One of the founding architects of the New Age music category and movement, Kitaro's accolades over the years are almost too numerous to list. The artist recently landed his 14th Grammy Nomination for the 53rd Grammy Awards. The legendary artist was honored in the Best New Age Album Category (43) for his work, Sacred Journey of Ku-Kai Volume 4.
Commenting on his latest accolade, Kitaro noted, "To be recognized by NARAS and my peers for this most recent Grammy nomination is very flattering. I am extremely pleased to receive this, my 14th Grammy nomination." The project features the talents of Steven Kindler on Violin, Paul Pesco on Electric/Acoustic Guitars, Keiko Takahashi on Keyboards and Diana Dentino on Keyboards, Kitaro's latest Grammy nominated release. Sacred Journey of Ku-Kai Volume 4 -- on Domo Music Group (www.domomusicgroup.com) takes listeners on yet another magical, musical experience.
Sacred Journey of Ku-Kai Volume 4 is the fourth in a series of a collection of works and peace-themed albums inspired by the classic Buddhist pilgrimage to the 88 sacred temples on Japan's remote Shikoku Island. Inspired by a journey taken by the beloved Buddhist monk Ku-Kai over a millennium ago, via the music contained in Sacred Journey of Ku-kai Volume 4, Kitaro (http://www.domomusicgroup.com/kitaro) continues to explore uncharted waters with his magnificently expansive vision and ever-questing spirit.
See the Sacred Temples Map at: http://www.domomusicgroup.com/kitaro/kukai.php
Kitaro's Ku-Kai Volume 4 breaks new ground from the previous three CD's in this unique series of recordings. Steve Kindler's outstanding artistry on the violin adds a new dimension to the series. This expanded musical direction on Ku-Kai comes partially as a result of his unusual background and the location of the Temples spotlighted in volume 4. Violinist Kindler played in The Honolulu Symphony, but he cut his jazz chops as a member of John McLaughlin's fusion band making this particular musician a perfect fit for Kitaro's non-stop exploration of music's possibilities.
In a departure from volumes 1-3, the Temples featured in Ku-Kai 4 are located closer to the Pacific Ocean (see map of Temples 32-39), in this release, Kitaro, with Kindler and the other featured performers is channeling a uniquely different part of the island and the journey through his music. Kitaro, the consummate musical storyteller, is now relating a part of the legend of Ku-Kai that connects us to his story and 'peace' not easily told but ultimately understood.
Kitaro is universally acknowledged as the founding architect of new age music. Kitaro's various sound collaborations and resonant, multi-textured compositions truly defy the constraints of any genre. The Grammy and Golden Globe-winning Kitaro has garnered global acclaim over a more than three decade long career with a signature sound and a pioneering fusion of cultures, techniques and spheres of consciousness that are truly his own.
Through his ongoing inspirational musical message of Peace and Love, Kitaro enjoys taking his fans to the four corners of the globe, shining the spotlight of his musical message on audiences as he inspires fans from around the globe to unite as one. The music Volume IV include the following tracks; Lotus Mountain, Yakushi, Magic Seeds, Reflection Of Water, South Wind, Circle Pray, Requiem and Ritual Winds
MORE ON KITARO: His 2010 release, Impressions of the West Lake (Featuring vocalist and Chinese pop diva Jane Zhang) captured the artist's 13th Grammy nomination. Prior to that, his release, Sacred Journey of Ku-Kai, Volume 2 garnered a nomination in category 44 for the 48th Annual Grammy Awards. It was Kitaro's 12th Grammy nomination.
For over a quarter century, Kitaro has been an internationally recognized icon and globally acclaimed composer and musician. Influenced early on by American rock and R&B, Kitaro began experimenting with synthesizers and a rainbow of unconventional sounds in the mid-'70s. His pioneering fusion of electronic artistry, traditional Japanese forms, and pop-inflected Western idioms created a lush, harmonic, and poetic sound that won the now legendary artist a huge international following. 1980's Volume 1 in the revered Silk Road series is considered an all-time masterpiece, with subsequent volumes only adding to its luster. '87's GRAMMY-nominated The Light Of the Spirit, a collaboration with Grateful Dead drummer Mickey Hart, exceeded sales of two million in the U.S. alone, elevating Kitaro's presence stateside to an unprecedented degree. 1992's transcendent Dream, made with Yes' Jon Anderson, was also a smash, and other highlights are too numerous to single out.
In 2000, Kitaro's "Thinking Of You", which online music bible allmusic.com calls "one of the most beautiful CDs of all time," won a GRAMMY for Best New Age Album. Kitaro is universally acknowledged as a founding architect of that genre. That being said, Kitaro's atmospheric, powerfully emotive, and multi-textured music truly defies the constraints of any genre, epitomizing what Domo Records founder Eiichi Naito identifies as the label's guiding principle--"To provide a home for both the creators and aficionados of quality music beyond the borders of categorization." Most fundamentally, at its heart, Kitaro's music is always about sending a profound message of peace and spiritual development, both personally and globally. With Sacred Journey Of Ku-kai Volume 4, the artist's lifelong vision coalesces into an elegant and wondrously integrated master work. The first in an important series, it offers a beautifully expressed and richly resonant experience through which to contemplate our changing world.
ABOUT THE PROJECT: Kitaro's concept for the Ku-Kai series was inspired by the events of September 11, 2001, which occurred while he was en route from Japan to Los Angeles. Kitaro's jet liner was diverted to Honolulu for five days, during which time the conceptual endeavor -- which he envisioned as an artistic means to help unify people globally -- took shape. Sacred Journey of Ku-Kai: Vol. 4 is part of a series of recordings dedicated to peace: both internal as well as external world peace. Like the first and second album from the series -- which were both nominated for a Best New Age Album GRAMMY Award -- every track on Sacred Journey of Ku-Kai: Vol. 4 contains samples from ancient Japanese temple bells (Peace Bells) and is intended to inspire spiritual awakening and a profound sense of peace in its listeners. Kitaro adds, "This album title references the classic Buddhist pilgrimage to the 88 sacred temples on Japan's remote Shikoku Island, a route originally traveled by the beloved Buddhist monk Ku-Kai over a millennium ago. I continue to follow his path today, and each track on every album revolves around the distinctive bell sound of one of the holy sites, using both actual sampling of the bells and my own personal interpretations of them."
Sacred Journey Of Ku-kai 4 visits amazing destinations in the path that Ku-kai originally traveled more than 1,100 years ago around the almost 1,000 mile perimeter of the island, and which Kitaro himself is following in the present day. Traditionally, the "Shikoku Henro Pilgrimage" is a journey that about 100,000 intrepid travelers make each year. Sacred Journey of Ku-kai: Vol. 4 continues to spread Kitaro's message of "peace through music."