TODAY -

Shakuhachi meets Pena, Manipuri and Japanese traditional music collaboration!

James Khangenbam *

Motonaga Hiromu   blowing his Shakuhachi
Motonaga Hiromu blowing his Shakuhachi :: Pix - Keirak photo agency



Mangka Mayanglambam who appeared to be totally absorbed and distinctively excellent during her collaborative performance with Motonaga Hiromu at Pena meets Shakuhachi during November 2016 at the Giving Tree Sangaiprou said, "I sang a Japanese lullaby Komori Uta in the collaborative work. When Motonaga Hiromu was blowing his Shakuhachi during the seven days collaborative workshop at Laihui, I heard a note which I felt I have listened earlier, I realized later that the lullaby was among one of my father's collection and I had kept it as a ringtone for my phone at one point of time.

It took me five days to learn the Japanese lullaby completely, Motonaga Hiromu gave me the lyrics in Roman letter but my pronunciations differ and he corrected me every morning. We practice singing together, then I was inquisitive about the lyrics in order to feel the song, I searched the internet then I asked Motonaga Hiromu to teach me the meaning of the Japanese lullaby which he did. In the learning process, I was inspired and found lots of similarity with our Manipuri lullaby tune.

Motonaga Hiromu also shared the same thought as he told me that the tonal vibrations of the lullabies were very much similar (Manipuri lullaby - Tha Tha Thabungton). I never knew what will happen until Motonaga Hiromu came to Manipur; I was thrilled by the music of Shakuhachi. For me it is a new experience, I was also afraid if anything goes wrong in my performance but luckily I got huge appreciation after my performance.

I was not able to figure out as to how the collaboration will progress in blending the two traditional music together. Motonaga Hiromu makes me feel so cool and helped me a lot and my father gave me the hints.

That's how I performed today. I think today's performance was excellent, today's vibes was so good and we artists needs such vibes as it creates emotion. That's what real artists do. The ambience is nice in this place, the crowd was good, what more could I say
".

While Shakuhachi music performance by Motonaga Hiromu left a lingering resonance to the audience of Manipur. One can hardly imagine that a flute could produce multiple intricate sounds which have the potential to really set or change the mood of the people gathered or take them for a ride in the hovering clouds unnoticed.

Motonaga Hiromu fully clad in his traditional wear Kimono said, "Both Shakuhachi and Pena has its own traditional style of playing and we have to create something new to represent traditional Manipuri music and it took us seven days of continuous effort to bring out the piece we performed today".

Motonaga Hiromu during his visit to Manipur, India further said that, "I am moved by the people here, having their own culture. Geographically Manipur is quite similar to Japan, our border is sea and it is hills here. A contemporary dance choreographer Yoshiko Chuma was having a project with Oja Mangangsana of Laihui in Imphal during 2007 and she recommended me to visit the place. I had also performed with Oja Mangangsana in Tokyo, we have been thinking about a collaboration work in Imphal',

Motonaga Hiromu also conducted a three days workshop on Shakuhachi which is traditionally made of Bamboo and is an end blown flute for couple of enthusiastic musicians in Manipur. He spoke on the origin and theoretical aspects of the musical instrument besides teaching on how one plays the traditional musical notes.

Motonaga Hiromu with the Laihui ensemble
Motonaga Hiromu with the Laihui ensemble :: Pix - Oja Mangangsana



It is worth sharing some stories on Shakuhachi and revival of traditional music movement in Japan through the musician's point of view. Motonaga Hiromu while talking about the traditional musical instrument Shakuhachi and the current traditional music movements in Japan said that, "In the 1960 and 70's Shakuhachi was really famous in Japan and there were many outstanding Shakuhachi musicians.

But it somehow got forgotten by the modern society until it got a bit popular in recent times. When I played Shakuhachi in an orchestra, I got appreciated from lots of foreigners and I realized people really like the traditional music of Japan. On a different story, the schools in Japan were more focus on teaching western musical instruments until the Ministry of Culture in 2002, decided that the children in music school should also learn traditional instrument.

But Japanese instrument is really difficult for an ordinary Piano teacher, so they have to call people like us to teach. Thus a lot of opportunity came up, now we are going around Japan performing at the high school, secondary school, primary school or even kinder garden. We are also getting little attention from the younger people who usually listen to pop music but kind of started feeling the traditional music in the recent times
".

In a significant progress or what could be termed as Rise of Japanese Traditional Music Band in the eye of the musician, Motonaga Hiromu who himself is part of a popular traditional musical band talked a bit about some of the popular traditional musical bands in Japan.

He said that, "Yoshida brothers are the most famous and popular in Japan as traditional instruments players. Some of the traditional Japanese musical instrument played by the bands includes Shakuhachi, Sengyen and Koto. Koto is like plug string instrument and Taiko is a typo drum which is gaining popularity. They have lot of Taiko team in Europe and America so representing the four musical instruments we kind of make it all kind of original.

