This performance focused on the traditional repertoire of solo pieces for shakuhachi called Koten-Honkyoku, considered the starting point for shakuhachi music. Obama performed honkyoku resulting from years of study by the late, great player/teacher Katsuya Yokoyama, using flutes of different lengths in accordance with the motifs. By using three different types of flute (the contemporary shakuhachi, old shakuhachi and jinashi shakuhachi) in different ways, Obama brought even more depth to the pieces and the program. Making a special appearance on stage (on shakuhachi) was the 42nd director of Myoan Temple, Genshin Seian, who joined Obama for a joint performance of “Myoanji Temple den Shika no Tone.”
Obama trained under Toshimitsu Ishikawa in Kinko school Shakuhachi and the Koten-Honkyoku. He graduated from the NHK training program for young performers of traditional Japanese instruments (NHK Hogaku Gino-sha Ikusei-kai) and passed the NHK (Japan Broadcasting Corporation) Traditional Music Audition, before winning the second annual Shakuhachi Newcomer Competition in 2000. Obama had a period of study in New York as a fellow of the Asian Cultural Council (ACC). He has been invited to many international music festivals including the World Shakuhachi Festival and La Folle Journée, and has performed in over 36 countries. He has released 8 CDs including “LOTUS POSITION with Yosuke Yamashita” and “The Light in the Silence” collection of Koten-Honkyoku. Obama is a part-time lecturer at Gakushuin University and a member of Japan Shakuhachi Professional-players Network.
MUSICASA, Shibuya City, Tokyo