Kendra Steiner Editions (Bill Shute)

July 5, 2018

first of the Summer 2018 releases: CONTEMPORARY SHAMISEN DUO, “Genpatsuryoku” (KSE #402)

Filed under: Uncategorized — kendrasteinereditions @ 1:45 pm

CONTEMPORARY SHAMISEN DUO (Ryota Saito / Joshua Weitzel)

GENPATSURYOKU (KSE #402, CDR album, bilingual edition)

original cover artwork by MP Landis   

$8.00 postpaid in the USA (see below for foreign prices/postage)

payment via paypal to  django5722(at)yahoo(dot)com

please include a note with your order listing what you’re ordering and your mailing address….thanks!

JOSHUA album cover 2018 corrected

Welcome back to everyone, now that our sojourns to Oklahoma and to Philadelphia/NY/MA are over. KSE will have two new albums here in July (this one and a duo album from Alfred 23 Harth/Nicola L. Hein) and then two new albums in September (duo albums from Takuji Naka/Tim Olive and from Robert Horton/Lisa Cameron)–we’ll then have three final albums for 2018 in Nov/Dec, two of them from established KSE artists, and one by a gentleman new to the label from Australia….stay tuned!

As I’ve been listening over-and-over to our recent (and forthcoming) albums from Austin percussionist Lisa Cameron in the past few days, it’s become quite clear that we at KSE love music that is both primal and cutting-edge, both deeply rooted in the earth and flying through the stratosphere, music that has a kind of beyond-time “spiritual” presence and which stands up to hundreds of listens over multiple years and decades, music that is based on a less-is-more aesthetic where the infinite variations possible from utilization of seemingly “simple” elements are deeply explored, music that is recorded close-miked to best capture subtleties of texture.

You certainly get those qualities in spades in this new album from the CONTEMPORARY SHAMISEN DUO of RYOTA SAITO and JOSHUA WEITZEL. In terms of the intimacy and almost-telepathic duo-union of the players, I can only compare this music to the FACE TO FACE-era Spontaneous Music Ensemble duo recordings, though Saito and Weitzel bring very different cultural backgrounds to the table than the SME. The five beautiful and languid pieces of sound sculpture are full of textural variety and tension, and the many kinds of extended techniques used on the shamisen (which starts with blowing, scraping, bowing, etc. and goes way beyond) will have you thinking there are more sound sources than two shamisen instruments. The artists can describe what’s going on here much better than I can, so let’s let them….


Joshua Weitzel kindly provided the following notes for the album and artists: 

Contemporary Shamisen Duo is Ryota Saito and Joshua Weitzel, both on Chuzao-Shamisen. Together, they develop a language for the Shamisen in the 21st century, making extensive use of preparations and extended playing techniques. They developed their individual aesthetics of using the full dynamic range of the shamisen, including as quiet as possible by playing very close or even within the audience. The outcome is contemporary chamber music that draws from the rich tradition of experimental music in Japan and the western world. Saito and Weitzel met by chance in Berlin in 2013 and started collaborating in 2014. Genpatsuryoku is the result and documentation of many sessions in Osaka (Juso) and Kyoto (Shugakuin) from summer 2016 to 2017.
Ryota Saito is a Tokyo-Based Kouta-Shamisen master. After graduating from music school he started as an improvising guitarist and saxophonist before dedicating himself to the shamisen and undergoing formal training in kouta shamisen, becoming a certified performer. He has, among others, appeared in Mitsukoshi Theatre and National Bunraku Theatre.
Joshua Weitzel is a guitarist and shamisen player from Kassel, Germany, who is working in the field of contemporary experimental music, improvisation and Jazz. is work is work is based on deep exploration of dynamics, materials and contrasting parameters. He is currently based in Kassel, Germany where he is also active as a concert organiser.
This album is quite satisfying and totally fresh….a great way to start the summer of 2018! Get YOUR copy now! We’ll be sending out review copies and radio station copies in the next two weeks….
KSE #402 (CDR), CONTEMPORARY SHAMISEN DUO (Ryota Saito/Joshua Weitzel), “Genpatsuryoku”

NOTE: ALL FULL-SIZED CDR’s  ARE NOW PRICED @ $8.00, postpaid in the US.

