BreathPlay Press Release

BreathPlay Features Musicians from Tokyo and Seattle

Tokyo shakuhachi musician/writer Christopher Yohmei Blasdel and Seattle composer/drummer Byron Au Yong perform BreathPlay at the Chapel Performance Space on June 29th.

Direct from his Tokyo recital Shakuhachi exTemporal, which celebrated 35 years of studying shakuhachi in Japan, Christopher Yohmei Blasdel performs with local musician Byron Au Yong. Together they explore sounds from around the Pacific Rim using shakuhachi (Japanese end-blown bamboo flute), Asian percussion, piano, water, and voice in the historic Good Shepherd Center Chapel built in 1906.

BreathPlay is an improvised music/sound art concert that travels through intercultural, boundary-breaking, water-splashing terrain.

Au Yong and Blasdel met at the International House of Japan and have worked on a number of projects since 1996. Their site-responsive performance at the Tokyo Art Museum designed by Tadao Ando last October was praised by audience members as "inventive and stimulating."

BreathPlay marks the first time they have performed together in Seattle.

"I am always excited to perform with Christopher," says Au Yong. "His dedication to the shakuhachi and living in Asia has been a continual source of inspiration. It is an honor to perform with such a spiritual and knowledgeable musician."

BreathPlay happens at the Chapel Performance Space at the Good Shepherd Center in Seattle's Wallingford neighborhood at 8PM on Friday, June 29, 2007. Tickets are $14-$18 and are available at or at the door.

Byron Au Yong (Seattle) and Christopher Yohmei Blasdel (Tokyo) perform improvised music/sound art with shakuhachi, Asian percussion, piano, water, and voice

Chapel Performance Space
Good Shepherd Center
4649 Sunnyside Ave N
Seattle WA 98103 USA

Friday, June 29, 2007, 8pm

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Byron Au Yong creates ceremonial musical events scored for Asian, European and hand-made instruments. His work has been performed in Canada, China, England, Germany, Japan, South Korea, and the United States. Seattle projects include Piao Zhu: Flying Bamboo created for the Seattle Asian Art Museum, Surrender: A T'ai Qi Cantata premiered by The Esoterics, and YIJU: Songs of Dislocation presented at the Jack Straw New Media Gallery. In addition, he was part of 4Culture's 2006 Site-Specific King County Performance Network where he created a work for six children and cello on abandoned railroad tracks in Issaquah. Following BreathPlay, Au Yong travels to the UK to study with opera composer Sir Harrison Birtwistle at Aldeburgh Music.

Born in Texas, Christopher Yohmei Blasdel began shakuhachi and studies of Japanese music in 1972 with National Treasure Goro Yamaguchi. In 1984, he received the professional name "Yohmei" from Yamaguchi as well as a graduate degree in ethnomusicology from Tokyo National University. A permanent resident of Japan, Blasdel has performed, taught and lectured throughout China, Thailand, Europe, North America, Mexico, India, Malaysia and the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe. Author of numerous books and articles, his Rennyo Award-winning book A Shakuhachi Odyssey, written in Japanese, is published by Kawade Shobo Shinsha (English title: The Single Tone -- A Personal Journey into Shakuhachi Music, Printed Matter Press, Tokyo).

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Press Contact Frank Minoru Phillips
Telephone 206 407-9047
Emai frank AT