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The most southern part of Japan that I will be lucky enough to visit will have been Wakayama, where environmentalist Dr. Kumi Kato lives and teaches at the University.  I spent several days with her, culminating in an Interactive Concert in which we collaborated together. She chose several beautiful poems to recite for which I provide the soundscape…with breath and tube in hand.  Recently, a friend of mine, Nobuko Awaya, called me an “Air-ist” instead of a flut-ist, a term, I am very fond of.  So feel free to call me an Airist, if flutist doesn’t suit you, although people might get the impression that I fly through the air rather than shape sounds with it.  No matter….I’d also prefer to fly through it, if I could…

Kumi and I had rich conversations about our corresponding work and the invisible place where our worlds meet: art and environmental activism.  I am currently creating a proposal that joins our efforts to help instigate creative collaborations, strengthen community artistic events and evokes awareness  of the environment.  The relevance and depth of our joint efforts was evident during the concert, which I believe clearly demonstrated to all who attended that there is much to be done in the area of artistic environmental awareness.  More on this later…but in the meantime, feel free to visit Kumi’s blog and learn more…

So here are some sights (audio excerpts will come at some point) from the Wakayama show.  If it looks like we’re all having fun, it’s because we are!  This was the first show at a new community center the city opened only 2 weeks before.  Besides students and local folks, several city officials attended the concert.  I hope this event might help spark many future collaborative art events and a thriving artist community right in the heart of Wakayama for many years to come.  I was thrilled to be given the (very last minute!) opportunity to be a part of this growing dream…



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