Friday, December 26, 2008

Diglight Classics Series

Shino Kataoka (片岡詩乃) has made it into my blog quite a few times. I met her my second week in Japan and it turns out that she was schoolmates with my friend Ayano Kataoka from Yale, a quite unbelievable coincidence. Read about it here

In November, Shino also gave me tickets to see her concert with the Tokyo Symphony Orchestra. It's because of people like her that Japan was quick to  open up for me. I wrote in an earlier post that she is a badass, and I definitely meant it.

Shino is a regular at the bar Diglight, the same place where Yugo, Tatti, and all the other bluesman I follow play every month. I think I've seen her there at virtually every concert I've been too. Yesterday, she organized a concert at the bar where she could finally show to us her musical prowess.  She is a wonderful professional harpist and it was a rare opportunity to hear classical music in a barroom setting, an oddly appropriate atmosphere. I imagine that many pieces that we view as 'classical' today (I'm thinking of Shubert and Beethoven) were probably premiered at some bohemian dive pub in Vienna in the early 1800's.
Shino played a few solo harp pieces, but for most of the concert, she was accompanied by other musician friends: a pianist, violinist, percussionist, violist, and flutist.
Even Yugo took the stage with her for one song and did his own version of an operatic aria, complete with his personal bluesy touch. With his long hair and coat tails, he looked like a one of the Three Tenors gone samurai.
With the New Year approaching, more good stories await. Stay tuned!

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