Music life after Music performances

I met up with some wonderful shakuhachi people the day after the Carnegie Hal gig. It was very interesting that feel I had focused so much on the performances of Genshin Concert, that I could hardly play honkyoku at all. Honkyoku, the traditional music of shakuhachi has always been the most improtant part of my musical work. And yet.. I almost felt blank the day after. I am back and into playing honkyoku again and loving it.
Now the next project is a collaboration with Greenlandish composer and flute player Arnannguaq Gerstrøm. She will compose a piece for solo shakuhachi. I can’t wait. And maybe I can get Jesper Holmen to compose as well.

Family is special

After the concerts in Royal Festival Hall and Carnegie Hall, I went to Virginia Beach and Denver to meet Aunt Susan and Aunt Lois – my father’s younger sisters. My sister Andrea came as well. And on top of that a second cousin once removed Arthur and his wife Edie drove to Virginia Beach from Washington DC. I learned so much about my family background. Every time I learn something new, it feels like I – as a person – become more full. I am grateful to the people who took time to be together and talk. So blessed.

Genshin Concert at Carnegie Hall 13 January 2024

It was an amazing experience of course to play in the legendary Carnegie Hall. How many great musicians have not played there? I am again grateful to AWR Music Productions and my friend from Mills College, Eric Roth, who was the conductor. The koto soloist was Yoko Reikano. It was just as important an experience to feel that once on stage and playing it is business as usual. But of course it was great! And I will keep this experience in my heart.

Genshin Concert, Royal Festival Hall, London

On the 11th of January 2024, I had the privilege of performing as a soloist together with Masako Townsend on koto and with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Arnie Roth. The audience surely love the game Genshin Impact and the music. So it was such a pleasure. I rehearsed with Masako and we had a really good time together as well. Thank you to AWR Music for the opportunity!

Concerts in January – Royal Festival Hall and Carnegie Hall

I am very excited about my first concerts of 2024:
11 January: Genshin Concert (music from the computer game Genshin Impact) at Royal Festival Hall, London.
13 January: Genshin Concert – afternoon and evening. Carnegie Hall, New York.
21 January: European Shakuhachi New Year Concert 2024. Online.
25 January: Opening of exhibition, Cathrine Raben Davidsen og Kapwani Kiwanga at CPH Contemporary.

Midtown Manhattan, NYC

A video from summer 2023

Lyden af Oldtiden (Sound of antiquity) – workshop and concert, which included the children
The concept is created by Eva Fock. The rest of the team is Anders Børup, Laurits Jongejan, Ingeborg Okkels og Ying-Hsueh Chen. Video: Mikkel Arnfred

Shakuhachi introduction II: 2.9 made by myself

Of the shakuhachi I have made myself, this 2.9 is one of my favourites. I think I made it is 1996, so I must have harvested it in 94 or 95. I was on a bamboo harvesting trip with my teacher Okuda Atsuya. I remember going into the bamboo forest on my own. I felt immersed in this intense green colour with the sound of my steps on the leaves on the path and the sound of the wind in the bamboo enveloping me like a soft blanket. I wanted to follow the path to the right – but the something made me look to the left. It was a bamboo that was trying to draw my attention. I literally felt it was calling me saying: “Take me! Take me!” So I harvested it. I wanted to ask Murai about how much of the root end I should cut off, but he was surrounded by people asking him questions, so I cut it where I thought I should. Later Murai said I should have kept one more row of roots. Then the bamboo would have been a 3.0 and have 7 nodes…. I have apologised to the bamboo many times. It paid the price for my impatience. It never-the-less has a deep soft sound. The wall of the bamboo is very thick, so it doesn’t have a huge voice. It is rather a bit introvert and deep. It always whispers back to me the honkyoku, I with humble respect play on it. I played it so much, it quickly got marking of my hours of playing on its skin. My 2.9 and I have been on a journey together for 27 years now! And we continue to explore each other and the unlimited possibilities of sounds in this universe. Love shakuhachi ❤️💚❤️

Shakuhachi introduction I: Bamboo is alive

This shakuhachi is my first 1.8. I got it in 2003. Murai Eigoro made it for me when I began playing contemporary music. At that time I had played shakuhachi for 14 years but never on a 1.8. It is a good 1.8 jinashi (real length 1.7 in order to tune it to D) but has never been able to play daikan, so when daikan was necessary, I changed to my Kinshu flute I got from Brian Ritchie. 3 weeks ago the Murai 1.8 could suddenly play daikan! Not just a little bit of it but like basically…. everything! I had tested it now and then over the years. But I never expected such a radical change after 20 years. What a journey we have been on together – the murai 1.8 and I – and still are on. Love shakuhachi! ❤️🎵🎶🎵❤️