Shakuhachi Master Elizabeth Reian Bennett
Concerts in Brattleboro, presented by Asian Cultural Center of Vermont (ACCVT):
- August 19, 2007: To celebrate the opening of the exhibition of the Kiri-e Fabric Collage Pictures, Artwork by Young Women Survivors of Hiroshima’s 1940s Aftermath
- March 8, 2008: On the eve of the Japanese festival, Hinamatsuri, at The Loft, Cotton Mill Hill, Brattleboro
- March 9, 2008: Complementing other festival activities at Hinamatsuri, a children’s concert and presentation, at ACCVT headquarters in West Brattleboro.
- August 10, 2008: On the occasion of Brattleboro’s Summer Japan Double Festival celebration of Tanabata and Obon, in West Brattleboro
Elizabeth Reian Bennett is the first woman to be certified a Grand Master of the shakuhachi, the Japanese bamboo flute, and one of only a handful of western players trained in traditional Japanese music. She has studied and performed with Living National Treasure Aoki Reibo, recognized as Japan’s foremost shakuhachi instrumentalist. Reian Bennett has performed frequently in Japan and worldwide; recent appearances in Japan include Tokyo National Theater and NHK, Japanese National Television. Her repertory spans the ancient wandering monk solos, classical Japanese chamber music, east-west contemporary compositions and works of her own improvisation. She received a B.A. in East Asian Studies from Princeton in 1975 and a Ph.D. in Chinese Arts History from Yale in 1984. Japanese music became a major interest while she pursued her academic studies, and in 1982; two years before she received her Ph.D., she became a shakuhachi Shihan and received her performing name, Reian. In March 2004, Reian Bennett was further awarded the rank of grand master. Reian Bennett’s teacher is Aoki Reibo; she has trained in the Reibo-kai techniques and style for more than twenty-five years. Among her recordings, visitors to the ACCVT headquarters in West Brattleboro during the past three years may well have heard Reian Bennett’s collection of solo shakuhachi pieces, Song of the True Hand.
For more information on Reian Bennett visit www.cdbaby.com/cd/erbennett.
The March 2008 concert at The Loft featured the following program:
- Kinuta Sugomori (Autumn Rhythms) a piece based on the sound and rhythm of the beating of blocks used to fluff up padding in winter clothes, a sound heard all over cold climates of East Asia, mimicked in music, referred to in poetry and prose, and depicted in painting
- Hoshosu (From Phoenix to Fledgling) a piece based on the phoenix and its rebirth through fire
- Namima Reibo (Space Between the Waves)
- Henro (Pilgrimage), from her CD, Song of the True Hand
- Rain on Leaves (a piece commissioned the previous year for Reian Bennett)