Timothi Michael Hoffman, a US-born expert on Asian music, is an ethnomusicologist (one who approaches music as a social process in order to understand not only what music is but why it is). He has made Japan his home for the past 29 years. He told Hindustan Times that he prefers to call himself an activist involved in research and development (R&D) in intra-Asian music.
He encourages musicians to explore new dimensions from the rich traditions of India, Japan, and Sinhalese music. He says that Indian and Japanese music is based on melody and gradually moves one into ecstasy.
Hoffman, who has mastered the shakuhachi and the koto, tries to blend the classical music of India and Japan. He says that the musical traditions and instruments of these nations focused attention on melody and rhythm, building around harmony.
“There are immense similarities in Indian and Japanese classic music and languages and I am trying to explore its depths. I am trying to use the platform of the Indo-Japanese Musical Exchange Association to connect the sound of music and language as my bit for the message of peace,” said Hoffman, founder-director of the association.
Hoffman is a visiting professor in four Japanese universities where he teaches Indian music. Hoffman has authored raga for the shakuhachi and the koto and other works in Japanes. He has also written numerous articles in various journals in Japan and India, and translated fiction and poetry and scholarly works published by Unesco and other prestigious publications.