Another 10 weeks travelling Japan, tabla in hand, from friend to friend and concert to concert. What a wonderful experience. Living as a free spirit, with nothing more than what I can carry, playing beautiful music with beautiful people in beautiful places, and lots of breaks for onsens!
Many thanks to all my hosts in Japan: Kousuke and Reiko, Hiro Minamizawa, Alex, Hana and Sky (Kyoto), Hotel Green Plaza in Umeda (thanks to Mari Komuro), Nobi and Aya (Osaka), the folks at the World Flutes Festival (Kobe), Jimi Miyashita (Gifu), Kenta (Nagoya), Maya Muga Moeran (Zushi), Yuki-chan and Mrs Taniguchi (Kamakura), Chris (Greenhouse), Taro and Yuriko (Chiba), Bon-jin-san (Niigata), Amigo's mother (Fukuoka), Cafe Rinya (Kumamoto), Kubota-san (Nishihara), Ryuji (Yatsuhiro), Yuki-nee (Sasayama) and last but not least Tadao Ishihama (Osaka).
Many thanks also to my co-performers: Yasuhiro Minamizawa (sitar - Ayabe), Mari Komuro (santoor - Osaka, Nagoya), Carlos Guerra (bansuri), Yuji Nakagawa (sarangi) and Tokko Nakamura (tamboura) (Kyoto, Greenhouse), Nobi (sitar - Osaka twice), Taro Terahara (bansuri - Kobe, Tokyo, Niigata), Koki Yoshida (sitar - Gifu Sangeet Mela, Nagoya), Yoshida Daikichi (sitar) and U-Zhaan (tabla) (Gifu Sangeet Mela), Nobuo Sugimoto (sitar - Nagoya), Scan Shishino (guitar), Takuya Abe (drums), Masa Mbira Zvakanaka Sakurai (mbira), Ed Durbrow (lute) and Cai (drum/piano duo) (Greenhouse), Atsuko Maeda (Kathak dance - Tokyo), Hide Iwai (sitar) and Tomomi Shinkai (Kathak dance) (Kyushu) and especially for the unexpected bonus gig on my last night in Japan, Gina Sala (healing vocals - Osaka).
Thanks also to the musicians who gave of their time and hospitality to play music with me: Kousuke Matsumoto (tabla - Kyoto), Yasu Fujibayashi (sarod - Kyoto), Hiro Okazaki (tabla - Osaka), Setsuo "Jimi" Miyashita (santoor), Mata Prasad Mishra and Dinesh Chandra (tabla, post Sangeet Mela), Michiro Kimura (sitar - Nagoya), Maya Muga Moeran (keyboards, tabla - Zushi), Tomoki Ikeda (tabla - Tokyo), Yuki Taniguchi (mantra, bhajan, harmonium - Kamakura), Yuki-nee (mbira - Sasayama, Hyogo), Tadao Ishihama (sitar - Osaka).
I'm so grateful for learning so much from playing with all these people.
Thanks also to the hard-working organisers (and venues), Kousuke Matsumoto (Ohgiya Kaikotei), Kawaguchi-san (Senkoji Temple, Osaka), Nobi (Pangea Cafe, Ayuttaya Cafe), World Flutes Festival, Setsuo "Jimi" Miyashita (Sangeet Mela), Mari Komuro (Yuasa, Space-ji), Chris and Futaba (Greenhouse), Japan Asia Fine Arts Association, Taro Terahara (Otoya-Kintoki), Yuriko Terahara, Atsuko Maeda, Funabashi City, Rie-san (Ginzan-ji, Niigata), Hide Iwai, Kubota-san, Kira-Kira, Yatsuhiro Temple and Yuki Iwata of Amrita Media.
And of course thanks to all the folks who came to listen to, enjoy and support our music!
Much gratitude to God, Guru-ji, Mum and Dad, and the spirit of tabla for giving me the opportunities to have this kind of life.
Sincere apologies if there's anyone I've missed.
I slept in 19 places, performed at 25 events with 21 musicians, and jammed with another dozen, altogether accompanying 14 different instruments, in 12 prefectures from Niigata to Kumamoto, in only 10 weeks!