Tetsuhiro Daiku: Agi

The new album from Yaeyama singer Tetsuhiro Daiku is the latest in a series he began 15 years ago when he planned to record all the traditional songs he knew from the Yaeyama Islands. Agi is subtitled Yaeyama Hyakkasen and on the album he sings 16 more songs from his islands including many he learned a long time ago from his mentor, the singer and sanshin player Yukichi Yamazato.

It has been a long time since this project began with Fukui (1997) which contained songs of celebration. It was followed by Taborare (1999) which focused on songs of prayer and thanks; and then Iyari (2001) an album of songs of communication. All three were released on Akabana. During the hiatus of more than a decade Daiku has been very busy and among his other recordings he has made an album with Chindon Tsushinsha and an album mixing Okinawan music and Indonesian gamelan. He also made the ambitious double album Exo-Pai Patirohma.

The musicians accompanying Daiku’s vocals and sanshin on Agi are his wife Naeko on koto and hayashi, Sachio Morita on taiko and Eiho Nakazato on fue. It almost goes without saying that Daiku’s performances of these Yaeyama songs are exemplary. The selections this time focus on ‘nasakeuta’ or songs of feeling, sympathy and compassion. Among them are three of the most important – ‘Tubarama’, ‘Yonaguni Shonkane’ and ‘Kohama Bushi’.

Unlike his contemporary Sadao China, who took about a week to record his 6 CD set of 101 songs Shimauta Hyakkei, Daiku has kept us all waiting and he still has some way to go as he gets sidetracked with other projects. But Agi is an important step along the way to putting down more of these vital Yaeyama songs for posterity.

Agi is released on Kokusai Boueki.

Explore posts in the same categories: Okinawan Albums

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: