Extended Profile for Adam Catt

Adam was born in Texas and began the guitar at age fifteen, playing electric guitar in a band led by the talented songwriter Cameron Pershall. At this time, he began to play original compositions, including experimental/noise music. Drawn to the depth of jazz harmony and to players like Ted Greene, Adam began experimenting with playing with the fingers rather than a pick. This led to some interesting discoveries, but it was a guitar concert given by the late Charles Hammer that would inspire Adam to pursue "classical" music. He was amazed by the rich textures and mesmerizing power that a single guitar could wield and began lessons with Charles.

Adam majored in music at Antioch College, studying under the gifted musicologist John Rinehart and the guitarist Lawrence Pitzer. At this time, Adam began seriously practicing Zen meditation, seeking a deeper foundation on which to base his music-making. From his second year at college, he was fortunate to have lessons with the talented guitarist Kevin Mulhall and gave a successful senior recital at Antioch College in 2000. In his third year of college, Adam came to Japan to study Zen. As he continued his training at Zen monasteries in Japan and the US, Adam began to envision combining his pursuit of music and Zen.

After graduating, Adam came back to Japan to pursue music and meditation. He was graced with the encounter with Keigo Fujii, a highly-knowledgeable musician and composer. Fujii's playing, with its rich tone and skillful use of the guitar's best qualities, came as a breath of fresh air to Adam. Studying with Fujii, Adam refined his technique and his way of thinking about music. Also at this time, Adam was living at the monastery of Kennin-ji, following the morning meditation schedule along with the monks.

At present, Adam is working with his college roommate Yujiro Komatsu, with whom he started the Maneki Neko project. He also performs solo and in ensemble with other instruments, including the Chinese harp. Adam feels that:

The pursuit of music and meditation is a process of returning to a natural state--a relaxed state where one started from.

At present, he is working on his master's degree in Buddhist Studies at Otani University, conducting research on meditation.

Other interests: Footbag, juggling, languages