Thursday, October 14, 2010

Marty Regan's "Forest Whispers" for Japanese Instruments

As an American who composes music for traditional Japanese instruments, Marty Regan stands on his own turf. The recent Forest Whispers CD (Navona 5931) gives you a cross-section of some select works of his from the past decade. There's a piece for shakuhachi and koto, for shamisen and koto, for shamisen and ko-tsuzumi and then those for a more eclectic instrumentation of shakuhachi and piano trio, and Shakuhachi and cello.

The pieces are excellently performed. Those in the most traditional mode are uncannily idiomatic at times. They are firmly in the tradition. Then there are other pieces, the ones that combine instruments of east and west, that take a more hybrid orientation. The classical music of the two traditions form a meld on the latter pieces to some extent, and to me they are the most interesting.

The album is a delight to the ears throughout. Marty Regan composes music that has a timeless quality. Recommended.

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