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Seasons Greetings
from the
Anglo-Japanese Society of Wessex

An Unincorporated Association

Honorary Patrons:
Alexander Rosenblatt, George Logan (Dr Evadne Hinge), Michael Soumei Coxall, Kazue Yanagida

Japan Representative:
Kazue Yanagida

Please see Links for more information on our patrons

Special Advisor:
Jackie Wright

Director:
Godfrey King

Web Site:
Phil Ronan, Steve Rice

Established 1996

'MUSIC AS A WHOLE'

Music school for children & adults with the
Alexander Technique

Ryoko Izutsu – Director
Piano & Alexander Technique teacher
E-mail: i...@musicasawhole.com
Web: www.musicasawhole.com/home
Mobile: +44 (0) 75 38188537

 

 

Printing services

For more than 5 years Kallkwik have looked after AJSW's printing needs for which we sincerely thank them

Special Features

YouTube Site

View all our Playlists and features

Annual Reviews

See Godfrey's Blog for AJSW Review 2013 / 2014 and previous years.

Click to view blog

Other blog categories:

Pascal's Triangle

Click to play video

Carol I Need You (click to play video)

See Pascal's Triangle feature on our Audio and Video Archive page.

Musician's Chapel Dedication

See the Musicians Chapel dedication January 2nd, 1955 on our Events page.

What we do

GODFREY KING (Director) AJSW REPRESENTATIVE IN UK
Contact: godf...@btinternet.com
KAZUE YANAGIDA (Honorary Patron) AJSW REPRESENTATIVE IN JAPAN
Contact: kazu...@yahoo.co.jp
柳田 和江(名誉パトロン)AJSW日本代表
連絡先:kazu...@yahoo.co.jp

Click here for biography

Audio and Video Archive

This page contains audio and video clips of interest to AJSW members.


Introduction

To highlight by vision and sound aspects of AJSW presentations and performances and relative to that, and reflections of entertainment and the world in general where appropriate to the interest of those involved in cultural understanding and friendship between Japan and Great Britain.


Pascal's Triangle Feature - An Appreciation by Godfrey King

If genius can be applied to anyone in the world of popular music then 'genius' should be applied to Steve Holtz lovingly supported by Aska, his Japanese born wife who happens to have one of the best voices I have heard currently in the English language. Sympathetic and often moving renditions of songs Steve has written or matching the voices of those singers she covers the songs of. Her understanding of the requirements of the recording techniques he employs are well above many singers world famous to-day. They came together through a common love of music and their relationship flowered to produce two much loved children. Pascal, who 'gave' the group his name, similarly developed eye problems that beset his father at such a young age which brought him to our shores.

Steve's genius is being able to produce the sounds that he hears of other recording artists and develop those of his own playing all the instruments and singing also...all you hear on these recordings, bar Aska's contributions, are Steve multi-tracking all at home in his own recording studio. The compositions, the musicianship, the balance of one instrument to the other which, if you listen properly, has so much going on behind the main settings that only a fertile and musical superior could have his hand in it. It would be difficult enough in a sighted person, that Steve overcomes his, as 'we' describe it, 'disability' to seemingly make it into an advantage would be beyond the contemplation of mere mortals who would settle for far less and deem it to be their lot to be so afflicted and withdraw into a distant and blinkered world.

They were first brought to my attention over 10 years ago when I was living in the West Country. I organised some live performances for them...they did organise their own performances but in clubs that did not appreciate how good they were and how good they could be as performers. I did my best to be supportive but had no links that could manipulate an entry into the mainstream of popular music so almost gave up. But I moved to London and possibilities developed that encouraged me to do what I could once again. As our web site reached a wider public and as its presentation got better and better over the years I thought we could again bring Steve and Aska to a wider public and hope this presentation causes someone, somewhere to help bring them the acclaim they deserve.

As Steve said himself "Maybe the recordings are a little out of date now". Well.....I hear the originals they cover still played on the radio and their original compositions never sound out of date to me.

So...read below what Steve and Aska say about themselves...their story and listen to the myriad recordings we have put together......all you hear is Steve and Aska. Remember that as its easy to forget.

