Music— Jun Miyake

Those of you who watched the U.S. male figure skater Jeremy Abbott, win the US National Championships in 2014, will remember the wonderful music piece that he won with.  It happens to be one of my recently listed personal all-time favorites!  He used a piece from the musical Pina, entitled ‘Lilies of the Valley’ by Jun Miyake.

I post the YouTube video here – by linkszumliebhaben for your enjoyment.  The video accompanies/shows the music through clips from old movies, choreographed and edited to fit Miyake’s music.  Brilliant!

Congrats so far to Blackanese Singer Judith Hill on ‘The Voice’

Black-Japanese singer Judith Hill has wowed the judges on the US television show: The Voice on her first night.  I am not a particular fan of these kinds of shows, but I always appreciate a Blackanese artist of success in the public limelight!  She is truly a great singer!

More Butoh 舞踏

Following videos of Butoh 舞踏 performance, the postwar avant-garde Japanese form of the movement expression of life/death, dark/light, inexpressible expression of angst and pain and hope, mystery and disorder, normal/abnormal, deep and disfigured–that I posted earlier, the most famous Butoh performer Kazuo Ohno 大野一雄, left legacies of expression that are unequaled.

Modern western forms of dance and movement almost always developed and focused on aspects and expressions of western interpretations of “beauty.”  Butoh, on the other hand,  is perhaps the expression of angst, death, darkness, disfigurement, complexity, subtly and the in-between places of life/death.  It has its own “beauty” precisely because the “grotesque” and the “horrible” and “scary” are present, developed into form.

Butoh has expanded to a worldwide phenomenon.  It speaks particularly to audiences connected to recent war, violence and the questioning of life.  Below are further modern examples of present-day Butoh.

One of the most famous and well-known troupes from Japan that performs Butoh today, is the Sankai Juku group.  I have included two performances by them below, followed by others.

Sankai Juku: excerpts from ‘TOBARI’

Sankai Juku: Excerpts from: ‘KAGEMI’


Hisako Horirkawa and Min Tanaka: Excerpt from a performance in 1988 in Czechoslovakia


Brattelboro Butoh

Co-Production of  Compañía Cuerpo Transitorio (Barcelona, Spain) and La Compañía Slurp (Buenos Aires, Argentina) performing: “Penélope.”

She Who Fought Dictators with Her Voice: Mercedes Sosa and “Todo Cambia”

Mercedes Sosa (July 9, 1935 – October 4, 2009) can be remembered as one of the most memorable, famous, and great singers of the 20th century.   She was known as “La Negra” — the Black One, symbolizing the fact that she often sang for and with, giving voice to, those that are “darker,” and “blacker” –who are now expendable in a global structure, silenced and shunned.

She spent much of her life in prison, then had to live in exile from her homeland because of her leftist views.  She united many music aficionados across South America and in Europe by singing her native Argentinian folk songs as well as those of Cuba and Brazil, often singing of heartache. longing in their connection to loss, politics, and cultural survival.

Here, the video is one of my favorite songs by her: Todo Cambia, (Everything Changes).

I thank Nancho21 who uploaded this nice video on Youtube and I offer an edited version of the translation below the video.

What is superficial changes
What is profound also changes
The mind changes
Everything changes in this world.

The traveler changes his way
Even if this harms him
And just like everything changes
That I change is not strange

Change, everything changes
Change, everything changes

The sun changes its path
When the night prevails
The plants change and dress
in green in Spring

The beast changes its fur
The old man changes his hair
And just like everything changes
That I change is not strange

Change, everything changes
Change, everything changes

But my love does not change
Regardless of the distance
or the memory or the pain
Of my land and my people

What changed yesterday
Will have to change tomorrow
Just as I change
In this distant land

Everything changes
Everything changes
Everything changes
Everything changes

Jake Shimabukuro, the Ukulele, and Beautiful Eclectic Music!

Jake Shimabukuro and his incredible ukulele playing!!

He first attracted attention in his homelands of Hawaii, in 1998.  From then, he has progressed to one of the world’s foremost “global” ukulele players.  His playing ranges from Hawaiian traditional ukulele tunes, to American folk music, jazz, blues, bluegrass, and rock.  Truly wonderful.  He is a fifth-generation Japanese-American.

LINK to his website here.

Ted Talks:  He performs a variety of tunes:

 

He performs Michael Jackson’s THRILLER on KFOG radio in the US in 2008.

 

SULTANA: Sings Turkish woman-rap, banned in 2000. Now back with a vengeance!

Turkish pop/rap star Sultana, was deemed “dangerous” by the Turkish government and the media in 2000 when her song Kusu Kalkmaz came out.  The Title means:  “Birds Can’t Fly”  — which is a euphemism for “Can’t Get It Up.”   The song suggests a failure in the men who leave their wife and family behind while they go out to clubs to search for women and prostitutes for elicit sex, hiding their impotence as men, not just sexual bodies.

When radio and television stations were told not to play her music or music videos or her performances in Turkey because of the song, Sultana was disgusted.  She is quoted to say that Turkey has a problem with freedom, that creativity means freedom and that Turkey’s “Thought Police” is ridiculous because it actually tries to control thought and that creativity will always resist control.  She moved to the United States at that point and continued to record some beautiful “woman-rap” songs in Turkish/English hybrid, mixing Turkish traditional instruments, modern rap and hip/hop sensibility and Europeanesque melodies.

LINK to a short article

 

Some words from her song:

‘Kuşu Kalkmaz’

I am a-kick it for my girl while you ask how
’cause people in the world are living so foul
I manifest a tune about this, aye:
‘Kuşu kalkmaz’ means: ‘your bird can’t fly’!
While wife and kids are locked up at home
And you are at the strip club
headed for the zone,
Brizzle and ice sucked up all your stones
And by the time you get back home
your baby done grown
‘Cause you were stuck at the spot
like a fool to rasclast
Trying to get at what the new girl got
Not conscious of the family
Not acting like a father
When you’ve seen her in the light
Man, that’s your daughter