Japanese Music Now

Japanese Music Now


Japanese Music Now (Third Angle Records 2017)

A collection of works performed by Third Angle inspired by the Portland Japanese Garden’s new Cultural Village. Including works by Japanese composers Dai Fujikura, Toshi Ichiyanagi, Sayo Kosugi, and Kenji Sakai written for Western orchestral instruments. The first album on the Third Angle Records imprint.

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“A place is not rich simply because it has a beautiful natural environment, or because it is blessed with natural resources, or because many skilled craftsmen live there, but because of the relationships that tie these things together.”
Kengo Kuma

The concept of relationships is central to Third Angle New Music’s identity. Third Angle is constantly seeking to create the richest possible listening experiences for audiences, drawing on decades of collaborative experience, and often using extraordinary built environments in the community as visual context for a deeper relationship to the music.

As Mr. Kuma states, it’s the relationships that tie these things together, and that’s exactly the goal with Japanese Music Now, to use music to tell a uniquely Oregon story. The music on this recording was performed in the fall of 2017 in celebration of the opening of the Portland Japanese Garden’s new Cultural Village, designed by Mr. Kuma. This special occasion represented a great opportunity to use Kuma’s brilliant architecture as the inspiration for new musical art, beautifully realized with the world premiere performance of Perpetual Spring by Dai Fujikura, commissioned by the Portland Japanese Garden.

At these performances, the audience also got to hear live performances of the other music featured on this recording, performed by exceptional Third Angle artists. The range of styles represented in these works is incredible, a stirring survey of the vibrancy of contemporary Japanese musical culture.