Monday, February 07, 2011

Traditional Music from Japan

We also went to a concert of Japanese traditional music in St. Ann's Church on Dawson Street. This had people playing shakuhachi flutes and the biwa (kind of like an east Asian banjo). The biwa came across as a particularly odd instrument, played with a giant plectrum that made as much noise being struck off the instrument as it did playing the strings. The musicians were a mix of Japanese and Irish people. I think my favourite was the Irish biwa player, who really went for it in terms of clothing and adopting that really intense singing voice I associate with Japanese traditional music (even when people are singing about beautiful cherry blossoms falling, everything seems like Such A Big Deal). That said, my favourite individual piece might have been the one for twin shakuhachis that was meant to evoke the sound of deer calling to each other. Anyway, an enjoyable concert – and free! That truly is music to my ears in these troubled economic times.

An inuit panda production

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