Friday, October 09, 2009

Gifu Sangeet Mela 2009

Gifu Sangeet Mela is a yearly all-night Indian classical music and dance event held in Horado village, Gifu prefecture, Japan. Last year's Mela was a big success and this year's event had an even more illustrious lineup, with a whole bunch of international artists. Unfortunately I think the promotions for this year's event were a bit late, because numbers were way down on previous years, but that did little to dispel the feelings of camaraderie amongst the artists. This is very much a music conference, like India's Dover Lane, All India, and other gatherings of musicians from around the country. The artists gather together to hear and get inspired by each other, and just to have some fun together. The event is dedicated to the goddess of music, Saraswati, and I really felt this time that it's like a puja, and that staying up from start to end is an act of devotion bringing many blessings.

Congratulations once again Jimi-san! (Thanks to Yuki Taniguchi for all the photos.)

Goddess Saraswati-ma watched over the proceedings

7.15pm: Opening ceremony by local Taiko group, 美濃の國高賀山太鼓(洞戸)

7:52pm: Opening Indian classical item, Kathak dance by Atsuko Maeda, accompanied by Takaaki "Maha" Kuno (ghatam), Yasuhiro Minamizawa (sitar), Shree (vocal)

8:41pm: Sangeet Mishra (sarangi - Mumbai/Varanasi) with Ashwini Kumar Mishra (tabla - resident in Kobe) performing Raga Vachaspati

10:03pm: Satoshi and Sachie Tatsumi (Bharat Natyam dance)

11:19pm: Mata Prasad Mishra with son Rudra Shankar Mishra (Kathak dance)

1:32am: Baul singer Satyananda Das with Hori Dasi and Mabo-san

1:59am: Daya Tomiko (Bharat Natyam) doing a Saraswati pose

3:50am: Yoshida Daikiti (sitar) accompanied by Shen Flindell (tabla)
This was our first ever duo performance (our first performance was in a jugalbandi last year), and was very very enjoyable!

4:31am: Jai Bajrang percussion ensemble - Tetsuya Kaneko (pakhawaj), Mata Prasad Mishra (tabla), Takaaki "Maha" Kuno (ghatam), accompanied by Keisuke Muto (sitar)

5:21am: Carlos Guerra (bansuri) accompanied by Shen Flindell (tabla)
Such a sweet Chandrakauns, perhaps my best ever accompaniment for Carlos-ji.

6:12am: Yasuhiro Minamizawa (sitar) accompanied by Mata Prasad Mishra (tabla)

7:24am: Steve Oda (sarod) accompanied by U-Zhaan (tabla)
Wow. So beautiful. Ahir Bhairav followed by Bhairavi, in memory of Steve's late guru-ji, Ustad Ali Akbar Khan. The best accompaniment I've ever seen from U-Zhaan. So many tears were shed on listening to this Bhairavi. Taro (on tamboura) was just about blubbering.

4pm: After-party in a nearby hall. 皆様、おつかれさまでした!
In this photo, everyone is listening to 1 year old Suisho banging on taiko and chanting oo-ba-ba! Ba-ba TOM, Ba-ba TOM! Kya baat hai!!!

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