~ Travelling off the beat’n path with a saxophone ~
On a sunny weekend stroll in the pretty
streets of Marunouchi, you may hear a bouncing melody with the gentle booming
The sound is of Yocotasax., a saxophone
player, layering his melodic saxophone onto his original track music.
His tracks are filled with stories, which
attract the attention of even those who are not the usual techno/beat connoisseur.
After sampling his tracks on the street, go
home and put some headsets on and let the same tracks absorb you. Whether it’s
the intricate beats of the “Tornado” fastly approaching in the city
nights, or the young, fresh and playful sounds of “Drops”, there is
sure to be a track or two for your liking.
In addition to his solo tracks & sax,
Hiroyuki Yokota also performs regularly in a number of groups, including his
jazz-based lead band called “Gaudav”.
The band’s name originates from two people
that he has been inspired by – Kenji Miyazawa, the renowned Japanese author who
wrote books including Gauche the Cellist (“Gau”), and inventor Leonardo da Vinci
(“Dav”). Perhaps fitting with their namesake, there is both a
rhythmical finesse and daring boldness to their sounds.
Here you can hear both the soft smoky wail
of the saxophone in classic jazz ballads, to the powerful blasts on the rhythmical
hotpot of sambas, irregular meters and 4 beats in one of Hiroyuki or Hideaki
Hori (pf)’s original tunes.
But what is most surprising is how his
saxophone takes you across the oceans to continents and countries afar, yet
Hiroyuki himself has barely stepped out of the Japanese main island.
Perhaps his saxophone has adopted memories
of the passers-by during the prolonged street performances. Or maybe the
musical masters simply decided to reside within him when he plays.
Either way, perhaps the world in which the saxophone travels will someday soon be heard by the world over. Until then, come enjoy his music in the streets of Tokyo, or in the cosy environment of one of his well visited venues.
For his solo performance, tracks and info go here:
For all other activities by Hiroyuki Yokota go here:
Photo by Keita Haginiwa (See his “Your Eyes Only” series here )
~ A Capella creatures that fly out of a musical jack-in-the-box ~
In 2016, a fresh new A Capella group called Hamojin came onto the scenes.
Whilst they are indeed an A Capella group,
they are much more than that.
They are a group of four distinct and
talented individuals who hold precious internal instruments that they display
with such comedic performance.
Starting off with a bang in 2016 touring Hong Kong on moving stages, it is clear the group has evolved substantially since then as they launch their 2nd album, “Salad Bar”.
Each one a respected solo artist in their
own rights, their personal developments along with the strengthened bond built through
their tours has brought their performance to another level.
Ayumu Yahaba, ever the mood maker, covers
the halls with his smooth voice. And underneath his humorous character, he is
the steadfast glue that brings this group together.
KOTETSU, who is also a trombonist and seems
to be able to play any instrument he can lay his hands on, evidently transfers
this talent onto his vocal scat-abilities. His interactions with KAI’s “drum
set” is one to watch.
Daisuke Ito, who has been bonding with the
loop machine lately in his completely “solo” performances, is quick
with his footwork in addition to his impressive falsetto high notes.
And Kaichiro Kitamura or KAI, who knows no
limits in the sounds he can reproduce, is not only the reliable backbone beat
of the group, but also a vocal jukebox the group play with for any sounds that
exist in this universe.
Each having a foot into jazz, Hamojin not
only harmonise well but perhaps their even greater merit is their ability to
improvise and jam like an instrumental jazz quartet.
By all means do check out their CDs, but I
have to confess they are not the kind of artists that fit neatly into a box,
and you must also see them live. But be aware, should you feel inclined to see
them perform, you are likely to get a work out from their comicality.
For those that have enjoyed their presence
in Japan all nod in agreement that this group could go far.
モルガン・スタンレーのInstitute for Sustainable Investing では、2030年までに最低でも5,000万トンのプラスチックごみを減らす目標を掲げた。Head of Sustainability Researchを務めるJessica Alsford氏は、最も影響を受ける業種としてプラスチックを生成する石油化学関連会社、および消費者商品の包装・梱包を行う業種を挙げ、「Morgan Stanley Plastic Waste Resolution」の一貫として、こうした企業にダイベストメントではなく、リサイクル技術の向上等に関するエンゲージメントを行っていくという。
エチオピア滞在中、不定期に在エチオピア日本人のために開かれる、「サロン・デ・アジス」が偶然にも開かれ、参加させて頂きました。そのゲスト・スピーカーには、Table for Two （http://www.tablefor2.org/）の小暮真久さんがいらしていました。
１０億人の肥満、１０億人の飢餓に苦しむ人々がいる世界の現状の中、カロリー・バランスを考えたおいしいメニューを選ぶと、その節約できたカロリー（＝コスト）を、テーブルの向こう側にいる飢餓に苦しむ人に分けて、共にハッピーな食卓を囲むというコンセプトのTable for Two。日本で初めて講演を聞いてから、イギリス・エチオピアと、それぞれ社会背景が異なる場所で小暮さんとお会いしましたが、同じ話でも聞く場所によって、自分が考えること・感じることが違うことに一番驚きました。
Table For Two の素晴らしいところは、皆無に等しかった日本での寄付文化を、社員の健康管理の重要性に合わせ、多くの社員食堂への導入に成功し、また、少なからずアフリカに目を向くきっかけ作りが出来たことだと思います。また、アンバランスな関係への葛藤は、恐らく私以上にTFT当事者は感じており、そのためエチオピア国内で現地カフェ（Lime Tree Cafe）と提携し、そこでＴＦＴ食を提供するという一つの画期的な解決策を試みているのも素晴らしい。だから、アンバランスな関係への葛藤は続きつつも、Table for Two の活動を、これからも応援したいと思っています。そして、いつの日にか、そのアンバランスがなくなり、本当の意味で共に対等でハッピーに食卓を囲める様、何かしらの貢献をができればと思います。