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Real name, Masanori Takahashi; born 1953, in Japan. Began playing acoustic guitar; played keyboard synthesizers with Far East Family Band, beginning 1970; began recording solo albums, 1977; has toured throughout the Far East and North America.

Surrounded by banks of synthesizer keyboards, Kitaro eases out a seamless thread of flowing, melodic sounds. Is it enhanced elevator music or the harkening sound of the new age? The category New Age came along after 1977, when Kitaro began releasing his long list of successful solo albums. But he embraces the philosophy that this new style of music reaches to our hearts, that it can uplift us to a spiritual peace, that music can heal. As he told John Diliberto in down beat: "The sound has a power for humans, for nature. I took two speakers and in front of each I placed a flower. On one side came loud music, on the other side came my music. After one week, the flower in front of my music is bending towards the speaker, the other one is dead. I think it is the same thing for humans." No innocent humility here. But as Diliberto expresses it: "The problem is, he is innocent. Kitaro has a childlike demeanor that is disarming. I looked for guile and found utter guilessness." New Age music has been as much maligned as praised. Most musicians who fit the mold despise the term because they feel it fails to include their individual expression of this new musical style. But Kitaro does not seem to object to the categorization. He has sold millions of albums in Japan, and after a long period as a cult figure in the United States has emerged as a premier New Age star. Kitaro was born in Japan in 1953. His given name is Masanori Takahashi, but he has taken the stage name Kitaro, which means "man of joy and love." His first instrument was acoustic guitar, and he lists the Beatles and British progressive rock bands like Pink Floyd and King Crimson among his influences. His introduction to the synthesizer came in 1970 when he worked with the Far East Family Band. German synthesizer wizard Klaus Schulze produced two albums by the group: Nipponjin and Parallel World. "I feel that the music ?the Far East Family Band? pursued was more inwardly directed," Kitaro told down beat. "It was a more personal expression. When the time came for me to go solo, it wasn't a dramatic change or departure, but rather a natural progression of the expression of the deep inner self." In the mid-1970s Kitaro lived at the ashram of free-love guru Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh. Although he took on the trappings of conversion, he claims that his main purpose was to learn chanting and music for meditation. He gives credit for his creations to a power beyond himself. "This music is not from my mind," he told Rolling Stone. "It is from heaven, going through my body and out my fingers through composing. Sometimes I wonder. I never practice. I don't read or write music, but my fingers move. I wonder 'Whose song is this?' I write my songs, but they are not my songs." In 1977 he released his first solo album, Ten Kai-Astral Trip. Ten years and about a dozen albums later, the United States was ready for Kitaro. His first American tour, which began in the fall of 1987, attracted listeners of all ages and lifestyles. The touring band consisted of seven musicians, with Kitaro matching his banks of synthesizers against two other keyboardists and a guitarist, violinist, drummer, and percussionist. A light show added dramatic flair. USA Today reported that the bank recreated what Kitaro calls "impressionistic music" or "sound pictures." At times his show, like his records, is cosmic, almost like a science fiction sound-track, with high-decibel sparkling tones. Other times, it sounds like music from terra firma, an electronic flute singing to the cascading waves of the ocean. Kitaro's albums, originally only available as expensive Japanese imports, have all been released on the German Kuckuck label and in the United States on Gramavision. Geffen Records also offers Kitaro releases, although some are compilations or are confusingly retitled. Audio described the 1986 Geffen release, Asia, this way: "It surely is excellent music to zone out with." Relaxing music with a spiritual flair is what many listeners turn to New Age music for, but there is a danger if the artist does not evidence some level of progression. A 1987 Audio review of the album Tenku stated: "Now, more than a dozen albums later, Kitaro is still doing it. Taken on it's own, Tenku is magnificent. Kitaro bends synthesizer technology in strangely delicate ways, obtaining a nuance of expression that few can match. His Asian melodies bolstered by thickly layered harmonies, are tinged with melancholy. However, among the romantic cosmic feelings that Kitaro evokes is a sense of deja vu. I've heard it all before." Perhaps Kitaro's best-known and most representative work is contained in the Silk Road albums which were drawn from the sound track music for a long-running Japanese television series. A down beat review said that "Silk Road is seductive and intoxicating, forming a musical veil with the translucency of Japanese rice paper" but criticized compositional weaknesses. Rolling Stone described the album's music as "serene, seductively melodic electronic compositions that, at their best, evoke the fragile tension of Japanese traditional music and, at their worst, veer sharply into middle-of-the-road." Kitaro's music is unique to the ear of most Western listeners. Many will find it pleasant, relaxing, even mystical. Some will find it too nebulous to be really satisfying. It is unlikely that Kitaro will be bothered or inspired by any critical ruminations--he'll just go on producing his own best creations as he hears them. USA Today characterized him this way: "He is more than just another Japanese musician seeking world-wide recognition. Kitaro's compositions are mystical and they are enhancing legions of listeners. In fact, the more one learns about him, his lifestyle, and his history, the more incredible he becomes."

█ Officiální stránky | 17/07/2002


0000 Heaven & Earth

1978 Astral Voyage 1

1979 Oasis

1979 Full Moon Story

1980 Silk Road 1 & 2

Jo, dobře se to poslouchá, bezva se relaxuje a ještě lépe učí. Při tom mi to leze do hlavy nějak snadněji, je mi to ale záhadou. Nicméně málokdy teď vezmu doma do ruky učebnici čehokoliv, aniž bych si k tomu nepustila Kitara. (Nebo vlastně jakéhokoliv jiného interpreta EM!)
Bára (7) | 2005

1980 Silk Road Suite

1980 In Person Digital

1981 Tunhuang / Tonko

1981 Ki

1981 World of discography

1983 India

1983 Silver Cloud

1984 Asia

1986 Towards The West

1986 Tenku

1987 Light of the Spirit

Tajuplné a fantaskní album. Objevují se zde optimistické, ale i strašidelné pasáže. Skladba "The Field" je geniální.
Michal (8) | 2006

1988 Ten Years

1990 Kojiki

1991 Live in America

1992 Dream

1994 Tokusen 2

1994 Mandala

1995 An Enchanted Evening

1996 Peace on Earth

1996 Yu-Xiao Guang

1996 Nawang

1997 Cirque Inqenieux

1998 Gaia. Onbashira


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