Kuniko is a soloist who is one of the most promising and innovative percussionists on the contemporary music scene today. She has performed and collaborated with various world renowned composers, conductors and orchestras and has worked with Franco Donatoni, James Wood, Toru Takemitsu, Seiji Ozawa and Steve Reich. As well as solo work in Asia, Europe and the USA she has performed as a member of orchestra and ensemble groups such as Saito Kinen Orchestra, Ensemble ICTUS (Belgium) and Ensemble NOMAD (Tokyo).
This multi-faceted musician collaborates in the creative art scene with renowned artists from different genres of performing arts such as dancer Megumi Nakamura, theatre director Satoshi Miyagi and Za Ondecoza of the Japanese Taiko Troop. Kaniko is strongly committed to music education through various forms of percussion workshops and also frequently conducts open-rehearsal and master classes in conjunction with her solo concert series. Since 2004 she has been conducting a series of log drum (slit drum) workshops for children with mental impairment.
Three works that reflect the exotic and sensuous geometry of Wood's output: the energetic and iridescent percussion concerto, Two Men Meet, Each Presuming the Other to be from a Distant Planet; Phainomena, characterised by meditative, swirling choral textures; and the highly charged concerto for quarter-tone marimba, Venancio Mbande Talking with the Trees.
"James Wood is an all-round musical explorer of a philosophical cast of mind yet with an ardent Messiaen-like sensibility... each piece is an ambitious synthesis of music and the world."
The Sunday Times 1997
Recording date: 13 November 1993 (Phainomena), 13 September 1995 (Two Men Meet), 29 April 1997 (Venancio Mbande)
Recording venue: Rosslyn Hil Chapel, Hampstead (Phainomena), St Silas Church, London
Engineer: Mike Skeet , John Whiting
Producer: Paul Webster (Phainomena), Anthony Burton, James Wood
Editing & mastering: John Taylor
Cover image: Marlena Novak: Song in Memory of the Harvest (1990)
(P) 1997 NMC Recordings Ltd