Steve: I was born in Port Louis, Mauritius. I came to England for treatment on eye tumours which resulted in my becoming totally blind. I attended visually impaired boarding schools from the age of 3 to 18. While at school, my greatest interest was music. I took classical piano exams and obtained grade 8 with distinction at the age of 15, by which time I had started to write both classical and pop music. My other main subject of interest was maths, and after my A-levels I went to Nottingham University, where I obtained a first class honours maths degree. From there I worked as a scientist at government communications headquarters in Cheltenham (GCHQ). I resigned in 1998 to take up a full-time career in music. My job is now performing, writing, recording and producing music. My hobbies include football, cricket, chess, swimming and going out to restaurants!

Aska: I was born in Japan, and was brought up there. During my schooling my greatest interests were music and drama. I was involved in the theatre, singing, acting and Japanese traditional Koto music from an early age. While at high school I went to Australia as part of a youth choir to perform in a concert in Brisbane. This was my first experience of performing abroad. I came to England to learn English and drama. It was while studying and performing with the Everyman Youth Theatre in Cheltenham that I met Steve and we started performing and recording music together. My hobbies are shopping and going to the theatre.

PASCAL'S TRIANGLE: We give concerts at various times during the year, performing a mixture of classical music, songs from shows and pop music. This includes our own compositions, works from shows such as The Sound Of Music, Oliver, Jesus Christ Superstar, Les Miserables, and pop music by artists such as Lennon & McCartney, Diana Ross, Joni Mitchell, Carol King, Elton John, Robbie Williams, Rufus Wainwright.

Pascal's Triangle Sample Recordings

  1. Steve Holtz piano tracks

    Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

  2. Pascal's Triangle's Cover Versions

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  3. Pascal's Triangle's Original Compositions

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For enquiries or to purchase recordings please visit http://www.ptriangle.co.uk/

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The Promised Land


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There Are Days


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Can You Tell Me

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Somebody's Child


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Where Is Love


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Carol I Need You




Tribute to Deanna Durbin

(Click on name to show biography)

Deanna Durbin was born Edna Mae Durbin in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada on December 4th 1921 and passed away at the end of April  2013 aged 91 in the French village she lived in since 1950, Neauphile-le-Chateau.  Her passing was as private as she wanted her life to be ever since she retired from acting and singing in 1949 after a career stretching from 1936 in a film with Judy Garland and signing with Universal Film Studios the same year and credited with saving them from Bankruptcy.

After she retired she resisted all offers to come out of retirement. She appeared in films with some of the leading actors and musicians of the era...including with Leopold Stokowsky. She sang pop standards to operatic arias and her voice range was that of a lyric soprano. Her films and recordings inspired many to hope for a better future at a time when the world was ravaged by War and conflicts. She was the highest earnng woman in the USA in 1947.

Having been born too young to appreciate her and the pile of 78rpm recordings of hers I still possess, that came with age as so many things we all come to appreciate do.

I take this opportunity to thank her on behalf of so many and for myself. Deanna Durbin's legacy will live on and inspire others and I hope you will enjoy this little tribute and it will lead you to learn more about a very special artist.

More can be learnt through wikpedia at:-  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deanna_Durbin

Godfrey King   R.I.P Deanna.

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Ave Maria


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Tosca


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Night and Day


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Danny Boy


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Loch Lomond


Kotono Sato

(Click on name to show biography)

Kotono Sato is an AJSW Honorary Patron who has appeared on our TV screens and heard on DVD's and CDs as well as having a busy touring schedule with many stars of showbiz as well as retaining her classical music training for orchestral work. Her training at the RAM led on to apperances at the Royal Variety Show and Buckingham Palace. Some clips from her appearances below include the 2012 French Fashion Firm 'Etam' Lingerie Show (Kotono violinist on the left of the screen) as entertaining as any on our TV screens currently.. A show both for the ladies and gentlemen and those that appreciate the sirens of the 1980?s disco era. Gloria Gaynor sang ‘I’ll Survive’ back then and here is the proof….and how! For Kotono yet one more wonderful memory to add to her remarkable list of musical achievments and hilights. Also a promo from 2012 of her 'Siren Quartet' and with her string ensemble for an Alison Moyet live recording DVD.

More information on Kotono on our Links page.

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Damon Albarn


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Valerie


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Siren String Quartet Promo 2012


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Etam Lingerie Show


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Alison Moyet - Satellite


Remember to visit our YouTube site AngloJapaneseSociety for more video clips.