Actually we do not play the classical piece because young people are sometimes impatient, we are making musical piece which are three and half minutes long, we are satisfied that if we can tell them how the sounds of instruments are, so it does not have to be traditional melody or rhythm or something like that but they can easily feel the sounds. That's the way how we are playing our traditional music for the youths as of now; there are no lyrics but just instrument.

We form a traditional music band call Wasabi in 2008, it is getting popular. I hope so. Our band was the first kind of only by Japanese traditional instruments. There were many bands which have a mixture of traditional instruments and guitar, drums etc
".

Motonaga Hiromu with the Laihui ensemble
Motonaga Hiromu with Mangka Mayanglambam of Laihui :: Pix - Keirak photo agency



Oja Mangangsana's opinion on her daughter's intuition of singing a Japanese lullaby was a mixed feeling as he was not sure whether a Manipuri girl will be able to sing the traditional Japanese lullaby. But he was happy when Motonaga Hiromu accepted the proposal and blended his Shakuhachi tune with the lullaby making it sound more original.

Oja Mangansana said, " In my view, collaboration cannot be repeated and it should be a masterpiece to the artists involved. Motonaga Hiromu must be getting ideas, we also get inspired creatively, and that is the best outcome of the collaboration. Collaboration should be made between two able persons like between two masters, two original performers. Keeping the originality intact and collaborating with the artists from outside is very interesting. We also get inspired from the feedback the audience gave us after our performance. I am also thankful to all the able musicians of Laihui who performed in the collaboration".

Mention may also be made that the Manipur Tourism Department turned down their commitment of hosting the collaboration performance at the Sangai Festival, 2016. In few days time a new venue, stage concept, sound and light design was arranged for the maiden traditional music collaboration between Manipur (India) and Japan. But the changes did not hamper the performance of the artists as Oja Manganagsana and Motonaga Hiromu had collaborated earlier in Tokyo, Nigata and Osaka and they know each other's music very well.

The maiden collaboration of traditional music between the two countries India and Japan was organised by Art Heal Trust Manipur, Laihui and The Japan Foundation, New Delhi. Motonaga Hiromu came along with Kaoru Miyamoto, the Director General of the Japan Foundation, New Delhi who witnessed the workshop at Laihui and Misako Futsuki Cultural Director of the foundation joined the premiere show of Shakuhachi meets Pena.


* James Khangenbam wrote this article for e-pao.net
The writer could be reached at jameslaphoi(AT)gmail(DOT)com, James Khangenbam is an independent documentary film maker
This article was posted on April 30, 2017.


* Comments posted by users in this discussion thread and other parts of this site are opinions of the individuals posting them (whose user ID is displayed alongside) and not the views of e-pao.net. We strongly recommend that users exercise responsibility, sensitivity and caution over language while writing your opinions which will be seen and read by other users. Please read a complete Guideline on using comments on this website.


