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Classicsonline Home » Artists » » Dawson, Lynne

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Lynne Dawson (b1956)


Masao Ohki was born on 3rd October 1901 in Iwata, a small provincial city on the Pacific coast in central Japan, and grew up in the larger nearby city of Shizuoka. His father was a teacher at a girls’ high school and he spent his childhood during a period when westernisation was bringing an interest in western music, with operas and orchestral concerts occasionally heard in big cities like Tokyo. The circumstances in provincial cities were different. There were only a few pianos in Shizuoka and not even a small orchestra. Musical interest was mainly in Japanese traditional works. Ohki’s father liked to play the shakuhachi, a bamboo flute, and Ohki himself played it from his childhood. With unstable pitch and a mysteriously‘cloudy’, somewhat husky timbre, the instrument has especially been associated with asceticism and Zen meditation. The experience of shakuhachi music was to exert a significant influence on Ohki’s own work. At the same time he had some experience of western instruments, and was able to hear recordings of classical Chinese operas and arias from Bizet’s Carmen, as well as a variety of Japanese traditional music. The basis of Ohki’s melodies was always the shakuhachi music and the recordings he heard, and, above all, Japanese traditional music.

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