Gifts from Japanese musicians

Gifts from Japanese musicians

The impact of COVID-19 has been expanding all over the world. In Japan, a state of emergency has been declared in seven prefectures including Tokyo and Osaka on 7th of April. All of us are trying to stay safe and stay at home to help stop the spread of COVID-19.

The guest Japanese musicians who will perform at “Michael Rooney, June McCormack & Music Generation Laois Harp Ensemble Japan Tour 2020” , the Koto player Hikaru Nakajima, the fiddle player Dai Komatsu and the Celtic harpist Riko Matsuoka try to stay creative as musicians while staying at home. They are working to find ways to keep music alive and to connect people such as music videos and live stream.

The Koto player Hikaru Nakajima shared spring in Japan through the piece “Sakura Sakura (Cherry blossoms)”.
The Koto was introduced to Japan in the 8th century from China. The standard has 13 strings. Players can adjust the string pitches by moving the white bridges. To play the Koto, the strings are plued using three fingers with ivory picks called “Tsume”.  The Jushichigen (17-stringed koto) developed by Michio Miyagi in the Taisho era (around 1921).
Hikaru Nakajima will play the Jushichigen in the concert of Tokyo in August 2020. 

Dai Komatsu is an organizer of the concerts in August 2020 as well as the fiddle player. He is actively working with live stream since March 2020. He has been expanding the possibility as a musician through new interactive communication using a comment function with audiences far away.

Dai Komatsu:
I want to continue live stream from now on. It gives us different feelings from music videos.

The beautiful music on this video is “Na Maithe Móra” composed by Michael Rooney.
I recorded this piece with the Irish harpist Shima Ohashi after live stream on 9th of April. She is also looking forward to the opportunity to listen to the Michael’s live harp performance.
Please enjoy the Michael’s tune by two Japanese musicians to look forward to that day.

Riko Matsuoka is an organizer of the concerts in August 2020 as well as the Celtic harpist. She shared the special video.

Riko Matsuoka:
I feel that this situation brings our hearts closer together while we maintain physical distances each other.

The harpers form Ireland, Scotland, England, America, Italia, Spain, France, New Zealand and Japan performed in a relay race in this video.
This piece is “Sí Bheag, Sí Mhór” composed by the Irish Bard Turlough O’Carolan.

This is the standard number of Irish harp. We will play this piece on the tour 2020.
Music Generation Laois Harp Ensemble will play “Sí Bheag, Sí Mhór” collaborating with the Kinjo Gakuin Harp Ensemble in Nagoya and Japanese traditional musicians of the shakuhachi and the koto in Tokyo. You can enjoy the collaborative concerts between Japan and Ireland.

I believe that we can return to daily life to listen to music freely beyond overcoming the difficulties. I would like to share videos from Ireland soon! Look forward to it ^ ^

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