Buy from
Celestial Harmonies
US $15
Die große japanische Trommel Taiko steht im Zentrum der acht Kompositionen von Ian Cleworth und seinem japanischen Lehrer Sen Amano. Starke Dynamik, bewegend das Zusammenspiel von Shakuhachi (Riley Lee) und japanischen Schlaginstrumenten.

the project

From the plaintive cry of the shinobue flute to the booming thunder of the huge taiko (drums), the sounds of Japan echo through this latest release from Australia's preeminent new music ensemble.

Michael Askill, Ian Cleworth, Rebecca Lagos, and Colin Piper have created a sonic journey that is at once vibrant and reflective. Inspired by the philosophy and sounds of the traditional taiko drumming of Japan, Taiko reflects Australia's unique position in the musical world—as a Western country keenly aware of its position on the Pacific Rim. This quartet of percussionists joins with Japanese flutest/composer Sen Amano and shakuhachi virtuoso Riley Kelly Lee in a series of musical dialogues, playing on the dichotomy between East and West that has colored so much of Australian art.

The music of Taiko ranges from the Zen-like simplicity of Kamakura, a traditional Japanese work for the flute known as shinobue; to the excited pounding of Sen Amano's Shinrabansyo, featuring the taiko and gongs of the Arahan drum ensemble; to the subtle pointillism of Moon Over Water, an Ian Cleworth composition using dozens of unusual percussion instruments, shells, and found objects.

the artists

Colin Piper, Michael Askill, Rebecca Lagos, Ian Cleworth

Since 1974, the percussion quartet led by Michael Askill and Ian Cleworth has performed in worldwide under the name Synergy (For legal reasons, the name Synergy cannot be used in the United States. The individual artists are credited on the front cover of the CD for this territory.). The group has taken a dominant role in Australian new music circles, commissioning and nurturing the works of dozens of composers from the countries of the Pacific Rim. Askill in particular has become one of the most important figures in the country, working with ensembles like Southern Crossing and John Williams' septet. He is also a noted composer and soloist. Askill's ensemble is now Australia's longest established contemporary music group, and while percussion remains at the heart of the group's performances, Askill, Cleworth, Lagos and Piper also include elements of music-theater and electronics in their repertoire.

Sen Amano, Riley Kelly Lee and members of Arahan join the percussionists for this recording offering their musical expertise. This quartet of percussions has recorded for the Canberra School of Music Anthology, Vox Australis, and Celestial Harmonies.

biography - askill

discography - askill

discography - synergy


1 Kenjó 6'22"
2 Kamakura 1'26"
3 Go 9'21"
4 Shinrabansyo 5'20"
5 Reflections 7'39"
6 Takeda's Poem 6'38"
7 Miyajima 5'10"
8 Moon Over Water 7'51"
  Total Time: 50'02"