Junko's Shamisen

In this original Kabuki tale set in late feudal Japan, a young orphan named Junko returns home one day to find her grandfather slain and the skin of his shamisen by a fox, she seeks out the man responsible.

Director/Writer: Sol Friedman

Composer: Hiroya Miura

Musicians: Aki Takahashi, Kiyoshi Nagata, Scott Kusano

 Season's Greetings Video Project from 2011 to 2016

ten ten + Dance  

ten ten original song: OMOTE

with Japanese Classic Dancer, KAYO YASUHARA

music by AKI TAKAHASHI (shamisen, taiko, voice) / HEIDI CHAN (shinobue, tebira) / KIYOSHI NAGATA (tsuzumi, bells) / TONY NGUYEN (hyoshi-gi, chime)

OMOTE literally means “surface” or “outward appearance”. It refers to “masks” in Japanese classical performing arts such as Noh. 

ten ten original song: QUEMADO 

with flamenco dancer, Kiyo Asaoka

composed by Aki Takahashi (shamisen) / Heidi Chan (taiko drum set)

After Kiyo and I practiced together at the studio, we both began to feel it come together. Our temperatures rose in conjunction with our rising emotions. 

My percussive shamisen reverberated in the air, intertwining with her loud hand clapping and fierce stomping.

ten ten original song: KISEKI

with Classical Indian Dancer, HIROSHI MIYAMOTO

KISEKI composed by Aki Takahashi (shamisen, voice) / HEIDI CHAN (taiko drums) / YOSHI YAMANO (sitar)

This work is inspired by Nakshatra in Hindu astrology. KISEKI (locus) is a set of points which satisfies a certain condition. It implies a segment of the orbit of the moon about the Earth.

NAGATA SHACHU, Japanese Taiko Drumming

Nagata Shachu (formerly Kiyoshi Nagata Ensemble), based in Toronto, Canada, has enthralled audiences with its mesmerizing and heart-pounding performances of the Japanese drum (taiko) since its formation in 1998. The ensemble has toured widely throughout Canada, the US and Italy performing in theatres, concert halls, and major music festivals.

In addition to having recorded six CDs of original music and three live DVDs, Nagata Shachu produces its own annual concert where it premieres new works and often collaborates with guest artists. Since 2012, it has produced a three-concert season featuring collaborations with both local and international artists.