Sacred Sounds of Japan

28 April, 2010 by

Last week, the outdoor theater of the Singapore Esplanade hosted A Tapestry of Sacred Music, a five day musical event featuring cultural sounds from around the world. Yan and I chanced upon the finale titled Sacred Sounds of Japan. Pictures and video within.

While we were leaving the Double Helix Bridge, we encountered an audience seated at the Esplanade’s outdoor theater. We moved in closer to find a traditional Japanese orchestra on stage. To my surprise, they were performing the Soran Bushi.

The event didn’t draw too large a crowd since the opening of the bridge overshadowed this performance. Quite a few people begin to leave when the Japanese group began their performance, the Chinese person beside me exclaimed his disgust of the traditional performance. All the better since this allowed me to capture the full performance here clearly on video.

The remaining audience were more accommodating, they participated in the performance by clapping to the rhythm of the famous fisherman tune.

The performing group was known as Fuku no Ne. They were a small ensemble that first began as a traditional string duo in 2001 and later included Singaporean producer Ueno Koshuzan. The three core members can be seen at the front of the stage, Ueno-san is the guy singing and playing the Shakuhachi. The other two key members being Isogawa Mako on the Koto (left) and Uehara Junnosuke on the Shamisen (right).

Today they were performing together an additional Koto player and two percussionists from their ensemble as well as a guest Taiko player Sakai Namiko. Saki Namiko is the leader of Tenko, Singapore’s own Taiko organization.

Poster for their new release.

Selling their CD.

It turned out that we made in barely in time for the last performance of the entire event. Yan was rather enticed by the energetic music and more so by the Taiko player so he ended up buying their CD from the stand they set up by the theater.

They had held a free concert at the Victoria Concert Hall just 3 weeks earlier. The derived album was titled Oto no Kuriya, because it was sponsored by the Kuriya restaurant chain in Singapore. The chain offers authentic Japanese food at their Kuriya and Shimbashi Soba resturants but are better known for their budget family restaurants, Kuishinbo and Ichiban Sushi.

Yan ended up buying one.

We will have to wait on Yan for his feedback on the album. I noticed a Ghibli Medley as one of their tracks so I’m looking forward to him passing me the CD some time soon too. Those looking to find more about Fuku no Ne can check out their website here.

Click here to search CDJapan for Sacred Sounds of Japan and other related items.


Supermerlion's Webmaster and Editor-in-Chief. Singaporean Nikkeijin with over 12 years of experience in the media industry. Producer at a Japanese entertainment company. Former Web Developer, Graphic Designer, Multimedia Programmer, Manager and Consultant. Shoots with a Canon 5Dmk2 and Sony RX100-2.