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OIRO NAOSHI

by Ten Ten

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about

Literally, o-iro-naoshi means “changing colours”.

It refers to a Japanese wedding tradition. A bride will trade her all white kimono for a colorful one to signify that the bride transforms into the colour of her husband’s household and becomes a part of his family.

During the most recent lockdown of the pandemic, to prevent myself from going stir-crazy, I set myself a public challenge. I would write one shamisen song a day for 100 days. The songs were simple and unadorned. Some were catchy. Others were silly.

The process brought me back to my childhood when I would create simple melodies with nonsense words. Instead of formally composing a piece, I would play around, exploring, allowing the melody and rhythm to find themselves. Each day, I would upload the raw, black and white videos to Instagram.

After completing my challenge, I wasn’t quite ready to let the songs go. Many of them still danced about inside my head. And so I wondered what it would be like to add some colours to my simple, monochrome ditties.

With this in mind, I contacted various talented musicians, asking them to contribute their own flourishes and colours to the arrangements, giving them greater depth, allowing them to blossom. It was inspiring to watch these songs evolve as each artist added their unique touches in a harmonious marriage of differing styles and sensibilities. I hope you will also enjoy the fruits of their labour.

I am deeply impressed with all the guest artists who helped me for this album.

Thank you very much.

Aki Takahashi / ten ten

credits

released October 31, 2021

All the music composed by Aki Takahashi
Recorded at Nagata Shachu Studio
Mixed & mastered by Dan Powell
Album layout & design by Aki Takahashi

ten ten:
Aki Takahashi
Heidi Chan

Guest performers:
Ken Yoshioka
Nick Shao
Joel Mankey
Kyle Abbott
Kayla Milmine
Shinya Sato
Kevin Zi-Xiao He
Anita Rakkatak
Reigen Fujii

Executive producer:
Kiyoshi Nagata

This recording was made possible through the generous support of the Ontario Arts Council and the National Association of Japanese Canadian.

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about

Ten Ten

ten ten is an evolving art experiment with its roots in the Japanese folk tradition.

In the Japanese alphabet, “ten ten” refers to two dots used to change the sound of a syllable. In the same spirit, ten ten strives to create its own unique voice for Japanese folk music breathing new life into this traditional art form
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