Tuesday, September 22, 2009


After my sojourn at the Greenhouse, I headed off to Nagoya for a concert with santoor player Mari Komuro, a very experienced student of maestro Pt Shiv Kumar Sharma. It was a daytime concert at Meito Playhouse, a proper concert hall - not too many chances to play in such venues for us musicians out on the Indian Classical fringe. My time in Nagoya was strange and brief: the friend who had offered to put me up had gotten the date wrong, so after an hour on the phone trying to contact everyone I knew in Nagoya, another friend recommended the cheap but very friendly guesthouse Otohaya Bessou. Thanks Koki.

Shen and Mari Komuro at Meito Playhouse

From Nagoya to Kyoto, my old home town when I was living in Japan in 2002-03. Last year I had only 1 concert in Tokyo and a whole bunch around Kansai, but this year it's the opposite: I couldn't get any gigs in Kansai, but I still wanted to visit my friends there, especially as I was already booked to visit Nagoya. So in the end a couple of friends booked a yoga space (Mysore Kyoto) and I invited sarod player Sagar (aka Yasu Fujibayashi) to join me for an informal gathering of a few friends and friends of friends. Yasu is a very emotional and powerful musician, and the concert was captivating. Thanks so much to Andrew, Alex and Yasu for getting this together.

Shen with Sagar (sarod), plus the new Mrs Fujibayashi, Ganga on tamboura. 

Sky, the son of my Kyoto hosts Alex and Hana, playing tabla with great hands. 4 years old, my youngest student!

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