Todd Harper & Jun Miyake
Musical Ecology: Ending the war on trees
Oct. 18, 2018
Studio Z: 275 East Fourth Street, Suite 200, St. Paul
$15 / $10 students & working musicians
This event kicks off Todd Harper & Jun Miyake's second collaboration and a tour of the Twin Cities and western Wisconsin. This year's concert will premiere seven new works by Harper which contemplate the relationship with humans and their environment. During the intermission, there will be an open-ended discussion with performers and citizen ecologists about these issues.
Musical Ecology is: Todd Harper, composer/piano/director; Jun Miyake, metal & bamboo flutes, tenor saxophone; Aaron Kerr, acoustic/electric cello; Eric Coursen, drums/percussion. All of these musicians performed with Jun last year, but not as the same unit.
Todd Harper & Jun Miyake are SGI Buddhists who met at their culture center in September 2016. They resolved to perform together the next year. In September 2017, Miyake flew in from New York to perform a five-concert tour with Harper and his musical friends. They recorded their first CD, Before Dawn, at the end of the tour.
The theme of this year’s tour, “Ending the war on trees,” is a reflection on the current conditions of humans and nature--a call to action to transform the dynamic of mindless consumption and destruction to one of appreciation and sustainability. Some compositions have solemn messages, such as Forgotten Forests, and Kids who hate trees. There is also hope in titles such as The Green Belt, which is dedicated to Wangari Maathai, Kenyan ecologist/activist, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, and founder of the Greenbelt movement.
Jun Miyake is a flutist and saxophonist born in Toyo’oka in Hyogo Japan. He is a graduate of the An Jazz School of Kyoto and studied woodwinds privately with Kenji Mori. He accomplished honors in flute study at Berklee College of Music with Matt Marvgulio. He piloted an ensemble that toured the Northeast named Groove Merchant in the late 1990’s. He plays regularly on the upper West Side of Manhattan in addition to making occasional re-visits to Japan, sharing his gifts.
Todd Harper is the son of ecologist and high school biology teacher Herbert Harper. Ecology is a theme the younger Harper is never far from, as seen in compositions such as The Power of Rivers ( for nonet, 1997), The River inside of trees (art song cycles for soprano Kim Sueoka, 2010) Bear and Rabbit want the same apple (jazz opera, 2009). Harper has performed at various venues, including The Walker Arts Center, First Avenue, Patrick’s Cabaret, The Twin Cities Jazz Festival, Northern Spark Festival, and Studio Z. His compositions have been performed by the Temporal Mechanics Union percussion ensemble, Dr. Michael Jorgenson, Bill Banfield’s B Magic Orchestra, and the Edgewild players of Bigfork. As a curator, Harper has collaborated with pianists/composers Paul Cantrell and Carei Thomas, for a 16-year annual concert “Keys Please.” Recently Harper has been focused on creating new works for mid-sized ensembles which involve structure and adequate room for invention and exploration by the players.
Tickets can be securely purchased by credit card or through your PayPal account in advance, or by cash, check, or credit card at the door. Tickets purchased online will be held at the door.