Ryukyu Koten Ongaku Kettei-ban
Ryukyu Koten Ongaku Kettei-ban is a new album of classical Ryukyu songs featuring the singing and sanshin playing of Hironobu Nohara accompanied by fue and koto. It was recorded in April this year in Koza. Nohara was born in Haebaru, Okinawa in 1950 and has won various music awards as a member of the Nomura-ryu Hozonkai Denshosha.
The album’s seventeen tracks include an interesting version of the well-known ‘Kajadifu Bushi’ which has a long history of being sung at weddings and other public events and celebrations. The lyrics of many of the songs tell of Okinawan people’s lives and feelings. The album booklet also includes both musical notation and kunkunshi for the songs.
The album is released by the Tokyo record company Respect and one of its stated aims is to rediscover and present this music for those outside Okinawa and to show people the attraction of Ryukyu classical music as only a few of these songs are known in Japan.
Its release comes at a time when interest in this music is still high in Okinawa. A younger generation of musicians such as Toru Yonaha has also been involved in the recording and release of classical Ryukyu songs and Yonaha is currently touring the Ryukyu Islands in support of his own new album of roots and classical songs.
Ryukyu Koten Ongaku Kettei-ban is released by Respect on 27th July.