Shakuhachi and Ichigenkin: Discovery in a Single Tone – U.S. tour, September 28-October 21, 2017

Elizabeth Brown and Ralph Samuelson, shakuhachi
Issui Minegishi, ichigenkin (one-string koto)

After touring Japan in recent years, we’re excited to bring our music to the United States. We’ll give concerts, workshops, and lecture-demonstrations across the country.


Concert Schedule
9/28 at 8 pm: Leshowitz Recital Hall, Chapin Hall, John J. Cali School of Music, Montclair State University. Free.
10/2 at 8 pm: Bito Auditorium, Bard College. Free.
10/4 at 5 pm: Composer’s Symposium, Hartt School of Music, University of Hartford.
10/5 at 7 pm: Katonah Village Library, 26 Bedford RD, Katonah, NY 10536. Free.
10/8 at 4 pm: Center for Remembering and Sharing, NYC, $20-$25.
10/11 at 7:30 pm: Heller Center, UCCS (University of Colorado, Colorado Springs)
10/13 at 8 pm: Frick Fine Arts Auditorium, Univ. of Pittsburgh.
10/16 at 7 pm: Niles Gallery, University of Kentucky, Lexington.
10/18 at 7:30 pm: Harris Concert Hall, Rudi E. Scheidt School of Music,  Univ. of Memphis.
10/20 at 7:30 pm: Troutt Theater, Belmont University, Nashville.
10/21, 2:00-3:30 pm: public lecture at College of Education Building (COE 160), 1756 MTSU Blvd, Murfreesboro, TN
10/21 at 7:30 pm: St Paul’s Episcopal Church, 116 North Academy Street, Murfreesboro, TN


Our project brings together two traditional Japanese instruments that share an underlying aesthetic concept: the discovery of the world that lies within one note, one sound. The music and performance practice of our instruments are steeped in the aesthetic of Zen Buddhism. Ideally, the music is heard in a tranquil setting conducive to calm, focused listening. The ichigenkin’s philosophy of “one string” is a natural partner to the “one note” aesthetic of the shakuhachi, and while the shakuhachi is becoming more familiar to audiences around the world, opportunities to hear the ichigenkin are truly rare. Largely through the efforts of Minegishi Issui, the ichigenkin is gradually finding a new place in contemporary Japan and abroad. Our trio, with two musicians from America and one from Japan, presents numerous concerts in Japan. Now we are bringing knowledge of these beautiful instruments and their music to an American audience.




Our concert program includes traditional pieces from the ichigenkin and shakuhachi repertoires, sometimes arranged in a trio format, plus new compositions by Japanese and American composers. Many pieces have a song text, and Ms. Minegishi is an accomplished singer. The program often ends with Elizabeth Brown’s 秋廻り来て “autumn comes round again”, which sets tanka poetry written by survivors of the 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami. As our program moves between solos, duos, and trios, the combination of traditional works and new compositions reflects the ongoing evolution of music for traditional Japanese instruments.


This project is supported in part by the Japan Foundation, and by IMJS: Japanese Cultural Heritage Initiatives.