Posted by: Airtower | 2010-11-23

Music from a dream

Last Saturday afternoon, the Tohoku University 邦楽部 (Hogaku-bu, Japanese traditional music club) held a concert. Some female members played at Group Mori‘s welcome party for the international students, and one of the Mori members commented their performance with the words “Beautiful music, beautiful ladies” – a well-fitting description. I knew that a few of my friends were also going, so laziness would have been the only reason not to go. Finding the Sendai City Silver Center where the concert was took a little longer than expected, but I made it there just in time.

I was greeted by some club members wearing traditional Japanese clothing and handed a feedback form. Apparently this is very common in Japan: I can’t remember being asked to fill in a feedback form at a concert in Germany, although I haven’t been to too many concerts there. Here they’re handed out at too many occasions to mention in this post.

Ten pieces were played during the concert by different groups with varying instruments and costumes, some pieces also included singing. The title of the 8th one was “White Dream – 白の大地”, which is where the title of this post comes from (the Japanese part of the name means something like “white earth”). It was very dreamy indeed, sometimes slow and calm, sometimes very lively. Trying to describe the music further with words wouldn’t work, but it was wonderful. I really enjoyed the concert. If you have an opportunity to listen to Japanese traditional music please do! In the picture below, the four girls on the left are playing koto, and I was surprised how many different kinds of sound they could make with these.

One of the groups that played at the concert, dressed in traditional Japanese clothing.

With two short breaks, the concert took about two and a half hours, and afterwards they offered tea. If I understood the announcement at the end correctly, there will be another concert in May. 🙂

When we (three other exchange students and me) left the concert hall, it was already getting dark and we went to the noodle place I already mentioned for a late-afternoon meal. It was a fairly quiet evening in Sendai downtown.

Picture taken from the second floor sidewalk. Brightly lit buildings, traffic on the road and some pedestrians.

As you can see, I took the picture from a second floor sidewalk (or first floor in western counting, in Japan the ground floor is counted as first). Those cover quite a bit of area around Sendai station and are very useful to escape the small sidewalks next to the traffic-packed street. Usually they are full of people as well.

Completely unrelated, but fun: “Unpopular Science“, a comedic interpretation of certain laws of physics, also understandable for non-scientists. Enjoy!

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Responses

  1. das zweite Foto ist echt interessant muss ich sagen, nette Perspektive ^^

    was die Musik angeht, warum stellt du den link nicht rein?
    -Na ja und persönlich, vllt ist es ja was anderes wenn man es life sieht aber ich mag traditionelle japanische Musik auch nicht mehr als europäische… es ist ganz ok aber … na ja Geschmacksache.


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