Monday Open Thread | Keiko Matsui Week

This week’s featured artists is Keiko Matsui. I discovered her music in the early 90s.

Keiko Matsui
(松居 慶子 Matsui Keiko, born 26 July 1961, as Keiko Doi), is a Japanese keyboardist and composer, specializing in smooth jazz, jazz fusion and new-age music. Her career spans four decades, during which time she has released twenty CDs (in addition to various compilations). She resides in Los Angeles, California.

Early years

Keiko Doi was born in Tokyo, Japan. Her mother, Emiko, took her to her first piano lesson in the June following her fifth birthday. Japanese tradition holds that a child who is introduced to lessons at this time will continue in those studies for a long time. The tradition held true for Doi, who studied piano throughout her school years. Though her early training focused on classical music, in junior high school she developed an interest in jazz and began composing her own music. Some of her musical influences at the time included Stevie Wonder, Sergei Rachmaninoff, Maurice Jarre and Chick Corea.

Doi studied children’s culture at Japan Women’s University (日本女子大学 nihon joshidaigaku), but also continued to study music at the Yamaha Music Foundation. Doi was a top student in the Yamaha Music Education System and was selected at the age of seventeen to be a recording artist for them. Thus she joined the Japanese jazz fusion group Cosmos, which recorded seven albums.

At age 19, Yamaha sent Doi to America to record an album, and there she met Kazu Matsui, who had been selected as a producer for the project. In 1987, Matsui recorded her solo debut LP, A Drop of Water. The album’s title, the name of a song by Carl Anderson, was in memory of those who died in the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster the year before. Its success led to a record deal with MCA Records.

Matsui’s music is powerful and introspective, blending both Western and Eastern musical influences. She has a very spiritual view of composing music, feeling out each composition as though it were, in her words, “coming to me from another space, another dimension,” and “catching notes from the silence and then simply placing them together” Matsui sees music as “the great gifts from the human souls from the past, for the children of the future” She believes that music has a power to bring people together and change their lives. “We are connected by music,” Matsui wrote, “as the Ocean connects the continents”.

A lover of nature, Matsui often makes reference to plants, animals, the elements, and other natural features and phenomena in her song titles. She shows a special fascination with the moon as a number of her compositions refer to the moon in their titles.

Matsui’s music shows signs of evolving over the years. Her American debut album A Drop of Water showed a promise of east meets west with a jazz fusion flavor. However, her recordings for MCA Records in the early 1990s lacked this appeal and, for many, sounded indistinguishable from the rest of what is now known as smooth jazz. Starting with Cherry Blossom, though, her music increased in popularity as she differentiated herself from the rest of contemporary jazz. By the time Sapphire was released in 1995, her music flirted with everything from funk music to Latin and world music.
Whisper from the Mirror from 2000 showed Matsui leaving the smooth jazz style and moving towards new age with a soundscape sound. A number of her fans had a problem adapting to her new style of music (though she continued to play smooth jazz at her concerts). But many welcomed the change. Over time her post-2000 albums show a more world-beat flavor to them. Her 2005 release Walls of Akendora, however, is a return to her pre-2000, smooth jazz days.

You can visit her official website here.

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49 Responses to Monday Open Thread | Keiko Matsui Week

  1. When will @SenGillibrand call for Trump to resign? Women have accused him. Why is she calling for Democrats to resign over allegations and not the person in the Oval Office who has bragged about grabbing women’s private parts, got dammit?

  2. rikyrah says:

    Trump is sending a plan to Congress that calls for stripping back more than $15 billion in previously approved spending, with the hope that it will temper conservative angst over ballooning budget deficits.

    Almost half of the proposed cuts would come from two accounts within the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) that White House officials said expired last year or are not expected to be drawn upon. An additional $800 million in cuts would come from money created by the Affordable Care Act in 2010 to test innovative payment and service delivery models.

    Those are just a handful of the more than 30 programs the White House is proposing to Congress for “rescission,” a process of culling back money that was previously authorized. Once the White House sends the request to Congress, lawmakers have 45 days to vote on the plan or a scaled-back version of it through a simple majority vote.

  3. rikyrah says:

    “For 8 years Barack Obama walked on ice and never fell.”

    — Ta-Nehisi Coates

    — Kaivan Shroff (@KaivanShroff) May 7, 2018

    • Liza says:

      “In a statement posted on its website, Starbucks confirmed CEO Kevin Johnson reached an agreement with the men. They will receive a financial settlement and free tuition at Arizona State University via the Starbucks College Achievement Plan, an online school plan usually reserved for Starbucks employees.”

      So it’s online classes at ASU in Phoenix. I suppose that is reasonable compensation but it could certainly be better.

      I keep thinking about how the Starbucks employee calls 911 about tow guys sitting there and not ordering and the dispatcher sends a squad of cops, no questions asked.

