Irish music in Asian countries

From my experiences to travel to non-Irish traditional countries,I found some interesting fact that worth sharing.That's about how Irish music 
is accepted in those countries.
In NZ, I had only one night at the pub but they mixed Irish tunes with blues singing and English-sounding tunes, played by some non-traditional instruments like  recorder and cello.I guess their society is the mixture of people from many different back grounds and it made this feature.

In European countries, in France and Sweden their session sounds very authentic for my ear.
The reason for this is because there are less language barriers and plenty chances of seeing real Irish musicians. Needless to say it's easy for them to travel to Ireland.

As for Asian countries,situation differs with countries.
In Japan, we have quite a few numbers of musicians in all kinds of instruments and some of them are very serious to pursuit the pure drop. Regular sessions are taken place in many big cities all parts of The country.
On the encyclopedia of Irish music by Fintan Vallely, there is an article about Japan, and I am in that picture! I am really proud of it.

Having a biggest Irish music market in Asia,we are very lucky to able to see star bands and players such as Altan , Solas, Dervish, and McGoldtick to name a few , as well as small gigs by visiting musicians from Ireland occasionally.

But interesting enough, compare to the instrumental music, singing is not popular at all, and despite the popularity of Irish music, its scene is almost unknown for other countries.All websites are written only in Japanese.
This must be all because of language barrier. And another reason I can think of is the market is big enough so there is no reason for us to make efforts to get more chances in overseas. 

Here are some links:
http://www.irishflute.info/  (My page. why not!)
http://hataonami.com/  (My duet, with a harpist)
https://celtnofue.com/ (My music store, selling whistles and flutes)
https://www.facebook.com/Irish-Music-in-Japan-208455972562/ (FB page)

There are too many musicians and bands to list here, so I will make a link page for them someday.

In Korea, there are some musicians and there is a session in Seoul, maybe not in other place. 
But they are very good musicians.There is one professional band called "Bard" and their 2 CDs are released from the major label : Sony.
What I found unique about their music is that they make songs in Korean language and it sounds like K-pop mixed with Irish flavor. 

In China there are some musicians in Beijing and other parts including Shangdong ,Yunnan and Shanghai. Only the tin whistle and flutes are popular among young generations, and other instrumentalists are hard to find. It's a little bit mysterious why only winds suited Chinese people's taste.
There are two wind instruments makers. 

Andy for the Galéon whistles from Beijing and Chen for iPipes from Shanghai.
Although some people practice whistles (mostly slow Joanie Madden style of music) but there is no session culture as far as I know.


The distances of the country and for the lack of access to online and offline resources made them to help each other and they have a chat group to share music and information with about 70 members in it.

For music notation.numbering system is very common both in China and Taiwan at their music education.So they are still accustomed to use it for Irish music.

As in Taiwan, there is only a man who plays Irish music, a good friend of mine: Tawu. And he runs a music shop in Taibei, which name is"Taiwan Irish music centre" and has private tin whistle classes there. As like in China, sessions and other instrumentalists are almost zero so far.

I recently got to know with musicians in some countries in south east Asia. 
There is a skillful piper Faliq Auri in Kuala Lumpur and he mentions the session is quite rare in Malaysia.


He introduced me some musicians in Singapore and Indonesia.
A resident in New Zealand Chih Tham from Malaysia established the web site to introduce Irish music scene in South East Asia, and it has some articles about musicians.


After a conversation with Faliq, I came up with an idea of setting up an international chat group online.

Now it's on Whatsapp and we have about 10 musicians from 7 nations.I'm expecting to share thoughts and tunes with the group members. If you are interested to join in, please download the APP to your smartphone and let me know.

I am personally enjoying traveling to these Asian counties to meet musicians and have small gigs / lessons sometimes.

Having a question for myself for a long time "As a Japanese why am I doing this music?" , sometimes it suffered me seriously when I was younger,so I always try to encourage and help Asian musicians who love this music.
Because the conclusion I got was "I do this because I just love this".


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