Kyoto Carols - How was it?

Festive Thanks to all those who came carol singing on 24th. We had some passers by join in too which was exactly what I was hoping for. Hiroko has written about it below, and Ben, who was traveling from Australia, kindly sent us these photos and this video of us singing Jingle Bells in English and Japanese.

Here's what Hiroko says:
On the 24th of December, I arrived at the spot 18:55ish, when I found that about 30 people singing 'gloria', and thought the caroling had been already started, but it turned out that there was another group, from Sendai, of Christian volunteer singers who were singing there from 17:30pm. Among them there were Felicity, David, and other people around Kyoto. During our caroling we also saw a flock of Santa Claus's riding on motorcycles; 'Twas a fantastic night singing.
Eventually we sang almost 2 hours; after the previous group left, we were around ten people, much less than the last year, though some came later, and many others passed by, stopped, and got involved!
After the caroling, some of us went to the Irish Pub Gnome, where we shared drinks and food listening to the live music. Felicity said she prepared 50 sheets of songs books and she kept 23 when we finished; taking account of the number of the participants who returned the songbook to her, we hoped to have had almost 40 singers or more!
Thank all who came and join us! Thank all who came and watch us singing! To people who came and who couldn't come, let's make that happen again on the next Christmas Eve!
Very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
PS:our next Singing Around the Table is planned to be on the 28th of January; three days after Robert Burns' Birthday. Hope to sing some songs with his words.(KH)


24/12 Kyoto Carols Pamphlet Contents

Away in a Manger /い葉の桶で

Carol of the Bells

Deck The Halls/ひいらぎ飾ろう

Ding Dong Merrily on High

God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen

Good King Wenceslas

Hark the Herald Angels Sing/天には栄え

I Saw Three Ships

Jingle Bells

Joy to the World/諸人こぞりて

Little Drummer Boy

O Come, O Come, Emmanuel

O Little Town of Bethlehem

O Tannenbaum/もみの木

Oh, Come, All Ye Faithful/神の御子は

Once in Royal David’s Cityダビデの村

Rudolph, the Red-nosed Reindeer/真っ赤なお鼻のトナカイ

Santa Claus is Coming to Town

Silent Night/清しこの夜

The 12 Days Of Christmas

The First Noel /牧人ひつじを

The Holly and the Ivy

We Wish You a Merry Christmas/クリスマスおめでとう

What Child Is This/みつかいうたいて

While Shepherds Watched

White Christmas

Winter Wonderland

Kyoto Carol Singing

All are welcome to join 'Singing Around the Table' and 'ContraKyoto' for carol singing on 24th December 2011. Meet outside Kyoto City Hall (NW corner of Oike Kawaramachi) at 7pm. English/Japanese song sheets provided. It's cold so wrap up warm (hat, gloves, muffler, antlers etc) !!! Last year we retired to nearby Irish Pub Gnome afterwards for food and drinks. ; ) Happy Holidays!






Dec 10: Kitamura Ken at Uzura

I really like Uzura Gallery, a tiny venue (Showa era dental surgery) tucked away downtown Kyoto - some great music

Kitamura Ken sings do-yo, Japanese old songs.
"Do-you Remember"
Dec. 10 (Sat) 7 p.m. 2000 yen
Reservation: call 070-5500-1011 or email...


2011年12月10日(土)『童謡 DO YOU - REMEMBER』
(京都 三条通寺町西入南側の町家。京阪三条駅から西へ600m)
開場 18:40 
開演 19:00   
お問い合わせは 070-5500-1011 うずらギャラリー      
OFFICE KEN Order form


Carols & Contrakyoto

English Follows Japanese

11/26 --- コントラの歴史 @ Contrakyoto
講師:ひぐちゆうこ-- コントラダンスのルーツとバロックダンス
講師: ロマン・ジョルダン -- フランスのコントラダンス
東山市民活動いきいきセンターにて 5時から9時

コントラが始まる前に、クリスマス・キャロルの練習第一回目をやります!ダンスと同じ、東山市民活動いきいきセンターで、クリスマスの夜、寒空の下、英語と日本語で、クリスマスのいろんな歌を歌うのです。何度もきいたことあるのに、歌詞を知らないクリスマスの歌ってたくさんあるけど、歌えるようになるよ!来てくれる人、がしがしContrakyotoに連絡ください^   ^  

Carols & Contrakyoto
This is a "histwirlical" retrospective including the Contra History Movie, Handouts, and Special Guests:
Yuko HIGUCHI -- the roots of contra with some Baroque Dance  
Romain JOURDAIN -- French Contredanses 
Plus a mix of Early Colonial, New England, California, and Modern Urban....and Japanese Style Contra! 
Music kindly provided by Peter DAMASHEK and Friends 
5-9PM at Higashiyama ISKC
Before the above dance.  
4 PM 3rd Floor Room 8
We had a great time last year...


