Kickstarter Project- Fund a Fantastic CD, Spring Sounds, Spring Seas


VFTP is ad free, and we don’t even ask for coffee money here. If you’ve enjoyed reading over the years, and would like to show you care, perhaps you would like to invest in the very exciting new Orchestra of the Swan CD project, Spring Sounds. Visit the Kickstarter homepage for the project here to give.


Two great traditions ● Two organizations ● Two sides of the Atlantic ● Two American composers ● Two soloists ● Two conductors ● Two premieres ● One gorgeous live recording.

A ground-breaking, enhanced content CD from Kyo-Shin-An Arts andOrchestra of the Swan. Shakuhachi and Koto with Chamber Orchestra.

Please help us complete Spring Sounds, Spring Seas, an amazing CD project with a waiting audience. Kickstarter funding will pay for post-production and distribution costs with PARMA Recordings, video content from Goodmedia Film and Music, and recording, editing and mastering costs from Regent Records. The CD will be internationally distributed by Naxos.

Kyo-Shin-An Arts (KSA) is an innovative, NYC-based organization dedicated to the integration of Japanese instruments – specifically shakuhachi, koto and shamisen – into Western classical music. James Nyoraku Schlefer, Artistic Director. We work in partnership with composers and ensembles to commission, develop and produce new works and concerts that include these remarkable instruments.

The Orchestra of the Swan (OOTS) is a wonderful British chamber orchestra based in Stratford-Upon Avon, UK. It is adventurous, imaginative and, with the visionary leadership of its Artistic Director David Curtis, partnering with KSA to bring some really beautiful new music to life. The collaboration premiered on May 28, 2011, on OOTS’ lovely Spring Sounds Festival. Commissions are already in place for Spring Sounds 2012 and 2013, and we’re not stopping!

The content for Spring Sounds, Spring Seas comes directly from our first concert program, which was the world’s first chamber orchestra concert featuring a full program of music with shakuhachi and koto. We recorded in the Stratford Civic Hall with the preeminent Gary Cole of Regent Records. The title honors both the Spring Sounds Festival and the famous Japanese duo for shakuhachi and koto,Haru No Umi, written by the renowned koto player Michiyo Miyagi in 1929. This duo, heard (and seen) on the disc in an orchestral arrangement as Haru No Umi Redux, translates as “The Sea in Spring”. Ergo – the title.

What is on the disc?

Performers: The Orchestra of the Swan, shakuhachi Grand Master James Nyoraku Schlefer and koto Master Yumi Kurosawa.

● Haru No Umi Redux, famous as a duo in Japan, where it is traditionally heard on New Year’s, this version offers an evocative string accompaniment by Mr. Schlefer, conducted by OOTS Principal Guest Conductor Kenneth Woods.

● Concerto for Shakuhachi, Strings, Harp and Percussion, by James Nyoraku Schlefer and conducted by Kenneth Woods. A rhythmic, exciting piece in three movements, ranging from the calm of Zen to the high energy of Rock and Roll.

 Koto Concerto: Genji, a remarkably romantic and operatic work in five short movements by the accomplished Daron Hagen – a Kyo-Shin-An Arts and Meet the Composer Commission, conducted by OOTS’ artistic director David Curtis.

What else is on this cool disc?

Enhanced content. The label for Spring Sounds, Spring Seas is PARMA Recordings and the disc will be released on their Navona Records imprint. For all of you computer listeners, that means your disc will feature the video of the concert performance of Haru No Umi Redux, extensive program notes, composer interviews, PDFs of orchestral scores, artist links, lists of donors, and sponsorship links for major donors. Your name will be there!

Benefits: You are going to love the CD, but, while you are waiting, there are other benefits to enjoy. Please take a look at the gifts available and then make your donation. Please add $5.00 or $10.00 to your gift, as specified in the rewards, if you require international shipping – from KSA to the UK or OOTS to the US. We will appreciate that!

Please note: Kyo-Shin-An Arts is a 501C3, not-for-profit organization, and all donations will be tax deductible to the fullest extent of the law. Your thank you letter will tell you the amount of your deduction.

To learn more about OOTS’ benefits at their upper giving levels, please visit thiswebsite location.

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About the author

American conductor, composer and cellist Kenneth Woods is Principal Conductor of the English Symphony Orchestra, Artistic Director of the Colorado MahlerFest and cellist of the string trio Ensemble Epomeo. He records for the Avie, Somm, Nimbus, Signum, MSR and Toccata labels.

Learn about Kenneth at

All material in these pages is protected by copyright.

2 comments on “Kickstarter Project- Fund a Fantastic CD, Spring Sounds, Spring Seas”

  1. Steve Swinden

    Hi, It was a joy and a privilege to work with Regent Records as Engineer on this project. It is fantastic repertoire performed by masters of their art and will surely garner much critical acclaim once it has been produced on CD. The whole CD will be every bit as good as what you’ve heard on the video.
    Steve Swinden

  2. Kenneth Woods

    Hi Steve!

    Thanks for the comment. It was great working with you on the disc- you got a great sound in a hall that poses a lot of challenges!

    Readers- if you need a fantastic engineer for a live concert recording or CD, Steve’s company does great work.

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