Navarasa, based on the 9 emotions, by Mark Izu and Christopher Yohmei Blasdel
This CD is based on the Hindu concept of navarasa, or 9 emotional states, expressed through a combination of shakuhachi, bass, and mouth organ (the Chinese sheng and Japanese shô). The performers on this CD are Christopher Yohmei Blasdel, an American who has lived most of his life in Japan studying Japanese music, and Mark Izu, a Japanese American who has spent his life on the American west coast as a jazz artist and composer deftly utilizing aspects of traditional Asian music. The music is mostly improvised, based on the various rasa themes. Japanese music has roots in India, so we decided to use the navarasa for inspiration.
Threading Time, 2007
The CD, Threading Time, by Mark Izu and Circle of Fire, is a rare performance of two national treasures, Gagaku Master Togi Suenobu (Japan), Tabla Master Zakir Hussain (India) swirled into smooth jazz by composer Mark Izu (USA).
The album journeys through dimensions of jazz and myth as it explores the ancient intonations of Japanese gagaku and the music of peoples traveling the legendary Silk Road.
Last Dance, 1998
Performed by Anthony Brown’s Grammy Nominated Asian American Jazz Orchestra and San Jose Taiko. Featuring storytellers Brenda Wong Aoki & George Yoshida. Last Dance tells the internment story through spoken word, poetry, historic photos, 40’s Big Band sound and original music. It’s a tribute to Japanese Americans who used music and dance to remind themselves and the world who they were.
Dragon Painter, 2008
DVD of a classic silent film with a new score by Mark Izu
Starring Sessue Hayakawa, this Asian-American silent film masterpiece was long considered lost. It was rediscovered in France and brought to George Eastman House for restoration with the original tints. With a new musical score by Mark Izu, this silent classic is available from Milestone on DVD.