Here's a Health Unto the Barley Mow

Barley Mowに幸あれ!民俗文化と昔の村の競技の100年

Here's a Health to the Barley Mow: A Century of Folk Customs and Ancient Rural Games

先日、私は、British Film Institute(英国映画協会, BFI)が出したDVDを注文しました。このDVDには、祭りや習慣を扱った昔の動画が44も収録されているので、とても楽しみにしています。このDVDに収録されているさまざまな映画は、English Folk Dance and Song Society (英国民謡舞踏協会, EFDSS)のVaughan Williams Memorial Library

Ottery St Mary村のTar Barrelsと呼ばれる火祭り
Ottery St Mary Tar Barrels

Alan Lomax(音楽民俗学者)の「Oss Oss Wee Oss」Padstow村から(1954年;昭和29年)
Alan Lomax's ”Oss Oss Wee Oss” from Padstow 1954

Cecil Sharp とGeorge Butterworthのオープンリール画像 (1912年;大正元年)
Kinora reels of Cecil Sharp and George Butterworth 1912

ニュース映画ーーShrove Tuesday(四旬節の前日)の村対抗フットボール大会
1920s Newsreel of Shrove Tuesday Football

Doc Rowe(民俗学者)、Jeremy Deller(造形映像アーティスト)による最近の映像
Recent footage by Doc Rowe、Jeremy Deller

Illustrated 50 page booklet incl EFDSS photographs


Jim Ediger in Kansai

Check out Jim's 二本語website or Irish Music in Japan on Facebook for more details of his several gigs in Kansai this week:
Weds: Blarney Stone, Shinsaibashi with Peter Damashek
Thurs: Piano concert at John MacAteer's house, Kyoto (& session)
Fri: Gael, Gion with MacFiddles

Jim plays fiddle, piano, accordion and more - catch him while he's over from Tokyo.


10月歌声Singing Around the Table Sat. 29th Oct

The next Singing Around the Table will be on Saturday 29th October 8-10pm at Gnome,Kyoto. If you have a song or your instrument to bring, please do. We'll start practising a few Christmas songs and introduce some of the peace/protest songs that have both English and Japanese lyrics.


Pipe & Tabor

Click title for a great photo of Atsufumi Ujiie playing his unique Japanese style pipe and tabor at IPATF 2010.


9月歌声Singing Around the Table FRI 30th SEPT

The next Singing Around the Table will be FRIDAY 30th September 8-10PM.

We'll continue the NEW FORMAT for the singing- just a few songs, some in English, some in Japanese, in a bit more depth.
As previously there will be NO STAGE - this is to enable more musicians to join ad hoc and try to accompany the songs.
If you have an instrument please bring it.
If you have a song to bring, please do - please teach us.

How to get there:
From the junction of Oike and Kawaramachi (Kyoto Shiyakusho mae (City Hall) subway station) walk North on the left hand side of the road. Gnome is in a basement between a jewelry shop and a retro hi-fi shop. Look for the yellow Gnome signboard on the street. It is a few shops south of Nijo Street.

You can also get this information by looking at/subscribing to....

Hope to see you soon


Gael on Friday 29th July 2011

Friday was the last time we will play together at Gael before the summer break when people start to escape the summer heat of Kyoto in August. Sheebs, over from Canada, came up from Kobe and joined us on guitar for a few tunes while Peter had a beer. Next week, Peter, Atsuko and Felicity will play. Here's (L-R) Jake, Atsuko, Felicity, Jay and Sheebs.


6月歌声Singing Around the Table in June

It's a Rosebud in June!

The next Singing Around the Table will be SATURDAY 25th June 7-9PM.

We'll continue the NEW FORMAT - just a few songs, some in English, some in Japanese, in a bit more depth. As previously there will be NO STAGE - to enable more musicians to join ad hoc and try to accompany the songs.

If you have an instrument please bring it.
If you have a song to bring, please do - please teach us.

Hope to see you there!


5月歌声Singing Around the Table SAT. 28TH MAY

The next Singing Around the Table will be SATURDAY 28TH MAY 7-9PM at Gnome.

