Poston, Arizona was the site of a World War II concentration camp holding 20,000 Japanese Americans, including most of the San Diego J.A. community. During the course of the struggle to win reparations, I met many of these internees and was greatly moved by their stories. This album is an acknowledgement of my debt to their spirit. Poston Sonata was originally written for shamisen, flute, string trio, piano and percussion, but the piano / shamisen duet here works quite nicely. The first movement is in song from. The third is a theme and variations. The second and fourth movements are extended forms featuring Lilian Nakano on shamisen. I am honored to work with a master artist of her caliber. Her experience as an internee at the Heart Mountain and Jerome camps lends an added significance to her participation in this project. The remaining selections were previously recorded with larger ensembles for my Asian Improv and Soul Note releases.
I would like to thank Lilian for her invaluable contribution to this project, musically and otherwise. Also to Jon Jang, James Newton, and Francis Wong for their support and encouragement at critical times. Thanks to San Diego Community Foundation, San Diego Japanese American Citizen League, KSDS-FM, San Diego County Fujinkai, North San Diego Buddhist Temple, and Dr. Mits Tomita for supporting the composition and premiere of the Poston Sonata, and to the Musicians Collective and Little Tokyo Service Center for providing opportunities for Lilian and I to develop the piece as a duo. Thanks also to Stuart Iwasaki for his gracious assistance, and to my parents, Akira and Elizabeth Horiuchi for financially supporting this project. Finally, thanks to my wife Edna for her assistance, patience and love.
– Glenn Horiuchi