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This is a live recording of the concerto’s Japanese premiere which took place at Izumi Hall in Osaka on July 5th, 2001, featuring Robert van Sice and me as the first and second soloist respectively. Backed by the superb performance of Izumi Sinfonietta under the baton of Norichika Iimori, it actually marked the crest of series of duo projects that Bob and I were engaged in since the year before. It was a remarkable concert season for me in that I was exposed to the real concert circuit with my former teacher, for the first time, away from the lesson rooms. The piece is dedicated to Bob.
I had the honor to commission this piece to Toshio Hosokawa and subsequently to perform its premiere in 2002. The recording is a commemoration of this great music which has since become somewhat of a "signature" piece for me. Hosokawa-san himself attended the recording session and helped me carve out this rigorous work, sometimes correcting the unintended outcomes and sometimes generously approving my own ideas for interpretation. I had recorded the music privately prior to this session, which helped me a great deal in capturing the essence of it in this high definition compact disc by Fontec label. For its structural austerity, Reminiscence demands acute sense of attention to every note for creating a musical fabric it requires.
My debut CD from Fontec label (SACD Hybrid) released in 2005 features in essence my portfolio as an artist. With a program that is very original (and despite its peculiarity), I wanted to make a CD which would stand the test of time and prove its artistic durability in the future. Points of consideration for selecting the music included for the program to have a balance of commissioned and existing pieces, to include music which I have studied with the composer or the premiere performer directly, and to select works which allow me to create sound quality distinctively different from the prior marimba recordings. We paid the minutest attention to the selection of microphones and their allocations as well as mallets and keyboards. The recording took place in a concert hall in Chichibu, a mountainous region outside of Tokyo in April 2005, and I remember it being so cold that I had to wear two sweaters while playing! Finally, I like to extend my thanks to the producer of this CD, Akira Matsuda and his team from Fontec who have kindly assisted me through this wondrous journey.