Mu:arts producer Akiko Yanagisawa asked the following four questions to the musicians who performed during the Noh Reimagined festival on 13 and 14 May 2016. Their answers give an interesting insight into their artistic sensibilities and early exposure to the practice and performance of Noh theatre.
- What was your first encounter with Noh?
- When do you feel happiest as a Noh performer?
- Would you be a Noh performer again if you were to be reborn?
- What two Noh pieces do you like best?
Yukihiro Isso (Nohkan Flute)
- My ancestors going back over 500 years were Nohkan flautists, so Noh has always been in my family.
- When everyone can share the high quality of a perfect performance – it’s like a flawless dance of God. But, of course, I need to be satisfied with my own performance.
- Yes, but in a Noh world where I can express my music more freely!
- From the view point of a nohkan performer, I like Banshiki-gaku ( high pitched court dance ) and Ranbyoshi Kyu no mai (stamping / quick dance) from Dojoji
Tatsushi Narita (Kotsuzumi Shoulder Drum)
- I was taken by my grandmother to a teacher of kotsuzumi when I was 11 years old. It was the start of everything.
- I feel over the moon when all performers on the Noh stage share the high energy and something unexpected happens.
- Kinuta, Sumidagawa.
Mitsuhiro Kakihra (Otsuzumi Hip Drum)
- My grandfather and father were Noh performers, so it was natural for me to follow them.
- When I can complete a very good performance.
- Maybe I would try a different vocation if I were to be given another life.
- Sumidagawa, Mochizuki.
Kiyoshi Yoshitani (Taiko Stick Drum)
- My mother was studying kotsuzumi, noh chant and dance. She took me to performances and lessons.
- The moment when all performers feel in harmony.
- I am not sure, I still need to try to be a perfect taiko performer in this life, but I am curious about other professions.
- A difficult question, my best two are Takasago and Hagoromo, but I also love Kinuta, Dojoji, and Funabenkei.