日本

安里屋ユンタオーバードライブ Asadoya Yunta Overdrive (Okinawa)

Posted on Updated on

Here’s a new bonus track we’ve added to the album ネオン列車の風景 Neon Train Landscapes – our version of a traditional shima uta (island song) from 沖縄 (Okinawa).

Dave Black – sanshin, harmonica, field recordings
Nat da Hatt – acoustic & electric guitars, electronics
Cylvi Manthyng – shakuhachi

As you can hear, the music of Okinawa is quite distinct from that of mainland Japan.

East to West: Japan

Posted on Updated on

IMG_6606Back in April we performed Dave Black & Snake Beings: East to West at the Audio Foundation in Auckland.  Here’s a first excerpt from the show, which took the audience all the way from NZ to Portugal.  This chapter is set in mainland Japan, and takes in Kyoto, Mount Fuji, and 1990s Tokyo.  The soundtrack was performed live.

We’ve recorded an album’s worth of material, which is now available: Ngumbang

www.fiffdimension.com                     www.snakebeings.co.nz

In the meantime for other original music inspired by Japan, and more Japanese mountaineering, see ネオン列車の風景 Neon Train Landscapes by Dave Black & Nat da Hatt.

ネオン列車の風景 Neon Train Landscapes

Posted on Updated on

Music by Dave Black & Nat da Hatt – two New Zealanders living in Japan.   楽しむことができます!
 Like 日本 itself, this music offers a surrealistic fusion of ancient and modern.                 released 31 January 2014
Nat da Hatt – electric & acoustic guitars, drum machine, synths, laptop, samples
Dave Black – bass, banjo, acoustic guitar (5), electric guitar (3), loop pedal, electronics, laptop, field recordings

Welcome to the Year of the Horse!

First Time Around: East Asia

Posted on Updated on

As (south)westerners living in Asia, we had our minds blown all over again by new and fascinating forms of music.

This is an album of sound recordings, made in six different countries, edited into sonic short stories and soundscapes – from

South Korea 대한민국

Japan 日本

China 中国

Thailand ประเทศไทย

Vietnam Việt Nam

Mongolia Монгол улс

Read the rest of this entry »

Cylvi M at Buddha’s foot, Kyoto 京都

Posted on Updated on

These recordings were made on my first visit to Japan in 2007, on a side-trip while living in South Korea.

I subsequently lived in Okinawa in 20112012, and travelled further around Kyushu and Honshu.
first time around east asia 5(1)

Okinawa, Japan 沖縄日本

Posted on Updated on

ハイサイ! イチャリバ チョデ!  よろしく おねがいします。 きょ-ねん 那覇市に すんでいました と にほんご ちょっと べんきょしました。

In 2011-2012 I lived in Naha (那覇市), the main city of Okinawa Prefecture (沖縄県) in Japan (日本).

The Ryukyu Islands are a whole other world from mainland Japan – there’s no Mt Fuji, samurai, sumo wrestling, geisha or shinkansen.  They have a different culture, food, climate and music – more tropical and laidback, the Hawaii of northeast Asia, with jungle, sugar cane, beautiful sea and coral – umi to sango wa totemo kirei desu ne – and wonderful people and tragic history.

The soundtracks to these videos are snippets of live Okinawan music I recorded there, such as eisa drum dancing and shima uta island songs.  Spot me on sanshin (traditional 3-stringed banjo) and harmonica in the Iriomote one, and having a drumming lesson in Ishigaki – the two Yaeyama Islands, in the remote southwesternmost corner of Japan.

Special thanks to the staff and students of Naha Kokusai and Naha Kogyo senior high schools – Nifei daebiru!


Read the rest of this entry »

Kyushu, Japan 九州日本

Posted on Updated on

Videos from a solo trip across Kyushu (in March 2012, on holiday from work in Okinawa).  Accompanied by Japanese music such as koto, shakuhachi, yokagura and hip-hop, recorded live.

Four videos –

1) from sugi (Japanese cedar) forest with 3000-year-old trees on Yakushima Island,

2) heading north via Kumamoto and its castle, to

3) a yokagura dance performance reenacting the legend of how the sun goddess returned to the world in Takachiho,

4) to the  city of Fukuoka (score by Dave Black & Nat da Hatt – free download)