Category Archives: Music

East-West Melodies



    Can you imagine of the concert of Chinese pipa, erhu, piano and soprano? It might be beyond your imagination. There was a concert titled Tozai-no-shirabe, or east-west melodies, at Aichi Shukutoku University the other day. That was a memorial event for celebrating its new department.img_03

   It was the first time for me to see and listened to Chinese pipa and erhu in person. Those are traditional Chinese musical instruments. They sound very Chinese. But fantastically the players played melodiously modern music with piano and soprano.img_04



    Chinese pipa was played by Mr. Tu Shan Xiang, erhu by Mr. George Gao, piano by a beautiful Italian, Ms. Vanessa Banelli Mosell, and soprano was Ms. Rumi Yano, the Japanese.img_05

     They played some Chinese classic, classical music, such as Paganini’s and Tárrega, and Japanse music and so on. Chinese, Italian and Japanese musicians played European and Asian music. That was exactly east-west melodies. I enjoyed their impressive performance and really had a good timeimg_06!

Photos: Aichi Shukutoku University

Trombone and Cello



     Have you ever listened to trombone solo? Yeah, trombone is always in an orchestra. But I’ve got a nice opportunity to go to a small concert of cello and trombone the other day, and listened to trombone solo there. The title was Trombone and Cello Waku-waku Concert. Waku-waku means exciting or interesting in Japanese. 

     A friend of mine Taeko and some of her neighbors have organized the concert at their community center in Nisshin. Actually the cellist and the trombonist are a married couple, and they have moved to the area recently.TS3N0751

     Curious to say, I know the cellist’s parents very well. Her father and I are friends through English classes, and her mother and I are also classmates of a Tai Chi class. That’s why I’ve ever seen the cellist. But it was the first time to see her husband for me.

     The concert was played by the married couple and a pianist, who is their friend. Their music was beautiful and interesting! You know, a concert of cello, trombone and piano is really rare.TS3N0752

     First, I listened to Sonata for bassoon and cello B flat major KV. 292 by W.A. Mozart. It was played by the cellist and the trombonist. Actually I don’t know the instrument of bassoon, but the trombonist played the part of the bassoon for the music. It was really interesting. Of course, beautiful, too.

     After that, they played Okuribito, which might be one of the most famous music for cello in Japan, Prelude from the Six Suites for Unaccompanied Cello by J.A. Bach, The Swan from the Carnival of the Animals by Saint-Saëns’ , and other classical and modern music. That was fantastic! TS3N0754

     Romance by Yepes is very famous for guitar, but the trombonist played it solo. That was really interesting. They played fantasia of Gershwin, too. I didn’t know the name of Gershwin, but I know all of the music they played. After the concert, I ordered some CDs of Gershwin by Amazon, but I haven’t received them yet…wonder when they’ll come…Anyway, I had a really good time at the concert.

A Gorgeous Day


     “I’m having a kind of concert at home soon. Why don’t you come?”
     “Concert? At home?”
     “Yeah, about 100 people will come. You can enjoy delicious food as well!”

     J invited me and some of my friends to his party the other day. We said, “Yes, I’ll come to your house!” in unison. All of us wanted to see his house where 100 people can get together. TS3N0637.jpg-a

     I went to J’s house with my friends. It looked like an ordinary house outside, but I, no, we were very surprised to see the room where the concert was held because it was really big and looked like a restaurant. TS3N0638.jpg-a

     Participants were gathering little by little when we arrived. All of them looked gorgeous. I felt as if I was attending a wedding reception or something. I was relieved to have got dress before leaving home. Actually, I had been wearing worn-out jeans in the morning.  TS3N0643

     The concert was a Japanese singer’s. She is Ms. Setsuko Fuchimoto, who is a professional singer of canzone, chanson, and popular songs, and has a music school. She looked very pretty, and her voice was amazing! She sang many songs related flowers this time, such as Karatachi-no-hana and Granada. Her clear and pure voice and gentle songs have relaxed me.  TS3N0650

     Ms. Fuchimoto’s songs were, of course, wonderful, and the piano played by Mr. Shigeru Akao was also great. It was not only the music that I was impressed. Food was also amazing. Sushi, okonomiyaki, oshirukTS3N0655o, salad, cake, etc…I regretted to have had a light meal before the party…

     A man sitting next to me is from Canada, and I enjoyed myself talking to him, too. Somehow there were also some politicians at the party, where I met even a former minister. Wow! Listening to wonderful music, having delicious food, chattering to friends and other participants, and seeing some famous people…I had a gorgeous day!

