Windows to Japan: A Glimpse of Japanese Culture
Masumi curated a Windows to Japan exhibit at the Salem Multicultural Institute, an opportunity to learn about Japanese music, cultural celebrations, wedding traditions and more. There were a number of classes and activities throughout the exhibit, including a Japanese language class for beginners, koto lessons, a Shakuhachi demonstration, classes on fan and fabric flower making, and story times.
The Sakura Koto Ensemble
Masumi organizes and directs The Sakura Koto Ensemble, a group of musicians based in Oregon who play traditional Japanese instruments. The group performs at various venues on different occasions, sometimes collaborating with western musical instruments including the flute, violin, piano, harmonica, and accordion.
Matcha Latte (Koto/Violin)
Matcha Latte is a collaboration of the Koto, played by Masumi Timson, and the Violin, played by Fumino Ando. Matcha Latte combines the esoteric nature of traditional and contemporary Japanese music with Tango, Jazz, and Mozart, and blends the instruments and music of Eastern and Western cultures in a moving and uncommon musical synthesis. Their album, Picture Dreams, available on CC Music, blends these two widely divergent instruments in a collection of the most beloved tranditional and contemporary Koto works, to create a vibrant and ambient musical soundscape that soothes and inspires.
The Blue Bird Trio (Koto/Accordion/Piano)
The Blue Bird Trio combines the esoteric nature of traditional Japanese music with thedrama of the Tango, the improvisatory free flowing nature of Jazz, and the transparent beauty of Debussy. Courtney Von Drehle on accordion, Kazue Suzuki on piano andmelodica, and Masumi on Koto, blend the instruments and music of Eastern and Westerncultures in a moving and uncommon musical synthesis. The Blue Bird Trio has performedin Japan and Oregon.
Masumi has worked frequently with Pink Martini. Here's an example of their collaboration.
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