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The European Shakuhachi Festival 2010 was co-hosted by the Czech shakuhachi people around Vlastislav Matouek and main organiser Marek Matvija (the protagonists) and the ESS (European Shakuhachi Society). Also Christopher Blasdel had a role in the organisation of the event.
The Festival was held at HAMU, the building of Music and Dance Faculty of the Academy of Performing Arts - a great building that had all the facilities necessary for hosting such an event: Very nice big teaching rooms, meeting room, concert hall, a place to eat simple food and have drinks. It was also very centrally located, so we could enjoy this beautiful city - eat the nice food and drink the even nicer beer!
The local volunteers were fantastic! They all worked very, very hard to make everything run as smooth as possible - and always with a smile. The local volunteers and how they work together is a very important aspect of organisation - and here it was perfect!
The festival itself was a wonderful presentation of different ryūha and genres - a great boost to one's creativity.
We had on the programme Tozan-ryū represented by Yamamoto Shinzan (the son of Hōzan), Myōan Taizan-ha by Shimura Zenpo, and Kinko Chikumeisha by Chistopher Yōmei Blasdel. Sato Kikuko and Watanabe Haruko took good care of shamisen and koto (both teaching and playing in ensemble). From Europe we had Gunnar Jinmei Linder and Michael Sōmei Coxall (Chikumeisha) teaching and performing, Jean-Francois Lagrost (Shin Tozan-ryū) performing and teaching, Jim Franklin (KSK/Chikushinkai) teachin and performing. Also Vlastislav Matouek taught and performed + a wonderful nō dancer and performer Matsui Akira performed for us. Oh yes, I performed a few times too apart from assisting Shimura...
The variety of music taught was really good:honkyoku, modern compositions, sankyoku + koto, shamisen! It was wonderful to see how people discovered how different an approach different ryūha could take - and appreciate these differences.
The concerts including shakuhachi and electronics, honkyoku, contemporary music, shakuhachi with koto and shamisen was a great over-all representation of a good chunk of the genres shakuhachi is used in. And all the concerts were great!
The student concert were students play what they have learned during the course of the festival was a very moving experience. And I can tell you: the level of shakuhachi playing is really improving fast in Europe. Everybody played so well and worked so hard during the festival!
The only critique I got was that people also wanted breaks to be put into the programme. Food for thought for future events....
It is always something special when so many people gather together around a common passion! The people were great! Old and new friendships... even a shakuhachi festival romance... nice nice!
I hope more people will write reviews of this great event. I will stop here for now. And I'd like to end this by congratulation Marek for all his work and for organising such a wonderful and successful event!!! Bravo Marek!
I've written someting about my personal experiences in Prague at:
http://shakuhachibas.blogspot.com/2010/ … praha.html
It's a very nice read, Bas! Thanks!
It has been pointed out to me that I forgot a last moment guest of the festival. I followed the list of guest on the website carefully but did not realise that there were some last-moments. My apologies, I really tried to remember everyone!
Our own BBQ Justin Senryu Williams who played in the free opening concert and presented a paper
Aizawa Rozan who came with Yamamoto Shinzan. He accompanied Shinzan in a lot of performances including in the official concerts.
Apart from this.... I'd like to show how I got attention at the festival. If you can't get attention by anything else (like playing shakuhachi) then act like a case of ADHD... and I got a lot of attention.
Photo by Sergey Maximenko
Last edited by Kiku Day (2010-09-08 05:31:15)
many thanks for the big up. It was a lot of work and we intend to keep it up in the upcoming years. Plans for the next season are already being discussed.
I should add that Kees Kort was also one of the festival's guests and lead a workshop on shakuhachi in Raga Malkauns (Indian music)
Ok, sorry Kees! I forgot you as well.... I didn't mean to. You know I love you!
NB Nyogetsu - I love you the best!
Marek, we might hire you as an events organiser in the future ! ! ! !