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Fear No Music, Portland Taiko explore Japan's influence on West in 'Japanarama,' which stages May 6 at The Old Church

COURTESY: RICH IWASKI - Fear No Music and Portland Taiko will present 'Japanarama: The Ongoing Influence of Japanese Culture,' May 6 at The Old Church.The artists with Portland Taiko and Fear No Music are collaborating for a special concert.

They are looking beyond borders with curiosity and respect, highlighting Japan's big influence on Western culture, in joining forces for "Japanarama: The Ongoing Influence of Japanese Culture," 7:30 p.m. Monday, May 6, at The Old Church concert hall, 1422 S.W. 11th Ave.

The concert is the second in a two-part collaboration which began with members of Fear No Music joining Portland Taiko; they also collaborated for a concert last October.

"Japanarama" offers another chance to experience Japan's visceral drumming tradition combined with world-class chamber music performance. As part of Fear No Music's Worldwide Welcome series, the concert celebrates an American identity that is inextricably linked to diversity and inclusivity.

Portland Taiko is celebrating its 25th anniversary season. Fear No Music mentors youth, promoting music education through modern and contemporary classical music.

The concert accentuates quintessential Japanese concepts such as "ma" (the space between), "wabi sabi" (the beauty of imperfection), "shibui" (simplicity or minimalism) and "ikigai" (a reason for being), which serve to contextualize Japanese culture and showcase its unique beauty.

Japanese design and aesthetics are prevalent in modern American society that many people are unaware of their overseas origins.

The concert features:

• "Stream" for solo percussion, by Peruvian interdisciplinary composer, performer and improviser Pauchi Sasak

• "My Sleeve is Wet With Tears" for solo clarinet by Barbara White

• "Netsuke: Six Miniatures" for violin and piano by Stephen Hartke

• "Sonata from the Other Shore" for solo piano by Wange Jie, described as a "cross-cultural handshake between current and former rivals Japan and China, based on the Japanese folk song 'Tanchame-Bushi'"

• "Pacific Voices" for taiko and violin by Zachary Semke and Ann Ishimaru

• "Dango Jiro" for flute, violin, cello and taiko ensemble by Kenji Bunch

• "Winds of Change/Forest Festival" for taiko and viola by Kenny Endo

For info and ticket info:,

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