Sisay’s Party at Gary’s


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     Spring has come with Japanese cedar pollens and yellow sand from the Gobi desert…I have a hay fever…It’s a little bit tough time for me in the spring though cheery blossoms are beautiful and the wind smells nice…You may have thought I’m going to write something about spring, but I’m about to write about an event in the winter.広島&シサイ 059

     There was a party at Gary’s in Sakae on January 30. Hmm…sounds cold…brrr…Yeah, it was cold outside that day, but inside of the party room was really hot! The party was held by Sisay, the Ecuadorian band. More than 100 fans of the group got together.  広島&シサイ 074-a

     I saw a long line for entering when I arrived at the bar. The line was becoming shorter little by little after the estimated time of beginning. I was wondering why people couldn’t go into the place easier. I understood the reason when I came to the entrance. The bar is on the basement, and people had to go down the narrow stairs in the dim light. Besides, the members of Sisay were standing on the both side of the stairs and shaking hands with all the participants! 広島&シサイ 071

     There had already been an air of excitement inside the bar before the party. Luckily I was able to take a seat near the buffet counter (It was easier to get food!) and the backstage (I saw members many time). There were lots of delicious food, a small performance, time for talking to members and other fans, games and dance time in the party. 広島&シサイ 083-a    

     Most of the participants danced together! That was really exciting and fun! Cesar, one of the members, had a terrible cold at that time, but he tried to smile and let fans enjoy. He looked very tired…Thank to him, other members, staff, and other fans! I had a really good time!広島&シサイ 088

     After the party, I was supposed to take part in another party! Yeah, many people call me a party person! Anyway, I happened to see a street performance. It was a rock group of young people. Their performance, especially the vocalist’s powerful songs, attracted me. I was dancing while listening to their music before I knew it. The band’s name is Eve X Scaptive, which often play in Kanayama. I was so happy to have listened to nice music after the wonderful party!

Native Evolution




     I can’t move! I was looking enviously down at the excitement on the floor from the narrow lighting and stage operation room on the second floor. There was a Sisay’s 15th anniversary concert at Diamond Hall in Nagoya on January 16. My seat was not on the normal floor, but in the lighting and stage operation room. I couldn’t move freely because I was sitting next to staffers who were controlling the stage in the narrow place.  TS3N0471

     Although I couldn’t stand up or dancing during the concert, I had a special experience at the place. You know, I was sitting with staffers. There was filled with a feeling of tension in the lighting room before the concert. Looking down the audience and hearing babble of voices from underneath in the darkness, I felt like as if I was one of the staffers with real staff at the room. I was relieved when the show began.

     Sisay is an Ecuadorian folklore music band. I don’t know exactly how many members belong to Sisay, but they are usually divided into two groups and perform in Korea and Japan each. Japan Sisay usually plays music by five or six members. But there are 12 players at the concert! The sound by the many musicians was really wonderful!  TS3N0470

     They played music as follows: Sanjuanito Medley, Carnaval de la Feria, Arrepentimiento, Saya Medley, Pasillo Medley, Se Fue, Nadie Como Yo, Taran Tella, Dos Plumas, Under the Moon, Tejiendo Nubes, Entre el Tiempo y la Distancia, Fiesta de mi Pueblo, Es mi Tierra, De Donde Vengo, Bomba Mix. All members of Sisay and the audience were so exited! I, of course, had a wonderful time!




   “Do you like to sing songs?”

   “Do you play the guitar?”

   “Do you have a guitar?”

     I’ve asked those stupid questions to a man before…His name is David. I’ve taken his TOEIC class before. I hadn’t known he is a musician until recently! I sometimes run into him here and there, and we’ve been acquainted with each other. But I had a wonderful opportunity to see his performance last month at the Tai Chi with Matcha Party.TS3N0396

     His live performance was held at Kokopelli in Fujigaoka, Nagoya, on 18th. That was brilliant! I don’t know exactly which genres of his songs, but he played country music and blues that day. I relaxed and swayed to the rhythm of the music.      TS3N0398

     I found a drink I hadn’t heard and asked what it was when a waiter came to me to take order. He said, “Ah, it’s a kind of non-alcohol bear and smells Salonpas.” Salonpas?! Do you know Salonpas? It’s a mentholated compress. Don’t you use that stuff when you get a bruise? Well…I couldn’t imagine that the drink smelt Salonpas. So I said, “I’ll get the Salonpas!”

     The beverage is Dad’s. It seems to be very popular in the U.S.. Yeah, it smelt Salonpas indeed! I can’t say it’s delicious…TS3N0402

     Two of the audience harmonized with David’s songs. I was amazed that their songs were really beautiful and that the chorus warmed up the stage. At the break time, I got to know the reason. They are also musicians! They’re not duo, but they played music during the interval. Their performance was fantastic as well!

     I really enjoyed myself listening to David’s and his friends’ music at the cozy atmosphere. Salonpas should be a medicine, not a drink, though…

Sisay in Ohdaka 2


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     The calendar shows the last page. Can you believe New Year’s is several days away? Aaaah, time flies! I’ve just remembered that I haven’t written anything this month yet…I’m pleased to say that I’ve had such productive days this month, too!  

     I went to Ohdaka in Nagoya to see Sisay’s performance on December 4th. You must know about Sisay if you’ve read my blog page, but it is a music group from Ecuador. odaka 12-7They play Andean and Latin music. There’s a shopping center in Ohdaka and Sisay came there to show their performance to shoppers that day. 

    odaka 12-14 I think there’re quite lots of people in the event in spite of a weekday. Sisay had four live shows at noon, 2:00, 4:00 and 6:00 that day. 

