Japanese Drum Night

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Last week wednesday i was invited by my friend Nancy, to attend the “Japanese Drum Night” hosted by the Intercontinental Hotel and the  Japanese Embassy. This event is part of a cultural exchange happening this month to celebrate 50 years of Zambia-Japan diplomatic relations. In addition to the drum night the embassy in conjunction with Arcades Mall will be hosting free Japanese films and cultural events from the 16th-18th of this month.

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I did not know what to expect from the drum night but I have to say I was blown away by the sheer talent of the performers. Kenichi Koizumi is one of the most powerful drummers I have ever witnessed, he started learning the Wadaiko (Japanese drums) from a young age. His artistry is incredible, he started off with a piece entiltled “Shibuki” meaning Splashes that was played on an okedo-taiko (tub drum). The piece provided a perfect ambience of splashing water and allowed my imagination o run free with images of waterfalls in nature.

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Also performing was Naomi Koizumi who is an electric organ player but for this night she played the shinobue (Japanese bamboo flute). Her performance of the piece “Yoake-mae” meaning Before the Dawn was breathtaking, it was just very calming and peaceful.

 

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Roudning out the talent was Keiko a trained classical ballerina who showcased her talent with Japanese dance and the wadaiko. Her dancing was elegant and graceful not to mention composed, she danced using a fan as a prop and a lot of hand movement. Then came her drum solo which was the most incredible act of hand-eye-movement coordination or just rhythm…listen i am just throwing words out there because I was blown away. You just had to be there.

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There were so many pieces that were breath talking and took you away to a paradise. Some of my favorite moments were the duets between Kenichi and Naomi. One the stand outs was “Yabusame” (Horseback Archery) which actually sounded like horses galloping into a fight. I pictured an epic battle scene while i was listening to it, I seriously need to now write a film and get these guys to do the music score. It speaks very clearly to the visual and artistic mind.

 

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Don’t forget to look out for the Japanese films at Arcades from the 16th of September, they are all free

 

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