Hanz Araki at Gael 24th Nov.

Portland flute player and singer Hanz Araki played his annual concert at Gael Gion on Monday. In this past year something velvet has happened to his flute playing and his voice, that gives more depth and lustre to every note.  He was joined by Kerry Novotny on guitar and backing vocals and Take Nagahama on bodhran, unobtrusive but distinctive, and to me this was the perfect trinity. 
Dancers, players, singers and friends of various nationalities traveled far to see him, for besides being a magical player and singer Hanz is a diamond of a guy. With his Japanese heritage, shakuhachi pedigree and modern American life Hanz epitomises the new world musician and in particular the links between Japan and American Irish music. I once saw him write on Facebook that he was 'still short', and in stature this is true, but in his heart and reach I would say he is actually a giant. 
Hanz is pictured (R) with guitarist/singer Finn MacGinty (L) and fiddler Dale Russ (C)

This from the Gael website....
11/24 Hanz Araki Special Live 2008
皆さんは映画『タイタニック』でのあの有名な船の下で行われたダンスパーティーのシーンをご存知ですか??  そのダンスシーンでのアイリッシュ音楽を指導されたハンズアラキさん。
尺八琴古流家元「伍世荒木古童」を父に持つアイリッシュフルーティストです。アイルランドと日本人の血を引く彼、ハンズアラキが奏でるアイルランド民族音楽を是非この機会にお楽しみ下さい!! ご予約はお早めに!!


Elgar in J-rap Seamo's "Continue" CD

Japanese rap artist Seamo's 10th 'single' Continue, released October 15th 2008, samples Elgar's Pomp and Circumstance March No. 1 (aka Land of Hope and Glory) on its title track. (In fact the 'sample' lasts the full length of the track.) Seamo's same track was previously used as the theme song to the Japanese TV drama "Yume wo Kanaeru Zou".
There are four tracks in all on the CD - track 2 乾布摩擦 uses traditional Japanese instruments. Tracks 3 and 4 are instrumental-only reprises of Tracks 1 and 2.
The promotional video of Continue, featuring Seamo as an Alice-in-Wonderland rabbit, among pantomime tin-soldiers and Victorian athletes, is vaguely (very vaguely) reminiscent of a video backdrop Jim Moray showed at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards (2005?).
I am sorry I can't translate the lyrics yet, but it is roughly about being true to yourself, not giving up, and following your own path in life. The video makes it look as if it all refers to England, but the lyrics don't seem to at all.
If you are outside Japan and would like this CD, contact me and I'll send it to you - it will cost about seven UK pounds + p&p.
Seamo - Continue PV


Where have all the flowers gone 花はどこへ行った

Pete Seeger's Where Have All the Flowers Gone has been covered (in Japanese) by three Japanese bands:
Mr Children, Yellow Magic Orchestra, The Water of Life

International List of Covers
Wikipedia (J)
Mr Children YOUTUBE