(Please note the time and day are different from usual.)

We'll try a new format -

just a few songs, some in English, some in Japanese, in a bit more depth; and no stage (to enable more musicians, hopefully, in future).

If you have an instrument you want to play please bring it.

If you have a song to bring, please do - please teach us.

HANZ ARAKI and JAY GREGG will play 9.30pm- so please plan to stay on if you can!

pic: FJGreenland (on flickr)

Charity Sale for Tohoku - Sat May 28

This information is from DEEP KYOTO's WEBSITE : 日本語はこちら

Bring & Buy
Second-hand… books, clothes, records, cds, toys, various household items and electrical goods (a dvd player, rice cooker etc...). Delicious Baked Goods!

Live music from theHuman Jukebox” ! 10:00 - 12:30 Kris Roche; 1:00 - 3:00 Max Dodds; 3:00 - 6:00 Felicity Greenland

Place: Akateletecobe Sovesahva (a one minute walk east of the Demachiyanagi Eizan line Station and right beside Falafel Garden )
Here is a google map: http://tinyurl.com/3r9scym
And here is a Deep Kyoto map: http://tinyurl.com/6539ajz

All proceeds go to IDRO JAPAN: International Disaster Relief Organization Japan. IDRO Japan is a Kyoto-based NPO that provides aid and assistance for immediate post-disaster relief and long-term support through relief trips and housing. IDRO Japan's efforts are concentrated on areas affected by the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami.


Celtsittolke CD Launch Ustream

Today we held the Celtsittolke CD launch concert at Sonic Hall in Sannomiya near Kobe. Seven bands with 2-4 songs/tunes each. Watch here. This Ustream will be available for one week.


Live Friday May 13th

Jay, Atsuko and Felicity will play at Gael Irish Pub , Kyoto on Friday 13th May from 8pm. It's free!

Live in Osaka May 15th 2011

MacFiddles will play in a concert with lots of other Kansai Irish bands to launch the Celtsittolke CD this weekend coming. For details click the links above.


Tail of Cat, Hand of Frog...猫のしっぽカエルの手

Recently I spent some time with some great guys from a TV production Co. to make part of Venetia Kajiyama's NHK TV programme 'Tail of Cat, Hand of Frog...' The theme this time is singing and music in everyday life. It had been vaguely planned for a while and, as the recent disaster left everyone (including us) depressed and in shock, we thought we'd better get on with it as soon as possible. We visited a monk in Ohara, an Irish session at Field, and went hiking in the hills. I also did a mega spring clean  in my house before the filming, and even a bit of dusting on camera, so I'm glad that has been done and recorded for posterity even though I have no idea how the programme will turn out. ...fingers crossed. The programme will initially be screened 3 times.
Vol.58 : 歌がつなぐ幸せ5月6日(金) BSプレミアム 午後7時30分から8時5月10日(火) BSプレミアム 午前8時から8時30分5月12日(木) BSプレミアム 午後3時から3時30分Programme 58: Singing in everyday lifeFriday May 6th 2011 BSPremium Hi-vision 7.30pm-8.00pmTuesday May 10th 2011 BSPremium Hi-vision 8am-8.30amThursday May 12th 2011 BSPremium Hi-vision 3pm-3.30pm


After the Earthquake

I remembered a magazine article (Kyoto Journal #63, J. Irish - book extract ) which said that in old Japan people walking alone in the country roads would sing to let other people know they are there. Since singing is also supposed to raise your spirits by stimulating endorphins (happiness!) and oxytocin (bonding!) in the brain, this may be the very time to sing, even if you do have to force yourself. With these things in mind, we decided to still hold our monthly song session on Sunday and I'm glad we did. Thanks to all those who came.

My friend Paul Williams posted a link to John Hall's song 'Power', on his Facebook page, so I'll pass it on to you in case you like it. Hall wrote it in response to Three Mile Island.

These pictures show: Paul (who plays music in Tokyo), and a Japanese man in Ibaraki receiving a care letter along with new socks from the Socks for Japan tsunami relief project. I hope they won't mind that I have borrowed from their websites these smiley faces.

History of 'Singing Around the Table' at Gnome

English follows Japanese.

'Singing Around the Table' は何人かの人の熱意が巡り合わせよく融合することでスタートしました。
そして、ミュージシャンである白坂有子さん(button box)・達也さん(wood bass)ご夫妻は、伝統音楽と伝統音楽を演奏する人たちをサポートするという特別な目的で、アイリッシュ・パブ「ノーム」を経営しておられたこともあります。

ともこさんと私は、集まって数回演奏をしたのち、歌集に入れるための最初の12曲を決めました。2009531日、第一回「Singing Around the Table」を開催しました。それ以来、8月以外の毎月(たいていが最終日曜日)「Singing Around the Table」をしています。参加人数は、50人から1人(最多参加はひろこさん)と、さまざまです。雨の日など少人数のときには、バンドメンバーだけでなく、参加者の紹介もします。(^^;) 日本人や英語圏からの人のほかに、ドイツ人・ロシア人・韓国人・フランス人などの人々に参加していただきました。リピーターのお客さんも徐々に増えてきています。

版を重ねるごとに、曲を取捨選択してきました。これを続けてゆけば、いつか、人気のある曲のちょっとした歌集が出来ることと思います。でも、まずその前に、英語・日本語圏以外の国の歌も加えたいと思うようになった今日この頃です。Felicity Greenland フェリシティ・グリーンランド 河野洋子 201012

'Singing Around the Table' grew out of the happy coalescence of several people's passions: between fiddle playing at sessions, Tomoko Saito was singing a few Irish songs in English; musicians Yuko (button box) and Tatsuya (wood bass) Shirasaka were running Irish Pub Gnome with the specific aim of supporting traditional music and musicians; several Japanese friends and students had shown interest in singing in English as a way of combining learning English and socialising; I missed the chorus singing I had enjoyed in London and had also begun researching social singing in Japan and compiling a core repertoire of the English, Irish, Scottish and American songs/melodies well known in Japan (mostly with Japanese lyrics). One night at Gnome, Yuko and I got to talking about the Utagoe Kissa coffee shop folksong clubs that proliferated in 1960s Japan. We wondered if we couldn't follow that model to start something similar at Gnome on a quiet night. We agreed that it should be about participation rather than entertainment, and that it should be free. That suited Gnome because we would hopefully bring in customers for food and drinks, but if it wasn't too busy the staff would be able to play their instruments with us.
Tomoko and I got together for a couple of practices to decide on an initial 12-song list to make song-sheets for. We held the first 'Singing Around the Table' on 31st May 2009 (review). Since then it has been held monthly, usually on the last Sunday, except for a break each August. The numbers have varied between 50 and one (Hiroko holds the attendance record) - in the rainy season we can sometimes introduce the audience as well as the band (!). As well as Japanese and native English speakers we have had Germans, Russians, Koreans and French in our company. The number of regulars is slowly increasing.
We use photocopied, illustrated sheets and a request system. Our repertoire is now in its fourth generation, with just over 30 songs, most in English, some bi-lingual (e.g. My Grandfather's Clock, Annie Laurie, The Last Rose of Summer - all these have both Japanese and English versions), and some traditional Japanese songs. Each generation we add some and take some away. Eventually we hope we can make a proper booklet of the most popular repertoire, but first, we recently decided, we are going to add some songs from other countries too.
Felicity Greenland, 2 Dec. 2010

2009 年 5月31日 (日) I - May 31 Singing Around the Table I
2009年 6月21日 (日) II - Jun 21 Songs 歌プレビュー.
2009年 7月26日 (日)III - July 26 Songs 歌プレビュー.
2009年 9月27日 (日) IV - September 27
2009年 11月1日 (日) V - November 1
2009年 11月29日 (日) VI - November 29
2009年 12月20日 (日) VII - Dec 20
2009年 1月31日 (日) VIII - Jan 31
2009年 2月28日 (日) IX - Feb 28
2009年 3月28日 (日) X - March 28
2010年 4月29日 (木) XI - Apr 29
2010年 5月23日 (日) XII - May 23
2010年 6月27日 (日) XIII - June 27
2010年 8月1日 (日) XIV - August 1

2010年 12月24日 (日) XV - D
ec 24 - Carol Singing in front of Kyoto City Hall

2011 - usual monthly sessions plus...
2011年11月26日 Christmas
carols at Higashiyama Iki-Iki Centre with Contra Kyoto at

2011年 12月24日 - D
ec 24 - Carol Singing in front of Kyoto City Hall

2012 usual monthly sessions plus...
2012年 12月24日 - Dec 24 - Carol Singing in front of Kyoto City Hall

2013年 2月2日 (土) - Feb 2
2013年 3月2日 () - March 2
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