LATEST IN E-PAO.NET
  • 27th August 1965 : Birth of students force
  • COVID-19 Status 18 Sep : Govt of Manipur
  • COVID-19 : Impact in Manipur :: News Timeline
  • World's largest adult vaccination program
  • 2nd State Level Yogasana Sports C'ship
  • Just survival is enough :: Poem
  • Add oats to your beauty regime
  • Thri Kappi Sanaba @Andro #1 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 17 Sep : Govt of Manipur
  • Legal Campaign [17 Sep] : Gallery
  • Demise of Padma Shri Thongram Haridas
  • Legal Awareness & Outreach Campaign
  • Changes that the time brings :: Poem
  • AMWJU Foundation Day [16 Sep] : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 16 Sep : Govt of Manipur
  • Mapping the Changemakers of NE India
  • Will inclusion centrestage at Equality Forum
  • World ozone day & the living beings
  • Understanding CAT
  • Eternally struggling Manipuri women
  • Posers on the Interlocutor
  • Zeilad Lake, Tamenglong #2 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 15 Sep : Govt of Manipur
  • Report on 54th Engineers Day 2021
  • Social Media & Political Campaigning
  • What if ? :: Poem
  • Condolence prayer for Oscar Fernandes
  • Virus threat not over yet
  • The virus is still out there!
  • RIMS, Imphal #1 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 14 Sep : Govt of Manipur
  • Nagaland CM Rio calls Ravi 'genuine' man
  • Role of media in combating Covid
  • One day business shut-down in Dimapur
  • The warning bell is ringing loud & clear
  • Anxiety over arrival of train service
  • Choosing candidate the first step
  • Raghu Leishangthem : Manipuri Poet Biodata
  • COVID-19 Status 13 Sep : Govt of Manipur
  • Memo to CM : Inclusion of Meetei in ST
  • Without you :: Poem
  • Lessons from the pandemic
  • ICS (IAS) viva voce of Khushwant Singh
  • Blaming predecessor till near end of term
  • Questioning truce pacts with others
  • ILP & COVID checking @Jirighat : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 12 Sep : Govt of Manipur
  • Webinar: Higher Edn & Career in USA & UK
  • Prostate Cancer: Know its warning signals
  • Naga Peace Process :: News Timeline
  • Hope heals crisis :: Poem
  • AFSPA in NE amid peace accords
  • TSE completes 22 years : 1999 to 2021
  • Pathetic Road @Imphal-Jiri : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 11 Sep : Govt of Manipur
  • National Lok Adalat in High Court of Manipur
  • On tourism in the Northeast
  • The Dement Corona Avoids :: Poem
  • The prism of relationships
  • Reappraisal of early Meitei settlement
  • COVID-19 Status 10 Sep : Govt of Manipur
  • Royal Charter Day celebrated
  • Poshan Abhiyaan : A people's movement
  • MTech in Defence Tech at Amrita Univ
  • Ethno-Veterinary medicine in livestock
  • Power dept employees eyeing soft target
  • Taking a look at issues in 2012, 2017
  • Meetei Leikai @, Silchar, Assam #1: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 09 Sep : Govt of Manipur
  • The uncle conundrum
  • Himalayan Day : Science & Knowledge
  • Pandemic : changing dynamics of preschool
  • Common factors that enhance beauty
  • Another peace deal sans solution..
  • Rolling up sleeves ahead of Assembly polls
  • Development, Ethnicity & Gender : Book Rvw
  • COVID-19 Status 08 Sep : Govt of Manipur
  • World Suicide Prevention Day 2021
  • 'bob World' : Mobile application launched
  • Glimpses of Love :: Poem
  • How much more ordeal can Afghans take?
  • Tall claims on reforming agriculture sector
  • The commandments from WHO
  • Burma refugees yes or no ?
  • COVID-19 Status 07 Sep : Govt of Manipur
  • Biotechnology Grant (BIG) for startups
  • Teaching as a career in India
  • Epitome of impeccable humanity & humility
  • Role of CSOs vital in preventing virus
  • Disturbing high TPR in some hill districts
  • Fine Arts Exhibition MU #3: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 06 Sep : Govt of Manipur
  • Immune boosting for lactating women
  • Give up on fear not dreams !
  • Stop plantation of Palm Oil Trees in NE
  • Another Perspective of Life :: Poem
  • ..right recipe for bitter electioneering
  • Debate over ST status for Meiteis
  • Jadonang in History :: Part 2
  • COVID-19 Status 05 Sep : Govt of Manipur
  • Athokpam Kholchandra : Dr Kamal Kabiratna
  • Remembering Lord Krishna appearance day
  • Sustainable livestock farming
  • After 9 years, thirst to serve unchanged
  • Disturbing TPR in some districts
  • Saikhom Mirabai: Olympics #2: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 04 Sep : Govt of Manipur
  • World Sexual Health Day in Manipur
  • Save The Peace : Conf on Indo-Naga peace
  • Teachers, I salute thee !
  • The Art of Living :: Poem
  • Bongbal Kholen, Kangpokpi #2 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 03 Sep : Govt of Manipur
  • Manipur Art Festival 2021 canceled
  • Towards a new Manipur Budget 2022-23
  • Inauguration of NPF Manipur Head Office
  • Natural facial at home for glowing skin
  • School yearning to resume normal class
  • The uproar over Urea 'shortage'
  • Chaklam Khongchat Numit #2 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 02 Sep : Govt of Manipur
