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Tokyo Concerts Lab Presents the Music of Shin-Ichiro Ikebe

Sep. 17, 2020

The Tokyo Concerts Lab presents “Works of Shin-ichiro Ikebe Project Vol. 5 - Contemporary Works Performed on Educational Instruments" on September 25. The performance is part of an annual concert series featuring compositions by Shin-Ichiro Ikebe, with the intent of passing on these great works to the next generation. Each concert in the series has included works in a particular genre: Songs, Choral Works, String Works, and Wind Works.

This year's concert program includes Sphynx Temptationthree pieces for tambourine and piano, Bivalence XV for two recorders, Bivalence X for two mandolins, Laughing Harmonica, Boiling Harmonica for solo harmonica, Webern for female chorus and two recorders, and A Scare Growls, and He Flies for solo percussionist. 

The score of Shin-Ichiro Ikebe's Laughing Harmonica, Boiling Harmonica was published by Zen-On on September 15. The composer describes the genesis of this unique work:

"Every February, I organize a concert called “Musical Tales of Early Spring" in Uozu City, Toyama Prefecture.  Each year, I choose a different instrument to focus on and ask a talented musician to share their expertise.

After our seventeenth concert in 2019, I was talking with Mr. K, the chairman of the executive committee and also a local businessman.  He said that he had just recently started to learn to play the harmonica.  And then it dawned on me: we should do the harmonica next year!  But, although I always include one of my works in the concert each year, I had written nothing for the harmonica.

“So, I’ll compose something,” I thought.  “And if I do, I want to make it a solo work.”  My motivation for that was that I knew of the virtuoso harmonica player Yasuo Watani.  I received feedback from Watani and began to compose in June and July, 2019.  Working on [the piece] startled me [as I discovered the] unbelievable breadth of possibilities of the harmonica.  Of course, like any other instrument, there are some things that one can’t do with the harmonica.  But that is actually what makes the instrument so attractive and leads to creativity."

Listen to Shin-Ichiro Ikebe's Laughing Harmonica, Boiling Harmonica (2019):

(Laughing Harmonica, Boiling Harmonica/Shin-Ichiro Ikebe/Yasuo Watani, harmonica)

To learn more about Shin-Ichiro Ikebe, visit: