A big thanks to Jeremy Visser (the Good Samaritan who originally set up my blog) for upgrading my WordPress installation and taking it upon himself to redo my Archives page such that it’s actually legible.
Two days ago I met with my photographers group, which is planning for a group exhibition in a couple weeks. I brought a few candidate photos, and the leader of the group selected a macro of my friend Kamada-san’s pottery for me to present. Only, he told me to make it into a tryptic, or three-part piece. So, I’m going to reshoot it in the next few days and see what I can come up with. But doing a coherent three part piece of an abstract macro is hard. Should be interesting, though.
Here are some people arranging some pieces of another tryptic, this time of Kabuki actors. They are using a projector to show the computer screen on the wall so everyone can participate. The guy who took these photos brought in about 50 different shots to select among, and they selected a combination that I suggested, which was significantly ego-stroking to leave me smiling for a few minutes. Only, I suggested it with the two outer faces looking inward, whereas the sensei (the back of whose head is front and center here) immediately recognized that it would be better with them facing outward. And, of course he was right. His own contribution to the exhibit was tailored, I think, to be good but subdued enough not to take all the attention from everybody else’s work.
I’ve been meaning to share this video for a long time now, but only recently has my computer miraculously become able to edit video without freezing. This is some dancing from the summer festival at our daycare, described here. In this video the kids are carrying around o-mikoshi, which are little portable houses for the gods or spirits (kind of like the Ark of the Covenant in the first Indiana Jones movie). About halfway through the video switches to them dancing around the little arks.
I’m not sure to what extent this whole Shinto-inspired ritual is dependent on the fact that our daycare is part of a huge Shinto shrine. There may be some non-Shinto-affiliated daycares that do this at their own festivals, but probably not so elaborately.
Today I played in a concert along with three other people, one playing the shou (a traditional Japanese instrument also crafted from bamboo, but more like a harmonica or a mouth organ), one crystal bowls (created from melted silicon computer chips), and one singing soprano. The venue was a cafe in a machiya, or traditional Kyoto house, with a nice garden to our backs.
To be honest I didn’t have very high hopes for the ensemble, not liking “fusion” music much myself and being more of a purist when it comes to shakuhachi. However, when I met the other three and rehearsed with them for the first time a few days ago, I was amazed at how well we fit together. Basically, the crystal bowls and the shou play background harmony to the shakuhachi and/or the voice, so it all came together well without everyone interfering with each other.
Jeffrey has some photos up already. Go take a look. I should be putting up a blog post as well as soon as I can get him and some other people to send me some photos.