recess radio program

    by John Cech

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"Sakura, Sakura" that describes their beautiful (and all-too-fleeting) flowers. Listen closely, and you can hear the blossoms falling:

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This is Aiko Shimada singing and Elizabeth Falconer playing the Koto on a tranquil, meditative recording called Oyasumi -- Goodnight -- an award winning collection of "Japanese Lullabies" on the Koto World label. There perhaps are few more soothing combinations of sounds for the weary soul, young or old, than those on this recording. It won't matter if you don't understand the lyrics (though you can find them all on the Koto World website). The gentle quality of Ms. Shimada's voice will carry the ready-to-be-dreaming-one on its cloudy layers.

And it won't matter if you find the melodies, and the koto work of Ms. Falconer unusual. Her simple intricacies will win you over, note by note, and by their slow accumulations, they teach you how to listen to them.

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The process can't be rushed. And that is the beauty of it, and these songs, songs that can take you sailing on Umi, the vast sea, under the rabbit moon that is glowing silver as you glide upon it.

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Copyright 2007 John Cech

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April 2007
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"Recess!" is a co-production of the University of Florida's Center for Children's Literature and Culture and WUFT-FM, "Classic 89."