Improvised Music from Japan

Liner Notes of Yumiko Tanaka's CD Tayutauta

Dear listeners,

I wouldn't want these notes (which I wrote) to limit your listening freedom. My hope is that you'll listen in your own way. If you find the notes necessary, however, please read them.

  1. Furuike ya
    Here I attempted to pursue the rich harmonic overtones inherent in the gidayu shamisen. Could this be what Zen training is like?

  2. Kaze ga Toku de
    Coarse, twisted, grating, "defective" sounds can be enjoyable, too.

  3. Amayadori
    So you don't have to use a plectrum to get a "good sound" from a shamisen after all.

  4. Yuki
    The feeling of this piece overlaps with that of Buson Yosa's ink painting Yashokurodaizu.

  5. Chirei
    In Japan there's an old custom whereby religious elders stamp on evil spirits and drive them deep into the ground. Actually, I've sometimes felt that the sound of the shamisen resonates deep into the earth.

  6. Ruten
    Years ago I promised someone that I would interpret Taikan Yokoyama's painting Seisei Ruten on gidayu shamisen, but I haven't kept that promise yet.

  7. Yamanoha
    They say the "next world" lies beyond the mountains. No wonder just looking at mountains can make people happy.

  8. Otozure
    The souls of the dead come back with the sound of the wind.

  9. Tayuta
    I'll wander aimlessly around an unfamiliar city. I'll keep going...and going... I won't have a traveling companion, but my song will be my friend.

  10. The Gateway
    And then it's off once again on a journey to another dimension.

    Yumiko Tanaka

    (Translated by Cathy Fishman)