Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Shizuoka with Dr. Chandrakant Sardeshmukh

Diamonds and Sitar
I've just returned to
The Greenhouse after spending the weekend in Shizuoka for a performance with Dr. Chandrakant Sardeshmukh. We were performing at the Century Hotel as part of an exhibition showcasing Indian jewellery, organised by the Taj Group under the auspices of 2007 Indo-Japan Friendship Year. Quite a big do - diamonds everywhere. We played two 10 minute sets, and were followed by an Indian dancer. A bit of fun, a decent wage and a good experience with some nice people - Chandrakant and his wife Pooja. Had a reasonable "Viking lunch" - the Japanese term for a buffet - think Smorgasbord and it makes sense.

Shen and Dr. Sardeshmukh perform in Shizuoka

Shen in Shizuoka

On the Chuo Line back to Takasitar's place in Hachioji, I became a pillow for both my neighbours. Omoshirokatta. 面白かった。

Following the concert in Shizuoka City, I caught a local train to Kakegawa City in western Shizuoka, to meet sitar player
Nobuo Sugimoto. He is a long-time student of Amit Roy, a major father-figure in Indian classical music in Japan. (Amit Roy is also Taro Terahara's guru-ji.) We had only previously met once, about 3 years ago at a Calcutta Night in Osaka, and I'd never heard him play although I'd heard his reputation. Very nice. I had a great time with him and his wife Shoko. 杉本さんとしょこさん、ありがとうございました!

On the way between Chichibu and Shizoka, I stopped off at my friend Taka Kurihara aka Takasitar in Hachoji. He is also a lovely sitar player and also a good singer, and not only that he's an excellent producer - in fact I like his music so much I'm selling his fantastic CD Jantar Night on my website. Lots of fun practice there, plus some great coffee at his wife Kei's shop, Khazana Coffee. (Actually I don't drink coffee but I want to give them a plug.) たかさんとけいちゃん、ありがとうございました!

This weekend we're hoping to have a party at the Greenhouse before I leave for various travels around the country. Not sure how many will come though.... Next weekend I've got the Dance of Shiva party in the onsen area of Izu, after which I'll be back at Taro's for a week in Chiba. Then Osaka, Kyoto, Kyushu, Nagasaki, Kyoto, Tokyo,

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