The Japanese Connection

My buddy, guitarist Brian Hughes, toured with the Chieftain’s in Japan as a gap act with Loreena McKennitt. He then went on to carry out with the Chieftains in North America and Europe once they have been selling their album Santiago. In Japan they performed about ten exhibits between Tokyo and Osaka, primarily at tender seat classical live performance halls. The seating ranged from 1500 to 4000 capability. They have been booked via the agent Plankton who focuses on Celtic music. Though the audiences have been enthusiastic Brian felt that traditional Japanese music was nonetheless a distinct segment market in Japan.

Celtic Music and Conventional Japanese Music: A Comparability

In the event you hearken to most of the conventional Japanese folks melodies they’ve a bittersweet high quality that’s much like conventional Celtic music. The Japanese minor pentatonic scale is totally different from the western one however some phrases particularly once they go into the most important may simply be bits of Irish or Scottish folks songs. In the event you have a look at the standard transverse folks flute the shinobue, it’s actually not that totally different from the fife, or Irish flute by way of fingering. The strategy of sliding and taping with the whistle or the shinobue are additionally comparable.

The place to Discover Celtic Music in Japan

The foremost labels in Japan all have Celtic music underneath license and CDs can be found as imports. A good distributor of Irish music in Japan is an organization known as Music Plant. I believe they in all probability are affiliated with Plankton. JVC (Japan Victor Company) straight signed the group ANAM. They’ve recorded two albums for JVC and have toured Japan 3 times. A gifted younger musician from England, Tim Edey who performed button accordion on my newest album Celtic Heartland simply joined the group just lately. There was an organization in Tokyo known as Trinity who was specializing in importing conventional Celtic CDs however I’m not positive they’re nonetheless in operation. Brian Cullen an Irishman from Wicklow now residing in Nagoya has his personal label for advertising his personal materials known as Celtic Otter music and he has revealed collections of ballads.

There’s a Celtic competition held yearly in Tokyo at Ryutsu Middle. They’ve music and dance performances, trend exhibits, arts and crafts exhibitions and seminars and workshops.

There is a corporation known as CCE Japan that gives classes for many Irish devices in addition to Set Dance and Gaelic. CCE Japan is the Japanese department of Comhaltas Ceoltoiri Eireann, an affiliation for selling

Japanese Musicians Specializing in Irish Devices

There are some fairly achieved Japanese Celtic musicians. Isao Moriyasu, who started as a classical recorder participant, now focuses on Irish flutes. He lectures at Kunitachi Music School and has written a ebook on Irish music. He usually performs together with his spouse Masako who performs Celtic harp, concertina and bodhran. Mayumi Nagaura who’s a member of The Rising Pints, additionally has her personal group known as BIRD. She is a extremely good accordion, tin whistle and bodhran participant. She has inspired many different Japanese to be taught Irish devices.

Western Celtic Musicians in Japan

There are just a few musicians who’ve fashioned teams with overseas and Japanese members. Examples embody the Rising Pints and the now defunct Eye Want in addition to a bunch in Sendai known as Callanish.

The Pub Circuit in Japan

There are a lot of Irish pubs in Japan reminiscent of Dubliners, O’Carolan’s, The Pint, The Warrior Celt, Shamrock that often have music. Irish pubs all have common periods as nicely. As a result of lease is at a premium significantly within the main cities like Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya and Kyoto the venues are smaller than you’ll count on in America or Europe. Like many jazz golf equipment on this nation the capability ranges from as little as 50 to 200 comfortably. Brian Cullen experiences that the Osaka Dubliners claims to have had 600 prospects on a St. Patrick’s day just a few years in the past. I might say that have to be the utmost and that’s after just a few pints. Westerners are normally stunned by the quantity of the duvet prices. Typically to see a band a 3000 yen cowl cost is fairly typical. CD costs are nonetheless about 2500 yen as nicely.\

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