Katsura Yamauchi (b. 1954) picked up his first saxophone in the early 1970s and was quickly drawn to modern jazz, avant-garde and free improvisation. Born in Beppu, far from the traditional creative centers around the bigger cities in Japan, Yamauchi was until recently relatively unknown, but has now shown himself to be one of the most unique musicians in Japan. Yamauchi has developed his own original style, mixing improvisation and minimalism with melodic elements. The music is at the same time challenging and easily accessible, unrecognizable and beautiful. He has released several solo CDs and recorded with Michel Doneda, Gunter Müller and Norbert Möslang from Voice Crack and performed with Taku Unami, I.S.O., Misha Mengelberg, Tatsuya Nakatani, Sharif Sehnaoui, Jason Kahn, Otomo Yoshihide, sachiko M, Barre Phillips, Kim Dae-Hwan, Gino Robair, Toshinori Kondo, Yoshimitsu Ichiraku, Travassos, Toshimaru Nakamura, Seijiro Murayama, Han Bennink and many others. (Watch videos here, here, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Droz2vKx8hg, and here.)
An uncompromising voice in contemporary music, Arrington de Dionyso integrates ancient soundmaking techniques with trans-modernist inquiries into the nature of consciousness. His propulsive improvisations utilize voice and reeds (primarily bass clarinets and his invention the Bromiophone) as multiphonic tools in the navigation of liminal spaces between shamanic seance and rock and roll ecstasy. The BLOOD MOON RAGA project is usually a trio with de Dionyso on reeds and voice, Oomung Varma on tabla, and Nathan Gibson on modular synthesizer. The intent is to explore and expand upon the territories discovered in the meetings between Hindustani classical singers such as Pandit Pran Nath and the burgeoning avant-garde of American Minimalism in the mid-sixties Lower East Side NYC as exemplified by LaMonte Young, Tony Conrad, and Henry Flynt et al.