Award-winning new age maestro Kitaro will perform in Genting Highlands. Subhadra Devan talks to the man of peace

NEW age music took on new meaning once Kitaro’s combination of electronic and acoustic sounds, mellow music and repeating chords came into the centrestage.

With 17 Grammy nominations since 1987, and a Grammy Best New Age award in 1999 for Thinking of You, the Japanese artiste can safely state he has created a unique, signature sound for his brand of music.

The message has always been world peace, says the 64-year-old, whose real name is Masanori Takahashi. “There is no need to fight each other,” he succinctly said in an interview.

And that is the same theme on his latest album, The Sacred Journey of Ku-Kai series, now Volume 5, also nominated for a Best New Age Grammy at this year’s 60th Grammy Awards, of which the results will be announced on Jan 28.

Sacred Journey of Ku-Kai Volume 5 follows the acclaimed Volumes 1 through 4 of the series, all Grammy nominated, which rose after the fateful event of Sept 11, 2001, when two planes crashed into New York City's Twin Towers.

He envisioned the Ku-Kai series as a means of uniting the world through music. Ku-Kai was an enlightened Japanese monk who, among others, devised the 88 temple pilgrimage of Shikoku.

“Each album of the Sacred Journey of Ku-Kai is meant to depict a different area, dialect and lifestyle that Ku-Kai travelled through.

“For example, Volume 4 represents the Kochi prefecture and Volume 5 is the Ehime prefecture,” he said.

Kitaro added: “One of the things that I found and realised on my journey through the temples was that each prefecture was unique in its own right; however they all seem to have a common thread through Ku-Kai’s perspective. Hence, the Sacred Journey of Ku-Kai series is my attempt to show the connection.”

It has been six years since Kitaro last performed in Malaysia. Set for a Christmas Eve show tonight in Arena of Stars, Resorts World Genting in Genting Highlands, organised by Star Planet, Kitaro said: “With this tour, we are bringing a new project, Kojiki And The Universe. This is my latest performance, which combines music with provocative and inspiring visuals to provide a more immersive experience to my music and the show. I hope everyone will enjoy it as much as I have creating it.

“The audience needs to do nothing, that’s my job! Just come and experience the creation of music. I promise this show will be unique!” he said enthusiastically.

Fans can expect to be treated to a unique experience where time-lapse images are expertly intertwined with real-time films provided by and in cooperation with Nasa and Kyoto University.

The Kojiki & The Universe Live Tour began in April this year in California and has since gone on to major cities around the world.

On plans for collaboration with J-rock, K-pop or any other artistes in future albums or even shows, he replied in the negative.

“I don’t have any plans to work with J-pop or K-pop artistes for now. However, I am always looking for singers who have amazing voices. Perhaps, you just gave me an idea of a future concert!” he added.

On advice to aspiring musicians today, he says: “Regarding music today, many people try to make money out of music. I never focused on money when I first started. I focused on creating beautiful music and I believe this is what led to my success.”

He further added: “Don’t forget that music is created and has always been created to be beautiful."

His best memory of Malaysia so far? “Ever since my first trip to Malaysia, I have always enjoyed my stays so it is difficult to pick just one out of many memorable moments. Every time I come, we have a great experience and create wonderful music. I am sure this time will be no difference. No difference at all.”


The Kojiki & The Universe Live Tour

When: Dec 24 at 10pm

Where: Arena of Stars, Genting Highlands, Pahang

Tickets from RM138.

Call 03-9223 3667 (Star Planet), 03-9222 8811 (TicketCharge), 03-2718 1118 (Genting).

Details at and

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