The concert was hosted in three cities and I joined it for its finale performance in Iida city. Featuring a trio of world champion Odaiko soloists, this epic concert was a brilliant cross roads of the musical precision of Ryo Shimamoto, the creative and colourful scope of Tetsuya Kudaka's interpretations of a variety of northern and southern Japanese traditional dances, as well as his now iconic comedic story telling, and the power and grace of Kazushige Yanase on the taiko. It featured everything from the mysterious Demon dances of the North west coast, a hybrid Deer dance of the north to Okinawa's unmistakable music and beats, traditional classics like Chichibu Yatai Bayashi, and a host of original works. This included a brief composition requested of me to introduce Ryo's piece Urakan, which I entitled Loon. Urakan is named after a God of Wind and Ryo had requested that I guide the audience into the calm before the storm with the Shinobue. I could think of no better sound to depict the silence and stillness I recall in my own youth, than the lonesome echoes of Northern Ontario loon calls. So it was my pleasure to treat the Japanese audience to the sound of Canadian loons as depicted on a Japanese flute.
I wish to thank Tetsuya Kudaka for inviting me to perform in such a creative venture, Ryo Shimamoto for his staunch professionalism and dynamism, and Kazushige Yanase for his skilful collaborations in 'Loon', Chichibu Yatai Bayashi and for his generous nature. Finally I must thank all the dozens of volunteer staff and friends, without whom I could not have shared in this unforgettable performance.