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Kaoru Watanabe

Speaking Soundly

Mar 7 2023 • 23 mins

Acclaimed composer, multi-instrumentalist, and Silk Road Ensemble member Kaoru Watanabe began playing Western Classical music at a very young age. After graduating from conservatory as a jazz flutist and saxophonist, he spent a decade overseas performing with and ultimately leading the world-renowned Taiko drum performance group Kodo. Kaoru reflects upon his ten years in Japan and how it profoundly influenced his practice, artistry, and identity. Now a leading musician of both the Taiko drum and the Japanese transverse flute Shinobue, Kaoru describes the pure elegance and brute force of the practice and the visceral response he felt the first time he saw them performed at Carnegie Hall. David considers Kaoru's numerous collaborations while discussing how Kaoru retains a sense of authenticity and the natural world informs and inspires his creative process.

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Don't miss this video of Kaoru playing in the natural world as discussed in the interview.

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This interview has been edited and condensed to fit the time format.

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