FUKUSHIMA KODALY CHOIR CONCERT AT ISME 2006 JULY

-Music is the Bridge for the World
A Musical Journey from Japan to Indonesia,
South African, France, Italy and back to Japan

By the Fukushima Kodly Choir (Japan)
     17 July2006, Monday

Program

Asian and African Music
Jangara nenbutsu Odori (Traditional Folk Festival) from Fukushima, Japan
Jittyu (Folk Music ) from Okinawa , Japan
Poro Rimse (Ainu Dance) from Hokkaido , Japan
Balinese Kecak Collaboration  from Bali Island, Indonesia      
Mavolovolo (Zulu Song) South Africa

European Music
Il est bel et bon comp.Passereau
Sicut cervus comp.G.P. Palestrina

Japanese Music
August Song from Hiroshima−
To be Handed Down comp.Masao Honma
Kariboshikiriuta ( Japanese Folksong) from Miyazaki, Japan
arr. by S. Yamashiro

Produced and Conducted by Miyako Furiya

PROGRAM NOTES

Asian and African Music

Jangara nenbutsu odori (Traditional Folk Festival) from Fukushima, Japan
Every August the メObonモ Festival, or Festival of Ancestral Spirits, takes place throughout Japan. Jangara nenbutsu odori is a traditional requiem with dance performed during the Obon Festival in the Iwaki region, Fukushima prefecture, located in the northeast part of Honshu island. The performing group the homes of families that lost a member during the previous year, praying for the souls of the departed, singing, dancing, and playing bells and drums. The dance gets its name from the sound of the instrument that accompanies it. メJangaraモ is onomatoeia for the sound of the bells while Nennbutsu odori is the name of various Japanese dances.

Jittyu (Folk Music ) from Okinawa , Japan
Okinawa is the most south part of Japan consisting of many islands. Culturally there are three parts, the Hontoh Islands (the main islands), the Miyako islands, and the Yaeyama islands. The Okinawa people are musical and religious people. Their songs and dances are integrated into their everyday lives. The Sanshin is their most important instrument.
Jittyu literally means 10 people and is usually sung during the harvest season at the "Tanetori" festival. It's a farmer's folk song and dance that acts as a prayer to the gods for a good harvest.

Poro Rimse (Ainu Dance) from Hokkaido , Japan
The Ainu people are early inhabitants of Hokkaido, a northern island. The Ainu people are a minority group who for many years has been oppressed by the Japanese people who settled on Hokkaido. The Ainu culture, and in particular their musical tradition, is markedly different from Japanese culture. For instance, Ainu music is often canonic while traditional Japanese folk songs are monophonic. Their music has deep roots in primitive religion and it continues to play an important role in their religious life. These dances have been passed down for centuries and are danced, not for pleasure, but for such purposes as chasing evil spirits or praying for an abundance of food from the fields or the rivers.

Balinese Kecak Collaboration from Bali Island, Indonesia      
The Kecak is one of the best known Balinese art forms, combining dance, drama and singing. The Kecak came from an the tradition called メSanghyangモ which was a prayer for recovery from the plagues or explosions of the volcano to the Hindu God. Balinese Dualism is reflected in the structure of the Kecak chorus. There are many styles of Kecak from this island in Indonesia. It is necessary to restructure and shorten the complex form for a stage performance. We attempt to capture the essence of the Kecak as performed by Gunung Jati, a group in Teges village, Bali island.

Mavolovolo (Zulu Song) South Africa
Mavolovolo is a Zulu song that expresses the fear of living in KwaMashu, a township that experienced internal conflict among the black population before Independence Day. It speaks of not going into the township because of the prevalence of guns and violence among the people.

European Music
We will sing a set of our favorite works by European composers. As our name suggests, we are drawn to the music of Hungarian composer, Zoltn Kodly as well as of B四a Bart楊. We believe they are important composers, and their choral works have been the most important part of our repertory for more than twenty years.

Japanese Music
August Song from Hiroshima−
To be Handed Down Masao Honma
This moving piece was composed in Dec.1995, at the request of Fukushima Kodly Choir and had its world premiere at the 22nd World Conference of the International Society of Music Educators was on July 24th in 1996 in Amsterdam.
Japan is the only nation that has fallen victim to atomic bombs. Innocent people were killed in a moment by the strong heat rays and radioactivity. The ravages of the bombing are beyond our imagination, but the story must be told and retold from generation to generation, lest we forget, and so that we will not let this happen again. The text of the four movements, translated below, describes horrific but scenes in the aftermath of the bombing.
On the very day when every building was destroyed in a moment as far as the eye could reach, 
the Ujina Seashore could suddenly be seen from Hiroshima Station, which had been impossible before. The black rain was falling on the town, choked with corpses.
With no knowledge of the danger of walking in the remaining radioactivity, I was only fifteen 
years old and was engaged in carrying the corpses.

Kariboshikiruita
This traditional song comes from the mountainous Miyazaki Prefecture on Kyushu Island. Farmers sing the song while mowing ヤkaya' or special grass used for thatching roofs and for feeding horses and cows. Traditionally, the monophonic song is sung freely with no regular meter. The arranger, Shohji Yamashiro retains the style of singing, free rhythm and ornamentation in his polyphonic arrangement. The solo is echoed by the choir, creating a feeling of distance from afar.

By Miyako Furiya