Japanese Folk Suite - Program Notes
Japanese Folk Suite uses melodies from two traditional Japanese folk songs and features two flute or Shakalute soloists. The Shakalute is a unique hybrid instrument that combines the blowing end of a traditional Japanese Shakuhachi with the body of a western modern flute. The first folk song is the Mogami Ferryman’s Song, which is about the Mogami River and the boatmen who ferried rice on the river and navigated the falls, rapids and fast currents. The low flutes begin with the boatman’s melody and then the piece develops with more themes and musical gestures to represent these dangers. The second folk song is titled Echuohara Air from the Minyo school of Shakuhachi playing and is a traditional lively country folk song.