Notes from the Ryukyus

This blog began in 2010 to coincide with the publication of the second edition of The Power of Okinawa. It was created as a companion to the book’s website and with the idea of complementing the book with news of the latest goings on in Okinawan roots music as well as reviews of some of the best albums from outside these islands which caught my attention.

At the time it started I probably didn’t even have a clear idea of what blogs were all about (some say I still haven’t) but I’ve continued to focus as much as possible on the music and related matters rather than on stuff about me in over 350 posts up to now.

These things may change – but only slightly – with the introduction of a new category which I’m calling ‘Notes from the Ryukyus’. Under this heading I’ll write occasionally from a more personal perspective on things that interest me but with the focus still on music and Okinawa (probably).

I’ll start off on a really personal note with a photo of me:

john2

Those who know me may have guessed that this isn’t a recent picture. In fact, it was taken during the summer of 1971 in Athens, Greece. It’s one of the very few pictures unearthed from my younger days which I actually don’t mind. All right, the hair is long and unruly but, hey, these were different times.

That summer I was listening practically non-stop to Blue by Joni Mitchell, a still wonderful album which came out in June of that year. My rather pensive expression may be due to the fact that I had also been listening to Songs of Love and Hate by her fellow Canadian Leonard Cohen, released just a couple of months before Blue. The discovery of Okinawa and its music was still some years in the future.

My younger self certainly couldn’t have imagined that I’d still be listening to Joni and Leonard in 2016. It was widely believed then that popular music was ephemeral and could not stand the test of time in the way that more ‘serious’ (i.e. classical) music did. We would grow out of it. Well, I never did and neither have most of my friends. This has taught me the valuable lesson that one shouldn’t take too much notice of what older people say. And that includes me nowadays.

 

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4 Comments on “Notes from the Ryukyus”

  1. Heiko Says:

    Looking forward to reading more notes from the Ryukyus. All the best from Norway!

  2. Mitzi C Says:

    Aw, what a great post (and pic!)


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