Tag ‘Yamazu Megurumo’
Yoko Fujimoto “Yamazu Meguromo” Concert
At Craft Kowa, Tokyo (June 10, 2015)
Wakako Sato, the presenter of this concert, uses traditional picture mounting skills in ways that suit our modern way of life and hopes to hand these skills down to future generations. Even though our fields of works are different, she shares the same passion for creation that the Kodo group has pumping through its veins. Wakako was my classmate in high school. Surrounded by the energy of our friendship and her works, at this concert I sang in such a relaxed, feel-good way, while plucking away at a makoto harp*, which I had only just been introduced to for the very first time!
*Makoto harp: A new instrument created by Rieko Renuma after the 3.11 Tohoku Pacific Earthquake & Tsunami.
Since spring I have been blessed with a number of new encounters, including the makoto harp, and the path of my “journey with song” has become clearer all of a sudden. I will use songs to boost people’s immunity, as well as my own.
Does that make you laugh? Well, I mean it!
That’s exactly what I want to do!
In other words, I am focusing on the love involved in singing and music. For example, when you play an instrument or sing, you express an array of things. If the audience tells you they were moved, soothed, encouraged, or so on, well if that makes you happy as an artist, you could say that you perform to move and energize others, as your purpose. Artists and their audiences give and receive, love and receive love, interact and share all kinds of emotions and experiences, good and bad. We can all choose to think of life and all its encounters as interesting or challenging, instead of rough or tough. We can cry together and laugh together.
If you share your emotions and let people and music in, your heart and mind can feel that connection to others and receive great power. As we are uplifted emotionally, our physical strength, and even our immunity and resilience, also increase. By singing, drumming, dancing, and sharing time together, we can create power within us, which we can then draw on in times of need. This power will help us to overcome various difficulties and all kinds of infections, both now and in the future. That’s a wonderful thing to do, don’t you think? I believe that music and communication can have this effect and I will continue working and singing in the hopes of sharing this effect with many people.
I want to use my power as an artist to create a network of love and harmony that strengthens people from within. I’ll continue my travels with an enthusiastic smile on my face, singing as I go… here, there and everywhere. I’ll do my very best!
Artworks created by Wakako Sato
Dec. 18 Gin-iro no Kaze (Silver Wind) Song & Bamboo Flute Concert
Here is a new piece by Motofumi Yamaguchi, which he will play during the second part of tomorrow’s Gin-iro no Kaze (Silver Wind) Song & Bamboo Flute Concert at Kunitachi Geijutsu Sho-Hall, Kunitachi, Tokyo. He will perform it with Kosuke Urushikubo.
Click below to listen to a sample of it:
And here is a sample of a beautiful piece from Yoko Fujimoto’s latest album “Yamazu Megurumo,” which will feature in the first part of the concert:
December is a busy month, but we hope you will take the time to relax with us to the sounds of soothing vocals and melodic bamboo flutes. We are all waiting for you tomorrow in Kunitachi!
Gin-iro no Kaze (Silver Wind) Song & Bamboo Flute Concert
Date: Dec. 18 (Thu), 2014
Venue: Kunitachi Geijutsu Sho-Hall, Kunitachi, Tokyo
Doors Open: 18:30 Start: 19:00
Advance: 3,800 yen
At-the-door: 4,300 yen
Seating Details: All seats reserved. Please refrain from bringing preschoolers (ages 5 & under).
Event URL: http://www.kuzaidan.com/hall/e?2533
Ticket Outlets: Kunitachi Geijutsu Sho-Hall, Hakujuji (Coffee & Cake) Kunitachi Stn. South Exit Store, Shimada Stationery Store, Marronnier Kunitachi Stn. North Exit Store.
Inquiries: Kunitachi Geijutsu Sho-Hall Tel. 042-574-1515
All the Kodo members are working very hard, preparing for Earth Celebration. So am I! I’m in the middle of rehearsals for the opening night performance!
But, I would like to take a moment now to let you all know about my upcoming activities.
“Yamazu Megurumo” Concerts
I am going to perform with local bluegrass musicians on Sado Island for the first time.
Their amazing sound and technique will create a new world for all the pieces on my CD “Yamazu Megurumo.” As the vocals entwine with their music, the songs will take on different colors and expressions. I will also add some other folksongs to the set list and I am going to have a really good time with their music!
Also, this will be the first time for me to have a chorus accompaniment at one of my concerts. I am planning a fun performance for you all, with lots of “firsts” and things I like, so please come along!
Yoko Fujimoto “Yamazu Megurumo” Concerts
Sep. 20 (Sat), 2014 Hotel Azuma, Aikawa, Sado Island, Niigata
Sep. 23 (Tue), 2014 Cafe Hitoha, Sawata, Sado Island, Niigata
Kodo Online Store [CD] Yoko Fujimoto “Yamazu Megurumo”
CD “Yamazu Megurumo”
An Interview with Yoko Fujimoto by Johnny Wales
On March 3rd Yoko Fujimoto released her 2nd solo album ‘Yamazu Megurumo’ (Circle of Life) with Otodaiku. You can order her CD at the Kodo Online Store.
The seed for this project was when my mother in Tokyo became ill and I wondered what I could best do for her living so far away. Well, for me, that is singing. So that’s how it began, a private thing for mum.
I began to think about how life is one long continuous line from time immemorial to now. And relationships – just when you think one might be over – What?! It’s started up again! The ties that bind are re-tied. I wanted to express in song how extraordinary a thing life is, how it renews itself, carrying on in a never-ending cycle. I will be happy if – in some small way – these songs serve as a comfort and encouragement to people who hear them. Incidentally, mum is much better now.
I saw a wonderful Italian movie, “L’uomo che verrà” (The Man Who Will Come) in which an 8 year old girl and her newborn brother are left alone in a mountain village in Italy during the war. Her other little brother had died in her arms the year before and from that shock she lost her ability to speak. She resolves to do anything and everything she can to protect him. The movie ends with her finding her voice by breaking into a lullaby to her little brother. Even this tiny, seemingly powerless girl found the strength to carry on the line of life. And so it has ever been. This power that has allowed our race to continue to this day. So I wrote a poem about that. Then I learned the traditional Italian lullaby from the movie and began singing it.
As it happened last year was a very confusing time for me, there were so many changes in my life. I was even thinking about quitting singing for good. A close friend said to me, ‘Stop being confused! You have been blessed with the chance to sing with Kodo for 30 years, stop whining!’ She opened my eyes. I showed her my poem. She said, ‘You should do this! Make this into a song!’. That friend who helped is an abstract painter. I wanted to use one of her paintings on the CD cover. She asked me the name of the CD project and I told her, ‘Circle of Life’ and she said, ‘Wait there!’ and disappeared into another room. She reappeared with a smallish painting and said ‘This is my favourite painting! And its called ‘Circle of Life’ (Meguru Inochi). That settled it.
I first recorded the songs with no accompaniment and sent them to Shunsuke Kimura who laid down the accompaniment. He played fue (bamboo flute) and some Japanese percussion, and added other musicians on Tsugaru shamisen, wadaiko, 13 and 17 string kotos, world music percussion and violin. ▶ read more
Yoko Fujimoto’s second solo CD will be available from the Kodo Online Store from March 3, 2014.
For orders in English, please email the Kodo Online Store. Email: email@example.com
For orders in Japanese, please visit the Kodo Online Store website:
1. Kaza-guruma [Pinwheels] (Kindergarten song from Meiji Era)
2. Ororo Pinne (Ainu folksong)
3. Hana no Warabe-uta: Sado no Warabe Uta [Flower Nursery Song: Sado Nursery Song] (Song: Masaji Homma / Music: Yoko Fujimoto)
4. Martina’s Lullaby (Music: From Italian film “L’uomo che verra” (The Man Who Will Come) / Song: Yoko Fujimoto)
5. Hoshi to Tanpopo [Stars & Dandelions] (Song: Misuzu Kaneko / Music: Yoko Fujimoto)
6. Minori-uta [Harvest Song] (Amis Harvest Song, Taiwan)
7. Hinei Ma Tov (Jewish hymn / Japanese song: Yoko Fujimoto)