Monday, July 14, 2008

Tokyo- for the first time

Somehow i made it to one of the places i always wanted to go, Japan. I had an introduction to Japanese music when i was just 20, but took to it like a duck to water. So yes here i am seeing Noh again (there is a previous entry here of one that came to Wollongong) and then later some Kabuki. Both by the top artist in the city. Somehow even on an entertainment level, i preferred the Noh. The Kyogen sections seem to be enough to carry the weight of the more dramatic that follows it, and despite to reading translations of Zeami's book and hoarding every recording i could through the years, here for the first time did i experience all the different layers that takes it out of just drama into a more far reaching theater combined with music and dance each on an equal level. In between this and the Kabuki a day before we left, Carl Stone took us to the favorite bar of Takemitsu. It was barely bigger than two pool tables put together. a very small crowd at at time with people turned away for lack of room. One person came in and turned out to be the lyric writer for the tune A Man and a Woman. [ Ba ba ba da ba etc. ] well it worked somehow! The Kabuki we saw was a more modern one but there was no schism with it own past. There was some projected film on a scrim along with some prerecorded Buddhist chant at the beginning. The whole play had 4 people yet one was aware that there had to be numerous ones in back of everything just to have mountains flying around as the actors traveled. It created a field in which one becomes aware of greater forces beyond ourselves always acting around us.
We were staying a block from one of the busiest station Shinjuku station. Maybe the most crowded place i have been in my life [minus some demonstrations i have been to]. But here was a never ending flow where no one bumps into each other. Yet a great calm underneath it all... maybe the whole country is that way yet one knows that the opposite exist here just as hidden.

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