Dear Customer and friend of the Far Side,
A bit of a different newsletter this time.
Our office in Japan is located in Aso, Kumamoto where the earthquakes struck last week. After a worrying weekend of trying, on Monday I managed to speak to Naoyuki Iwami who runs the office and his shop and fortunately his family and house are fine. Electricity had just come back on, although there was still no water and supermarkets and convenience stores were either closed or had no supplies. Hopefully this situation will be improving gradually, although he and many thousands more, were still not sleeping at home because of the likelihood of more aftershocks.
You might have seen pictures and video or collapsed bridges, torn up roads and damaged rail lines. All this means it’s been impossible to get goods either in or out of the region this week. We have an order sitting there that was due to be dispatched but obviously that won’t happen yet. Sorry if you are waiting for something, but we will send things out as soon as we can. Of course, you can order as usual.
On May 18th, we are putting on a concert by Okinawan female singer Kanako Horiuchi at the Ivy House in London, together with some members of the London Sanshinkai. This will now also be a benefit concert for the victims of the earthquake. It should be a great night. You can buy tickets and find out more information from the links below
We’ve also been busy helping to coordinate a show by Miharu Koshi at the House of World Cultures in Berlin, next week April 29th.
It’s a very rare appearance in Europe by Miharu, who is partly known for her collaborations with Yellow Magic Orchestra, Haruomi Hosono and others. Please come if you are in Berlin, Germany, Europe or from further afield even if you fancy a trip! I’ll be going to, so looking forward to it.
A couple of legendary Japanese female artists have new albums out. There is a new live album (and limited edition version w/Blu-ray) by Akiko Yano with Tin Pan (featuring Hosono) and a studio live Blu-ray or DVD from Akiko Yano. You can watch trailer videos for both.
From the same generation, Shun Sakai has been one of the most innovative jazz musicians for many years and her album has also been recently released, and again you can watch a trailer of the album.
From South Korea, is a fantastic album by E-Do, one of the most innovative blends of traditional music with all sorts of other styles, instruments and rhythms I’ve heard in a while.
There are four new Far Side Radio shows to listen to again since the last newsletter, originally broadcast on Resonance 104.4fm; Middle East meets Far East, Indigenous Music from the Far East, Famous Western Musicians playing East Asian Music, and New Releases from Japan.
You can listen live on Resonance 104.4fm in London from 12 noon on Wednesdays, via DAB digital radio in London, via Radio Player or through http://www.resonancefm.com. And don’t forget, Far Side Radio is repeated every Sunday on Resonance from 8am.
I’m having a few weeks break from the the radio as child caring duties have to take priority, as my wife is in Japan for two weeks and then I’m off to Berlin.
Until next time, hopefully with more positive news.
All the best