Auletes goes Japanese

Hardy Li, conductor & Jochem Karremans, narrator
Sunday, December 10 2023, 3:00 PM - 4:30 PM
Blauwe Zaal, Auditorium
Price: Free (Student) € 15.00 incl. vat (Others)

This is a unique chance to enter a completely new musical world and discover surprising details about Japanese culture. The student wind orchestra Auletes will play wonderful Japanese music supported by intriguing narratives, including the famous and immense Japanese Taiko-drum. Why not treat yourself to a magical Sunday afternoon?

ESMG Quadrivium’s wind orchestra Auletes is conducted by Hardy Li and has already attracted a lot of attention with its performances during last June’s ‘Klassiek op de Campus’ festival. To add an extra dimension to the concert, narrator Jochem Karremants will tell a story in sync with the music. The music will vary from more traditional Japanese pieces using Japanese instruments such as the Taiko drum, to modern Japanese film music from Studio Ghibli. 

The pieces played
The “pièce de resistance” of the concert will be “Gloriosa” by Yasuhide Ito. The piece consists of three movements (Oratio, Cantus & Dies Festus), inspired by three songs about Japanese Christians from the Edo Period and their struggle to keep their faith. The piece paints a picture of the discrimination that Japanese Christians faced from their government. Another more traditional work by the same composer is “Festal Scenes” which, as the name suggests, is inspired by large Japanese festivals where many traditional folk songs are performed using original Japanese instruments. The Taiko-drum plays a prominent role in this piece.

The piece “The Seventh Night of July” by Itaru Sakai is also inspired by Japanese tradition. In Japan, the 7th of July is a holiday known as Tanabata, and large celebrations are held throughout the country. The holiday is based on a legend about a young man and a young woman who are separated by the Milky Way and can only see each other once a year on this night. The Seventh Night of July is Itaru Sakai’s musical interpretation of this romantic legend. The alto saxophone and euphonium solos in the middle movement represent the two main themes of the legend.

After a more transitional piece called “Intermezzo”by Hiroshi Hosina, in which both Japanese and Western music come together, we go on a journey to more modern Japanese music from the Studio Ghinli animated films “Princess Mononoke” and “Spirited Away” (composed by Joe Hisaishi and arranged by Kazuhiro Morita). 
The film “Spirited Away” will be screened on December 6th in Filmhuis de Zwarte Doos. Tickets for this film can be purchased online.

“Princess Mononoke” is set in the late Muromachi period of Japan (about 1336 to 1573 A.D.), but it includes fantasy elements. The term mononoke (物の怪, or もののけ) is not a name, but a Japanese word for supernatural, shape-shifting beings that possess people and cause suffering, illness, or death.

“Spirited Away” tells the story of Chihiro Ogino (Hiiragi), a ten-year-old girl who, upon moving to a new neighborhood, enters the world of kami (spirits of Japanese Shinto folklore). After her parents are turned into pigs by the witch Yubaba (Natsuki), Chihiro takes a job working at Yubaba's bathhouse to find a way to free herself and her parents and return to the human world.

Finally, we end with “Takarajima” (宝島 or Treasure Island in English). This popular Japanese song was written by Hirotaka Izumi, a member of the band “T-SQUARE”. It was later arranged for a wind ensemble by the late Toshio Mashima, and was performed by the Tokyo Kosei Wind Orchestra. The piece remains an icon among wind musicians both in Japan and abroad.

Ticket reservation 
Students can visit this concert for free, but there are limited student tickets available, so don’t wait too long with reserving. Others pay €15,00. You can order your ticket via the black "order" button on this page.

SG & USE/ITEC registration 
Please register for SG & USE/ITEC by scanning your student ID at the venue prior to the start of the program.

More information about SG & USE/ITEC can be found here

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