  • Pundit Raja Atombapu : Doyen of journalism
  • Friends :: Poem
  • Meeting report at Cachar, Assam
  • Indigenous peoples & a new social contract
  • Pseudo-indigene permanent threat to native
  • Heavy rush for admission to Class XI
  • Jadonang in History :: Part 1
  • Memorial Stone & Shaheed Minar : Gallery
  • An officer and a gentleman
  • Mass production of biofertilisers
  • Kannappa Naayanaar - World 1st Eye Donor
  • Will election ruin gains made in virus fight
  • Signing off August with lowest TPR
  • Keidoubagi Kidoino on COVID #3: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 31 Aug : Govt of Manipur
  • September Calendar for Year 2021 : Tools
  • Revisiting all alphabets of Article 371
  • Abdication :: Poem
  • Need a softer approach to language issue
  • 2022 polls: Tough task for Congress
  • Party hopping antics before the election
  • Death Anniv: Shimreingam Shaiza: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 30 Aug : Govt of Manipur
  • Khangminashi Lecture VIII : Electric Vehicle
  • Ardent Gardener :: Poem
  • Vision Correction doesn't need a doctor
  • No place for Meetei in Heritage Museum?
  • Ordinary testing rate can't beat the virus
  • Why not make it a poll call
  • 90th Martyr Day- Haipou Jadonang : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 29 Aug : Govt of Manipur
  • Cycle Rally- Natl Sports Day, MU : Gallery
  • Do prayers have the power to heal!
  • Observance of National Sports Day
  • Freedom fighter's mail
  • Frauds feasting on pandemic situation
  • From 'corona' to rousing welcome
  • Meitei ancestors lived in Koubru hills
  • COVID-19 Status 28 Aug : Govt of Manipur
  • Senior Fellowship @ICAR-NEH, Imphal
  • What ails the hill tribals of Manipur
  • Why ? I wonder :: Poem
  • Establishment of Natl Police Univ in Manipur
  • Olympics : Games and Beyond
  • Chaklam Khongchat Numit #1 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 27 Aug : Govt of Manipur
  • Manipur Post-COVID: need to emerge strong
  • Abstract :: Poem
  • Seminar on Yogic Science
  • Milk make up
  • Visit of central team amid urea shortage
  • Looking beyond the next 4 months
  • Laonii Fest of Poumai #2 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 26 Aug : Govt of Manipur
  • Governor-designate La Ganesan : Gallery
  • Applications invited from CSOs from NE
  • Covid, Microorganisms, Immunity & food
  • Wishes to Prahlad Ji & Ranjan Ji
  • Setting the stage for India's Gold Quest
  • Assembly over, focus on curbing virus
  • Low number of tests, low new cases
  • Phuba Khuman, Senapati #2 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 25 Aug : Govt of Manipur
  • Insects @ Charoi Pandongba, Saitu : Gallery
  • No lament, but willingness :: Poem
  • Love - An ever evolving reality
  • Unlock, poll process right recipe for virus
  • Looking beyond the proposed ADC Bill
  • Nata Sankirtan in Manipuri society
  • COVID-19 Status 24 Aug : Govt of Manipur
  • Workshop @MU : Trend in Biological Science
  • Manipur Assembly session adjourned
  • HAC approved ADC Bill 2021 imbroglio
  • Fellowship for BIRAC SPARSH program
  • 13th August @BT Park #2 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 23 Aug : Govt of Manipur
  • Motsillaba Mingsel : Grand Jury Best Film
  • Youth dealing with adversity during pandemic
  • Pure lifeblood :: Poem
  • Skilling India, a must to encash dividend
  • Virus cases stabilising after curfew lift
  • Pointing fingers at some 'hill leaders'
  • Manipur Olympians reception : Gallery
  • Mary Kom reception- Aug 20: Gallery
  • Hijam Gourashyam : Manipur Sahitya
  • 13th August @BT Park #1 : Gallery
  • Sushila Likmabam reception- Aug 18: Gallery
  • S Nilakanta / P Sushila [Aug 11] #2 : Gallery
  • Pebam Chittaranjan Mangang : Gallery
  • 13th August by CSOs : Gallery
  • 13th August @Thangal Complex : Gallery
  • 13th August @Hicham Yaicham Pat : Gallery
  • RK Sanayaima on 13th August : Gallery
  • Corona, Corona all the way
  • S Nilakanta / P Sushila [Aug 11] #1 : Gallery
  • Road from Imphal to Willong #2 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 vaccination @ Tamei : Gallery
  • Mirabai felicitated truck drivers: Gallery
  • Saikhom Mirabai @Imphal #3: Gallery
  • Saikhom Mirabai @Imphal #2: Gallery
  • HSLC 2021 Result: Statistics Abstract
  • HSLC 2021 Result: 1st Division
  • HSLC 2021 Result: 2nd Division
  • HSLC 2021 Result: 3rd Division
  • HSLC 2021 : Pass % : Govt Schools
  • HSLC 2021 : Pass % : Private Schools
  • HSLC 2021 : Pass % : Aided Schools
  • Saikhom Mirabai @ Kakching: Gallery
  • HSE 2021 Result: Statistics Abstract
  • HSE 2021 Result: Subject Pass Percentage
  • HSE 2021 Result: District-Wise Pass %
  • HSE 2021 Result: Science Stream
  • HSE 2021 Result: Arts Stream
  • HSE 2021 Result: Commerce Stream
  • Shanglakpam Nilakanta: Olympics #2: Gallery
  • Featured Front Page Photo 2021 #3: Gallery
  • Sushila Pukhrambam :: Olympics : Gallery
  • Saikhom Mirabai : Tokyo Olympics 2020
  • Pukhrambam Sushila : Tokyo Olympics Dream
  • Sushila Likmabam: Olympics Dream: Gallery
  • Lalginsei, Radamchui, Ngaworpei: eMing
  • Downloadable Manipuri Calendar :: 2021
  • SPONSORED ADS