Saturday, February 23, 2008

Sunday, February 17, 2008

TenGooz in the woods! @Capio Hall

Busy we are! Four Tengooz and guitarist Thomas Mayer have joined forces to create and perform the music to Ki no Ballad, or as I translate it- Ballad in Wood.
It has not been easy trying to blend narration, projected images, sculpture, dance and music, but the show went quite well and should be much better for our next performance on the 22nd.
We have gotten lots of positive comments on the music, and we hope that the extra two weeks will give us the time to pull everything together and create something really special.
Its a great thrill and satisfaction to have Jenny sing our songs. She is truly STAR material with her rivetting stage presence and almost uncontainable passion.
We will be recording tommorow night and hope to have CDs ready for next Friday nights show as there have been some inquiries about getting the music which we perform in the show.

In the picture sent to us by Dan, you can see the general merriment which we whipped up in the 3rd act of the show. Lots of kids,parents and seniors romping on the stage. What could be better!

Avi Landau

Friday, February 01, 2008

Something Smells Fishy-Its Setsubun!

Most of the world cultures that I can think of have (or had) their own special ways of keeping evil spirits at bay, or even better,far away. Japan is probably the industrialized country with its traditional demon-fighting repetoire most intact. One of the most important and popular of the occassions on which excorcisms are appropriate is SETSUBUN(節分)usually celebrated on February 3rd, the day before the first day of spring(risshun(立春).The main technique used is bean-throwing(豆まき),highly effective and plenty of fun!

Usually,Dad wears a demon(oni)mask,easilly purchased at any convenience store, and the kids procede to pelt him with dried soy beans(from packets available at the same stores).While they do this,they shout-oni wa soto!
Fuku wa uchi!(Evil out, Good Fortune in!)This is done at the entance to the house, and then in the other rooms. When the beans are all used up, they are gathered up and each family member usually eats the same number of beans as his/her age.Beans can also be offered to the Shinto
and Buddhist altars.

This ceremony remains one of the most popular of the traditional evil fighting customs and you can enjoy the ceremony in various forms at temples and shrines throughout Japan as well as on
TV(you might catch a scene of sumo wrestlers in masks being pelted by excited kids).

One of the other techniques of keeping evil away in this season has not fared as well as the bean throwing. Im refering to hiiragi(ヒイラギ), the holly and dried sardine amulets which in not very former times would adorn the entranceways of most houses in this area.

Since holly has thorned leaves, it was thought to repel demons who were afraid to get poked in the eye,and the sardines would do the same job with its unpleasant,fishy smell.
Though the use of these amulets has decreased rapidly over recent years, I have still found a few around town.

Ive also taken some pictures of SANPO, containers for soy beans made out of origami paper by nursery school kids.

Another way to celebrate SETSUBUN (or desacrate it by joining in on its commercialization) in to buy the EHO-MAKI(恵方巻き)sushi rolls which are being sold at all the convenience stores and being promoted as efficatious for bringing good fortune by pointing the roll in the properly auspicious directions.

So,There you have it. Take YOUR choice of how you want to keep EVIL away!

Avi Landau