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Kitaro - Kojiki: A Story in Concert CD (album) cover




Progressive Electronic

4.09 | 3 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars It's roughly three years since the Japanese artist Kitaro was added to PA, but very few reviews have been written. Maybe he's just too New Age-y to gain much interest among prog community. I really don't know how well he is known or appreciated today. For my generation, in the early 80's Kitaro became known mostly due to his contribution to the historical Silk Road documentary series. His career continued strongly at least through the 90's; by many he is probably seen as an artist of a bygone era. I admit I haven't kept my eye on his more recent discography very closely.

Are music DVD's also "so last season" nowadays, in the age of internet? Well, I am a keen collector of them, and this one I found on a record fair last autumn -- I have no idea how much Kitaro stuff is available in the net.

Kojiki: A Story in Concert is a 55-minute concert film from his 1990 world tour. It seems the show is built on a conceptual suite (Kojiki being an ancient chronicle about the creation of Japan), not a broader selection of Kitaro's output. That results as a slightly distanced relation to the audience. Not a single word is said. But the music is genuine Kitaro, in all its grandiosity and passion. The way Kitaro conducts the ensemble (which is in the beginning not even seen from the shadows) with larger-than-life gestures and spiritual facial expression is almost awkward. Fortunately the less than excellent camera work starts to show the other musicians too as the concert progresses. There are two keyboardists in addition to the man himself, making the overall sound very orchestral with the central role of violinist Charlie Bisharat.

The two first pieces are romantically symphonic, the third piece has more emphasis on percussion -- even Kitaro and Bisharat climb to the upper levels of the stage to beat the big drums for a while. The electric guitar has no big role most of the time, except for some passionate soloing on some of the last pieces. If the listener already likes Kitaro, this concert won't be a disappointment. But maybe also those who are skeptical of his music will be convinced that it's much more than New Age pathos. Worth checking out for fans of e. g. The Enid and Vangelis appreciating the orchestral grandiosity and deep emotion in music.

Matti | 4/5 |


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