OUTSIDE THE USA , one album is $18.00 postpaid, first two albums are $20.00 postpaid, then $8 each postpaid after that—sorry, but it now costs almost $14 US to send one CDR overseas….you save A LOT by buying more than one—in fact, the price on an order of two or more HAS GONE DOWN!

1 album= $18, 2 albums= $20, 3 albums= $28, etc. Thanks for your understanding of this. The Post Office now charges $13.75 to mail ONE cdr without a jewel box to Europe or Asia!)

Payment is via paypal, using the e-mail address   django5722(at)yahoo(dot)com   . It might be helpful for you to also shoot me an e-mail telling me you’ve sent funds and what books you want…or if you prefer, tell me what books/cdr’s you want, and I’ll send you a paypal invoice.

Also available from KSE:

KSE #400 (CDR), ALFRED 23 HARTH / NICOLA L. HEIN, “When The Future Was Now”

KSE #398 (CDR), DANE ROUSAY, “an inevitable solution (to),” solo percussion

KSE #396 (CDR), MASSIMO MAGEE, “Tenor Tales,” solo tenor saxophone

KSE #395, BILL SHUTE, “Sculpture Garden In The Snow: Bill Shute reads selected 2015 poems,” spoken-word poetry album

KSE #387 (CDR) ERNESTO DIAZ-INFANTE, “The Lovers Escape/Los Amantes Escapan” solo nylon string classical guitar

KSE #383 (CDR), MORE EAZE, “Staring At A Statue of Paint”

KSE #394 (CDR) XTERIP (Lisa Cameron, Robert Horton, Raub Roy, Lee Ann Cameron) , “The Frisbee Sessions” 

KSE #390 (CDR), MATT KREFTING, “Microchips”

KSE #385 (CDR), TOM CREAN, “3 Heads Tame”

KSE #379 (CDR), SHANGHAI QUINTET (featuring ALFRED 23 HARTH)“ShangShan/Stone Age Music” (Harth and young Chinese musicians, recorded live in Shanghai, China, October 2016)


KSE #377, JOHN BELL, ‘Cambridge Surprise Minor and other peals’ solo percussion

KSE #318, ALFRED 23 HARTH & JOHN BELL, “Camellia”

Ordering is easy….just send me an e-mail at django5722(at)yahoo(dot)com telling me what items you’d like and what country you are in (so I can figure cost) and tell me what e-mail address you’d like a paypal invoice sent to, and I’ll have it off ASAP. Orders are usually shipped within 48 hours of payment being received.
Thank you for your support of KSE, now in our 13th year of operation!
All previous poetry chapbooks are now sold out. Thanks to those who grabbed them in April-June while they were still available….we are very proud of them and hope you have a long and happy life with them! I’ll have TWO full books of poems coming out later this year….CULTURE OF COMPLIANCE (with Michael Casey) and SCULPTURE GARDEN IN THE SNOW (containing the pieces read on the CDR spoken-word album of the same name, listed above).
Here are some further comments from Mr. Weitzel on the Shamisen and the Contemporary Shamisen Duo:

Shamisen is a Japanese three stringed spike-lute. It originated in China, where it is still existing in a contemporaty version called Sanxian. From there, it was brought to Okinawa which was an independent country until the 19th century and developed into the sanshin, a short, snake-skinned version that is still the backbone of Okinawan traditional music. It arrived in West Japan in the 17th century, where it was adopted by local musicians guilds. There, the snakeskin was replaced with dog- or catskin and the large plectrums called Bachi came to use. Depending on the style and origin, many forms of shamisen exist with different fields of use. Most prominent nowadays is Tsugaru Shamisen, which originated in the 19th century in the very north of Japan. Instruments there are larger but played with a very light Bachi. Kabuki theatre relies on a choir of sharp-sounding, smaller sized shamisen. Gidayu Shamisen is used for narration in traditional theatre and utilises very bold and large plectrums and instruments. Jiuta (a sort of chamber music) and Kouta (Bourgeois songs) are played on mid-sized Shamisen such as Saito and Weitzel use.

Contemporary Shamisen duo seeks to break the boundaries of Shamisen tradition by using Bachi, bridges, tunings and techniques from all accross the spectrum of shamisen music together with newly developed extended techniques.
JOSHUA album cover 2018 corrected


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