Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

Out of period but of possible interest: Geisha Blues on DVD

Expand Messages
  • wodeford
    Sample clip: http://www.lizadalby.com/GeishaBlues.htm In 1976, while training to be a geisha, anthropology student Liza Dalby recorded a singer and shamisen
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 29 10:34 PM
    • 0 Attachment
      Sample clip:
      http://www.lizadalby.com/GeishaBlues.htm

      In 1976, while training to be a geisha, anthropology student Liza
      Dalby recorded a singer and shamisen accompanist perfoming kouta, as a
      study aid to help her learn to perform the songs herself. For those of
      you who grew up after the invention of the CD, the sound quality might
      seem somewhat muddy, however, it's not bad for a homemade recording
      that's benefited from a bit of digital remastering and sounded all
      right on my stereo TV set. You can clearly hear the quiet vocal cues
      the shamisen player gives the singer during each performance.

      Running about 30 minutes, and tantalizingly labeled "Volume I" (might
      there be a Volume II?), the DVD features an introduction by Dalby
      which describes the kouta. Unlike the big performances at festivals,
      kouta are meant for intimate performance - instead of using a
      plectrum, the shamisen is played with a quieter, fingered technique.

      Twelve brief songs on a variety of themes are presented - Dalby
      introduces each, then each is set against a backdrop of artwork
      evoking the mood. Lyrics are displayed in Japanese, romanji and
      English at the margins of the screen. The translations are presumably
      Dalby's own. "Iki" is translated as "cool" in the opening piece, for
      example, lending a very personal and colloquial air to these "blues."
      There's even a song inspired by the Madame Butterfly story, "Nushi wa
      Amerika," while the humorous "Sake to Onna" praises the merits of
      drink and pretty women.

      I ordered my copy through Amazon.com.

      Saionji no Hanae
      Province of the Mists
      West Kingdom
    Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.