     Not only seasoned fans but also many passing shoppers swayed or danced to the rhythm of their buoyant music, especially a little boy danced like crazy! odaka 12-12

     The event was so much fun. I had a really wonderful time! 

     By the way, there’s a pet shop before the event place. I saw cute cats there!odaka 12-2

Andean Day?


     Sisay, the Ecuadorian band, appeared on a TV program on November 26th. I went to NHK, the TV station, because the program was a visual live show. There were already many people in the studio when I arrived. Some staff in the same bright yellow-green colored jackets was bustling around to prepare for broadcasting. I took only one photo there when I got to the studio because it was banned to take any photos and use cell phones during the show. The place was filled with tense and exciting feelings.

     “Three…Two…One…” The play-on began streaming. The host gave a pause and then started talking. The program was on. The monitor was showing scenery somewhere. The display switched and the host was closed up. One of the staff in yellow-green jacket raised a hand to urge audience to clap. A camera turned to the audience sheets. I took a beat.

     Then Sisay played a piece of music: El Condor Pasa. After the performance, the host introduced Sisay. Lewis, one of the members, introduced themselves and some musical instruments. After the interview, Sisay began playing a suite of music. All of the audience was clapping hands and everyone was excited. But one of the TV crew forced them to stop playing in the middle. The time was strict controlled because the program was a live show and had many things to give out, such as weather information. Besides, there were other guests that day. They came from Aomori Prefecture to introduce their town, products and culture.

     At the end of the program, the members of Sisay and Namahage, the devil which is famous in Aomori, appeared to say good-bye. Sisay and Namahage, the devil…The scene was strange and funny…TS3N0276-a

     After the show, I ran into a friend of mine. We had lunch together, and then the friend brought me a shop run by a Peruvian man. I’m wondering what shop it is…It sells South American CDs, DVDs, accessories, clothing, bags, beer, and musical instruments and so on, and also offers classes of Spanish languages and playing musical instruments such as quena and zamponya. Although I cannot play any Andean musical instruments, I played the bombo, or the drum, with my friend, who played the quena, and the Peruvian man, who played the charango. That was really exciting. I had a great time that day.

Sisay in Ohdaka


     What? Why didn’t they inform even earlier? I thought that when I checked my email one night. I was reading an email magazine, which said that Sisay was coming to Nagoya on October 23rd.

     You may already know about Sisay because I’ve written about it here many times, but it’s an Ecuadorian folklore band. I’m a fan. TS3N0136

     According to the info, they would come to a shopping mall in Ohdaka. Ohdaka? Where the hell is it? It’s a town located in the west of Nagoya and is a 15-minute train ride from Nagoya Station. I decided to come to see Sisay by myself next day. TS3N0137

     The shopping mall was almost empty because of the day time on the week. However, there had already been many fans of Sisay at the event place when I arrived. Some people who were not fans were gathering once their concert began. Most of them were elderly people, and some of them were with their grandchildren. TS3N0138

     I’ve seen senior citizens blocking their ears and passing by at rock concerts in public places many times. But interestingly I’ve never seen those scenes at Sisay’s concert. Most of them enjoy listening to their music and sometimes even dancing. So did those elderly people I saw this time!TS3N0139

     After the first show, I noticed that the man who was on a photo I had taken at Ecuadori-Andes Festa was sitting there. So, I asked him if the person was him showing my cellphone, with which I had taken photos at the former event. It was him. He was really surprised. He and I decided to wait for the next show over coffee together. It was revealed that he and I have a friend in common while talking. That’s why I made new friends!TS3N0140

     I saw three shows that day. I had a really good time! I love Sisay!

Ecuador-Andes Festa 2009 in Nagoya


     That morning, I was awake with terrible headache. I would have decided to stay home all day if Sisay hadn’t come to Nagoya. Sisay is an Ecuadorian folklore group and they had concerts at Kanayama.

       There was an event named Ecuador-Andes Festa in Nagoya there from Octomber 9th to 12th. I went to see their performance on 12th in spite of the headache because I couldn’t have made it on other days. TS3N0107

       Sisay had four concerts that day, and the first one started at 11:00. I was going to see three concerts in the afternoon because I had something to do in the morning. My headache didn’t go away at all in the morning, but I headed for Kanayama.

      When I arrived at the place, Sisay was about to play music. Their performance was really exciting! I was able to forget about my headache during their stage. After the concert, I noticed a woman was staring at me. I didn’t remember her, but it seemed that she knew me. I also stated at her for a while.

      After the concert, there was a dance show. It was wonderful, too. Then, there was a workshop of playing musical instruments: quena and zampoña. I saw some people learning how to play zampoña from a musician for a while. But I couldn’t stand my headache any more…So, I gave up staying there until the next concert and went back home.,,I came down with a cold next day…