From Ten Ten (Aki Takahashi)
Japanese folk songs often reflect the time and place of their origin. However, they are not dead and dusty relics from the past. Through improvisation, you can make them your own, breathing new life into them, creating a unique and dynamic link which extends through time and space. That’s one of the reasons why I love singing them.
When I first began learning Min'yo songs, I also took up the shamisen. The shamisen is a versatile instrument which perfectly complements Japanese folk songs. It lends itself well to improvisation. Slow and haunting, or fast and furious, it is capable of the same intricacies and emotional depth as the human voice. The marriage of the two, a perfect union!
I hope you will enjoy the improvisational style which is characteristic of the best Min'yo.