      What agreement does Starbucks (and other merchants) have with the police?

  4. rikyrah says:

    Oh Bernie and Jane….

    David Cay Johnston asked good questions….still haven’t been answered…

    2016- David Cay Johnston
    Tax Transparency: Jane Sanders Claims Returns Released In ‘Every Election’

    Richard Tarrant, a successful medical software entrepreneur who ran against Sanders in 2006, told me that had he ever seen either the form 1040 or the complete tax return of Bernie and Jane Sanders, he would have reviewed the document carefully to learn all he could about their finances — and whether the tax return showed any political vulnerabilities in that race. Tarrant, who had a big interest in seeking the Sanders’ returns, said he never saw one.

    Michael Briggs, chief press spokesperson for the Sanders campaign, did not respond to questions I submitted in writing.

    The silence from Briggs is itself troubling, since his employer is campaigning as Mr. Transparency.

    Now there may well be nothing of consequence in the Sanders tax returns. But that is not the issue. Sanders is giving aid to those politicians who want to end the practice of disclosing tax returns, while marketing himself as a politician untainted by big donations and lobbyists.

    He needs to walk his talk.

    And meanwhile if anyone out there has an old Sanders tax return, please send it to me:

  5. rikyrah says:

    Why Mueller Has to Expose Trump’s Crooked Business Empire
    By Jonathan Chait

    President Trump has made it perfectly plain that he views any scrutiny of his finances as a mortal threat. Trump “was especially disturbed after learning [Robert] Mueller would be able to access several years of his tax returns,” the Washington Post reported last summer, and his allies have homed in on the theme that Trump’s finances are the room in the crime scene that Mueller should not go into because there is nothing to see there. “Mueller basically backdoored his way into every single Trump business deal,” complains Sean Hannity. “Mueller has the duty to investigate collusion, not Trump’s business deals. He will lose legitimacy if he strays from his mission,” insists former Bush press secretary Ari Fleischer.

    This weekend, the New York Times and the Washington Post published detailed investigations into the financial history Mueller is investigating. While carefully couching the findings within the bounds of the facts they were able to prove based on publicly available data, these reports made it perfectly clear that Trump’s business empire is not only dirty, but dirty in a way that leads directly into the national-security threat that produced Mueller’s investigation in the first place.


    A phrase that does not appear in the Post’s article, because the reporters cannot prove it, is “money laundering.” But money laundering is the suspicion hovering over all these curious purchases, and the reason the Post is devoting so many investigative resources to the subject in the first place. “This is all about money laundering,” Steve Bannon told Michael Wolff. “[Mueller’s] path to fucking Trump goes right through Paul Manafort, Don Jr. and Jared Kushner … It goes through Deutsche Bank and all the Kushner shit.”

    Money laundering would be criminal activity. If you are involved in criminal activity, you are subject to blackmail. And if the criminals who can blackmail you have connections to a foreign government — say, Russia — then that government has blackmail leverage. Ten years ago, Donald Trump Jr. casually said, “Russians make up a pretty disproportionate cross-section of a lot of our assets.” And as recently as 2014, Eric Trump told a reporter, “We don’t rely on American banks. We have all the funding we need out of Russia,” which is quite different than his current explanation that the Trump Organization does not require outside funding at all.

  6. rikyrah says:

    2006 matches when Cohen came into his orbit. And a book released next week says Cohen was hired as a favor to his father-in-law Fima Shusterman, who appears to have been a silent partner in Trump’s businesses. Cohen entered Trump world as a conduit for many from Russia/Ukraine.

    — Josh Marshall (@joshtpm) May 6, 2018

  7. rikyrah says:

    The most obvious question: there’s a big mismatch here between Trump’s net assets/net income versus the scale of his all-cash outlays. Does Trump have undeclared silent business partners in his post-2006 acquisitions? If so … who?

    — David Frum (@davidfrum) May 5, 2018

  8. rikyrah says:

    Trumpworld laundering Russian/Ukrainian money through US real estate contributes to unaffordable housing. Boom, there’s your campaign ad for any Democrats still worried about how to message Russiagate to pocketbook voters.

    — zeddy (@Zeddary) May 6, 2018

  9. rikyrah says:

    This may turn out to be the most important piece about Trump in a long time. Where he found hundreds of millions in cash, and why he’d take the risk of committing it in a decade of near-zero interest bank loans, are questions he will not want investigators to explore.

    — Barton Gellman (@bartongellman) May 6, 2018

  10. rikyrah says:

    Fahrenthold is at it again!!

    NEW: @realdonaldtrump has spent $400M+ in his own cash on property since ‘06, defying normal real-estate practices.

