That's the sound of the carillon at the MIHO MUSEUM, in the mountains near Kyoto, Japan. As you'll hear, it's a sublime and extraordinary place, and it's inspired some extraordinary music by the PAUL WINTER CONSORT and an ensemble of world music masters.
Located high in the pristine Shigaraki mountains of central Japan, the Miho Museum expresses both the vision of the Japanese Shumei spiritual community, and the talent of renowned Chinese-American architect I.M. PEI. The result is a perfect balance of art, architecture and the natural world, sound, spirit, and space.
The goal was nothing less than the creation of a modern Shangri-la — the legendary mountain paradise of Buddhist myth. Arriving at the site, visitors walk through the top of the mountain to the museum by a curved tunnel lined with softly gleaming stainless steel, then emerge into a hidden valley spanned by a sculptural suspension bridge.
The museum is largely underground so as not to disturb the natural environment, with geometric glass and steel skylights illuminating the galleries below. Inside the travertine marble halls and galleries is a great art collection built on themes of the ancient and the contemporary, art and nature, East and West.
Invited to play here in 2004 by the taiko drummers of the Shumei community, the Winter Consort returned in 2010 to use the great acoustic spaces of the museum as a studio for the recording of a unique album: MIHO: Journey to the Mountain.
The PAUL WINTER CONSORT has long been known for their signature trans-cultural, trans-species fusion of the sounds of nature and the animal world, with acoustic World Music recorded in great reverberant spaces. The consort brings together world musicians of the highest caliber. Core members PAUL WINTER, soprano saxophone, PAUL McCANDLESS, English horn, oboe and double reeds, EUGENE FREISEN, cello, and GLEN VELEZ, frame drums, are joined here by DHRUBA GHOSH on the Indian sarangi, STEVE GORN on the Indian bansuri flute, ARTO TUNCBOYACIYAN on the duduk (a double reed instrument from Central Asia), YUKIKO MATSUYAMA on the Japanese koto, Tibetan singer YANGJIN LAMU, the drums of the SHUMEI TAIKO ENSEMBLE and the SHUMEI CHORUS.
Energized by the sounds and spaces of the Miho Museum, with its vision of beauty in the arts, respect for the environment, and peace among the world's people, the Paul Winter Consort has created a classic: MIHO: JOURNEY TO THE MOUNTAIN — on this transmission of Hearts of Space.