Kiku Day PhD (London), MFA (Mills), BA (London) is a shakuhachi player and teacher, ethnomusicologist, researcher and mindfulness instructor. She works as an external lecturer at the Royal Academy of Muisc in Aarhus, Denmark and teaches shakuhachi both in Denmark and England, and on online via Skype or Facetime. She performs solo and ensemble concerts with traditional shakuhachi pieces, contemporary music and improvisation. She also gives guest lectures on shakuhachi and other subjects on music and meditation, and teaches groups at shakuhachi festivals and other events.
Kiku is fron Denmark, but she was born in Harajuku, Tokyo, Japan by Japanese and American parents. She moved with her mother and sisters to Denmark when she was 5 years old and grew up the rest of her childhood in Denmark. She considers herself as a Dane with a broad background.
Kiku began to play piano at the age of 3 and switched to flute at the age of 15. She left for Japan to pursue shakuhachi studies. In 1989 she was introduced to Okuda Atsuya, who accepted her as his pupil and she used Japan as a base in order to study with him for 11 years. When she returned to Europe she began studying ethnomusicology at School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London. Kiku continued the studies at Mills College, USA where she took an MFA in Music Performance and Literature for which she focused on performance of contemporary music and improvisation on the shakuhachi. She returned to SOAS to complete a PhD in ethnosmusicology with a practical based performance research.
Kiku is a founding member and presently serves as the chairperson for the European Shakuhachi Society. Several composers have written for Kiku, including Takahashi Yūji, Frank Denyer, Roxanna Panufnik, Mogens Christensen and Vytautas Germanavičius. She has performed as a soloist with Odense Symphony Orchestra and Nonsuch Choir, and at venues such as Southbank Centre, London, St John’s Smith Square.
Kiku continues to research shakuhachi in contemporary music, the dissemination of shakuhachi online etc. She has worked as an external lecturer at Aarhus University.
Presently, Kiku has returned to Denmark and lives in the small town of Nørre Snede affiliated the meditation centre Vækstcenteret.