Patrick and Eien Project
This project began with two like-minded musicians looking to create original music inspired by our collectively expansive musical backgrounds. We aim to explore sounds that excite us and music that move us without concern of how our music should be categorized. Our work is influenced by jazz, Japanese folk music, Persian music, Indian classical music, funk, European classical music, and much more. The instrumentation includes vibraphone, frame drums, taiko drums, cymbals, bamboo flutes, and an array of small percussion instruments.
Over a two decade career based in Montreal, Canadian multi-percussionist Patrick Graham has been described as a “master improviser… on the border of several forms of traditional and creative music, embracing the world of rhythm as a whole” (Le Devoir). Patrick displays a talent for fusing an eclectic array of influences- ranging from Japanese percussion, through Indian and Irish rhythms, to Mediterranean frame drumming- as a well as a passion for new sounds and improvisation. This unique cross-genre approach is reflective of an extensive and ongoing study of the art of percussion, including a Bachelor of Music from McGill University in Montreal, as well as private training in several countries with Trichy Sankaran, Glen Velez, Carlo Rizzo, Zohar Fresco, Taichi Ozaki and others. In addition, Patrick has attended workshops and master classes at the Banff Centre for the Arts, Simon Fraser University, the Labyrinth centre in Crete and participated in the Taiko Koh-Kan workshops conducted by the group Kodō, on Sado Island in Japan.
Patrick performs, tours and records regularly with Trifolia, Constantinople, Small World Project, Thomas Carbou, On Ensemble, Kaoru Watanabe, and many more. Collaborations of note include projects with Autorickshaw, Ganesh Anandan, La Nef, the Penderecki String Quartet, Jesse Stewart, David Greenberg, Yves Lambert, Le Vent du Nord, Ramasutra, Tetsuro Naito, Kohei Nishikawa, Solorazaf, Peter Herbert, Carlo Rizzo, Pierre Hamon, Kudsi Erguner, Michel Baklouk Merhej, and Ablaye Cissoko. Patrick has worked with dancer-choreographers Hideo Arai, Tomomi Morimoto, and Roger Sinha, recorded soundtracks for Michel Cusson, Ramachandra Borcar, and Benoit Charest, as well as contributing to productions by IMAX, Cirque du Soleil and Ubisoft Games. Alongside a busy performing and recording schedule, Patrick is also active as an instructor, teaching percussion and rhythm workshops in Canada, the USA, India, China and Japan, as well as for the Cirque du Soleil.
In 2009, Patrick released his first self-produced solo CD, 'Rheō', featuring genre-bending original music for an array of percussion instruments and a number of outstanding guests: Ben Grossman, Debashis Sinha, Nicholas Williams, Kaoru Watanabe, and On Ensemble. The recording was picked as one of the top 13 albums of the year by the CBC Radio 2 program 'The Signal'. Patrick Graham is an endorser of Cooperman Drums.
Eien Hunter-Ishikawa is a musician, educator, and composer based in Portland, Oregon specializing in drumset, taiko, and shinobue. Born in Japan, his passion for drumming started at an early age through the involvement of a youth taiko ensemble directed by Saburo Mochizuki, a founding member of Tokyo’s pioneering taiko ensemble Sukeroku Daiko. He earned his Bachelor of Music Education at Central Michigan University, where he performed, recorded, and toured as a member of the Robert Hohner Percussion Ensemble under the direction of the late Robert Hohner, and earned his Master of Music at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. During his time in Honolulu, Eien performed and toured extensively as a member of the Kenny Endo Taiko Ensemble throughout the United States and Europe and taught classes at the Taiko Center of the Pacific, a school of traditional and contemporary taiko. He continues his studies of the traditional Japanese music forms Edo Bayashi (festival music of old Tokyo) and Edo Kotobuki Jishi (lion dance of old Tokyo) through master musician and dancer Kyosuke Suzuki.
Eien performs traditional Japanese music and jazz in his vibraphone-shakuhachi duet with Bruce Huebner, and is a member of contemporary taiko quartet On Ensemble. He has collaborated with Alcvin Ryuzen Ramos (shakuhachi), Colleen Lanki (dance, voice), Vancouver Intercultural Orchestra, Hiroshi Yamaguchi (tsugaru shamisen), Naomi Sato (sho), Michael O'Neill's bagpipe ensemble Mearingstone, John Kaizan Neptune (shakuhachi), and Vancouverʼs Silk Road Music.
Eien has performed at the North American Taiko Conference, Chico World Music Festival, Vancouver’s Powell Street Festival, Vancouver International Jazz Festival, Dancing on the Edge Festival, Hawaii International Taiko Festival, Honolulu International Jazz Festival, and the Detroit Montreux Jazz Festival. As an active instructor of percussion, taiko, and shinobue, he has presented workshops at the North American Taiko Conference, World Taiko Gathering, Taiko Baka Gathering, Fue of the Bay, Pacific Northwest Regional Taiko Gathering, and Asano Taiko US. In addition to his work in a wide variety of artistic collaborations, Eien offers private lessons, online instruction, and workshops.