HUNGRY GHOSTS is a snapshot of work in progress, ca. August 2008. It's a work in progress because it's always a work in progress- every time I perform, there's a different vibe, a different energy- I react to the environment we live in: the mood of the day, the climate, and general well-being of the world... I asked my friend Phil Haynes to join me on a black box stage at Bucknell University where Heath helped me set up my gear to record some music that I'd been performing for the past year or so. Phil came loaded with 'instruments'- rubber balls, plastic bags, Buddhist bowls, even a bicycle- along with his well-tempered kit... We setup so we could face each other and be completely connected, then proceeded with a musical dialogue that spanned a couple of days. These notes are my remembrances of what we talked about, laughed about- the thoughts behind this collection of musical conversations. DREAM CATCHER was the first thing we played- it's a cleansing of the room, an exorcism of sorts, as we search for a beginning... The first time I heard the sound of my daughter's HEARTBEATS in a sonogram, I could hear all my hopes, dreams, fears and anxiety about her future... GUITAR HEROES has 5 sections: Yngwie Meets Malcolm, Voodoo Bach, Layla and the Madman, Keith Richards Partita and Wanker's Coda. I juxtapose Bach and Paganini with guitar riffs because it reminds me of practicing etudes and sonatas downstairs while my brothers listened to heavy metal upstairs. ODE TO JIMMY PAGE isa deconstruction of 'Whole Lotta Love'- I portray all of these guitar heroes as the hungry ghosts of Tibetan Buddhism- suffering from unquenchable thirst and hunger- the same desires that lead men to war, soldiers to their deaths. A life-changing experience for me was performing this piece and DIES IRAE, ELEGY FOR VICTIMS OF WAR, at the Washington Memorial in DC on Mother's Day, 2006 for Gold Star Families and friends gathered to honor their loved ones lost in combat... EXIT SIGNS, written for dancer Kelly Knox is about transitions- conception, birth, illness, death, as well as relocation and reinvention... IMPROV 412 is excerpted from my Heaven and Hell Wiki Performance Project where dancers, actors and artists vamp on their interpretations of heaven and hell... I took music theory three times at various times in my life, and all I can remember is that PARALLEL FIFTHS are 'forbidden', which inspired me the final track- the circle of parallel fifths form an orbiting loop, indifferent and continuous, as life flows on. -Ritsu Katsumata.