‘Musica Sacra East and West’ 25 June 2014

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The Kamigata seiyō kogaku ensōkai presents Wayō no Saikai, a musical event featuring pieces from the European tradition (gregorian chant, renaissance music, early baroque music) and Noh flute, chant, and dance. The representatives of the Noh tradition will be flute player Saco Yasujiro (Morita school) and  Udaka Tatsushige (Kongō school, my teacher’s eldest son). I will have the privilege to sing for Tatsushige-sensei’s shimai (Yamamba kiri) and rengin (Kane no dan), from the Noh Miidera. Tatsushige-sensei carefully chose pieces that would suit the theme of the event: the kiri section of Yamamba is a dialogue between actor and chorus, close to the format of some ancient European sacred music, while Kane no dan describes how listening to the sound of the (Buddhist) temple bells helps achieving enlightenment.

Kamigata Seiyō kogaku ensōkai.

Wayō no Saikai – A meeting of classical Japanese and Western musical traditions

Time: 25 June 2014 from 19:00

Place: Nihon Seikōkai Kawaguchi Kirisuto Kyōkai, Osaka-shi, Nishi-ku Kawaguchi 1-3-8 〒550-0021 Subway Chuo line Awaza station (exit n. 7)

Tickets: 3,500yen (at the door) 3,000 (pre-sale)

For enquiries: 090-8147-4861

[VIDEO] Comparing styles: Kanze and Kongo

People often wonder what differences are there between Noh stylistic schools, or ryū. In this video Kanze actor Katayama Shingo (on the left), and Kongō actor Teshima Kōji (on the right) demonstrate side by side a number of kata that exemplify various differences between shite dance styles. Ō-tsuzumi (hip-drum) player Taniguchi Masayoshi, conducting the experiment, introduces the two styles according to a well-established view of Kanze style as refined, purified from unnecessary movements, and Kongō style as elaborate, focusing on bodily technique. From 19:14 you can watch the performance of the shimai dance excerpt from the Noh Yashima, followed by an analysis of the kata differences. From 30:00 the chant of the kiri final section of Hagoromo is compared. Again, Kanze is thought to be refined while Kongō is dynamic. Ask anyone in the Noh about the differences between these schools and they will most likely say something very similar to this. I have my reservations about what seems to be an oversimplification or even a stereotype, though I understand why marketing requires (over)simplification in order to enhance penetration. Kongō dance is often more theatrical, featuring wide movements, but Kanze dance can be very elaborate, too. If refined means heavily embellished then Kanze chanting style certainly is refined. However I think that, if properly performed, Kongō school’s more essential chanting style is equally sophisticated. Anyway here is the video – you don’t need to know Japanese to enjoy.

(sorry for the HTML code below the video – I don’t seem to be able to delete it when embedding USTREAM…)

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