Sunday, April 29, 2012

Tokyo concerts part 1

After a successful and enjoyable few days in Kansai, Yuki and I took an overnight bus to reach Tokyo in time for a special live TV appearance with Taro Terahara on NHK-BS1 program "Hotto @ Asia". Taro was being interviewed as part of a series of features on different Indian classical musicians in Japan. It was an interesting day - rehearsal, makeup, then live show including 3 minutes of music. Check it out on Youtube.

Shen, Taro and Fumie (tanpura) with the Hotto @ Asia hosts

The following weekend (April 20-22) I had a few concerts, firstly with father-and-son sitar duo Koro and Rei Ito, at regular world music venue Otoya-Kintoki. Koro-san greeted me by saying "Japan's radiation is very high!" and later asked me to give a message to "all of Japan" (although there were just 8 people listening!). What could I say? There should be more vocal political opposition to nuclear power here.

The next night I joined Taro again to accompany Kathak dancer Atsuko Maeda in a dance studio in Meiji-Jingu-Mae, near Shibuya. It's been a few years since I accompanied Kathak (last time being with Atsuko-san on Tenzin's first Japan tour in 2009), and it was very enjoyable going through those dance rhythms again. Yuki and I will be accompanying Atsuko at a concert in Tokyo on May 5 and again at Dance of Shiva in Izu on May 20.

Then on the Sunday Yuki Taniguchi gave a nada yoga workshop at Rakudoan in Kanda, Tokyo, followed by our concert. We played almost 2 hours of music, starting with Yuki's mantras, followed by Dhrupad in Raga Yaman (alap and chautaal), various bhajans and kirtans, and finally tabla solo.

This weekend I had 2 concerts, firstly back at Otoya-Kintoki, this time with Afghani music group Chalpasah. It was lovely to accompany beautiful Afghani music, as well as to play some Indian classical music with Taro as always.

Then last night I joined my old friend TC Deane at jazz/rock/blues venue Someday in Futamatagawa (near Yokohama). TC and I first met when I was living in Tokyo back in 2005 and the last time we properly played together was at that time, also at Someday. We had some really beautiful improvisations and the audience, only one of whom had ever seen tabla before, seemed quite profoundly affected. TC has uploaded some audio from the concert to his soundcloud page. Thanks TC.

Remaining concerts on my Japan tour:

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