    — David Fahrenthold (@Fahrenthold) May 5, 2018

  11. rikyrah says:

    #GraduatingWhileBlack: University of Florida Apologizes for Pushing Black Graduates Off the Stage

    Yesha Callahan
    Today 7:41am

    Imagine waiting anxiously for four years to walk across the stage, give your family members a few seconds to get a good photo, or maybe a dab or two, during graduation, only to be pushed off the stage by an aggressive usher? That’s exactly what happened to black graduates at the University of Florida on Saturday.

    UF Twitter 🗣🗣

    Somebody please find out this employee’s name!! Every time a Black student took more than TWO seconds, he aggressively pushed them. Watch it for yourself. #ItsGreatUF

    — Chris (@ChicoFreedom) May 5, 2018

    As students graduated over the weekend, several videos were posted to social media that showed an unnamed usher literally pushing black students off the stage during their few seconds of joy.

    In an interview with the Gainesville Sun, one student, Oliver Telusma (seen in the GIF above), said he was grabbed and picked up, and rushed off the stage.

    “I had just started, and he picked me up and turned me around, which I thought was kind of embarrassing and degrading to be handled in that manner,” Telusma said.

    W. Kent Fuchs, the university’s president, issued an apology on Twitter and also during another commencement on Sunday: “During one of this weekend’s commencement ceremonies, we were inappropriately aggressive in rushing students across the stage. I personally apologize, and am reaching out to the students involved. The practice has been halted for all future ceremonies, and we will work to make sure all graduating students know we are proud of their achievements and celebrate with them their graduation.”

  12. rikyrah says:

    Pete Souza strikes again. 💀👀👀

    — Nerdy Wonka (@NerdyWonka) May 7, 2018

  13. rikyrah says:

    ‘I’m Not Black, I’m Kanye’

    Breathtaking masterpiece by Ta-Nehisi Coates.

    — Nerdy Wonka (@NerdyWonka) May 7, 2018

    Here’s Ta-Nehisi Coates on Kanye West championing a kind of freedom—”a white freedom, freedom without consequence, freedom without criticism, freedom to be proud and ignorant”—in the age of Donald Trump.

    — The Atlantic (@TheAtlantic) May 7, 2018

  14. rikyrah says:

    Trump manages to insult key US allies with remarks to the NRA
    05/07/18 09:21 AM
    By Steve Benen

    “Your Second Amendment rights are under siege,” Donald Trump told NRA members on Friday, “but they will never, ever be under siege as long as I’m your president.”

    That, of course, didn’t make a lick of sense, since the second half of the sentence contradicted the first. But it was that kind of appearance for the president in Dallas.

    Later in the speech, Trump said, “It seems that, if we’re going to outlaw guns, like so many people want to do … we are going to have to outlaw, immediately, all vans and all trucks, which are now the new form of death for the maniac terrorists.” What the president may not realize is that vans and trucks are heavily regulated; their operators are tested and licensed; there are extensive ownership and registration records; and van and truck owners are required to purchase insurance.

    Or put another way, perhaps Trump hasn’t thought through this analogy.

    But perhaps the most newsworthy element of the president’s remarks came when he reflected on conditions in London and Paris.

    “Paris, France has the toughest gun laws in the world. The president just left Washington – Emmanuel, great guy – nobody has guns in Paris, nobody.

    “And we all remember more than 130 people, plus tremendous numbers of people that were horribly, horribly wounded … they died in a restaurant and various other close-proximity places. They were brutally killed by a small group of terrorists that had guns. They took their time and gunned them down one by one – boom, come over here, boom, come over here, boom. If you were in those rooms, one of those people – and the survivors said it just lasted forever.

    “But, if one employee or just one patron had a gun, or if one person in this room had been there with a gun, aimed at the opposite direction, the terrorists would have fled or been shot. And it would have been a whole different story. I mean, right?”

  15. rikyrah says:

    Guiliani’s state of mind is very similar to trump’s. Both have a deep fear of loss of relevance. Constantly need accolades, most self-presented. Hatred of Hillary. No respect for the women in their lives. Fading competence, if they ever were competent. Sucks being them. Ugh.

    — @joboomr44 (@joboomr44) May 6, 2018

  16. rikyrah says:

    This is violence and trauma.

    The white people who keep on visiting these horrors on black people need to be sued.

    — Nerdy Wonka (@NerdyWonka) May 6, 2018

    • Liza says:


      Well, like I’ve been saying, Trump’s people (the replacements for those leaving) will always be worse than the batch preceding them. It will just keep getting worse until we are finally rid of this “presidency”.

  17. End this nightmare on America. LOCK the fraud up already.

  18. rikyrah says:

    Today show saying Melania’s First Lady project will be children’s welfare.

    Da phuq?

  19. rikyrah says:

    Forever FLOTUS 😍

    The 2016 Election made me concerned for women

  20. rikyrah says:

    Good Morning Everyone 😄😄😄

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