Egypt, Japan harmonise in cultural musical exchange

Daily News Egypt
3 Min Read

The Embassy of Japan in Cairo, in cooperation with the Egyptian Center for Culture and Arts “Makan,” held a cultural evening on Wednesday at the residence of Ambassador Oka Hiroshi under the title “Musical Dialogue between Egypt and Japan,” where traditional Egyptian and Japanese music played in a wonderful mixture that reflects the artistic originality of the two countries.

At the beginning of the concert, Japanese musician Suzuki Nobuyuki (his artistic name is Shinko) presented a group of Japanese classical and contemporary popular songs, using the Japanese flute known as “Shinobue.”

With the tunes of the traditional Egyptian Arghul and Kawala instruments, the Egyptian musician Amin Shaheen, in collaboration with the Egyptian drum performer Saeed El-Sharqawi, has joined the Japanese artist, in performing some Japanese classical songs, in a beautiful harmony between the Egyptian instruments and the Japanese Shinobue.

On the other hand, the Japanese artist participated with the Egyptian musicians in a joint performance of some Arabic classic songs, where the attendees reacted enthusiastically and happily to a performance of Sayed Darwish’s masterpiece “El Helwa DE Amet Tegain Fe El Fagreya.”

Suzuki is a Shinobue player, having participated in cultural exchange activities through Shinobue performances in the Netherlands, Saudi Arabia and India while pursuing his Indian studies at Leiden University.

The Japanese Shinobu is one of the famous traditional side-blown musical wind instruments. It is a bamboo tube with 7 holes to change the tone according to the musical note. It is often played with the famous Japanese “Taiko” drums at Japanese festivals. It is also popular as a solo playing Instrument.

As for the Egyptian Arghul and kawala instruments, their use dates back to the Pharaonic era, and their samples are found in the Egyptian Museum in Tahrir. The Arghul consists of two bamboo tubes, one with a continuous sound and the other with a variable sound, and it has 6 holes that are controlled to release the desired tone according to the musical note. As for the kawala, it consists of a single bamboo tube that also has 6 holes to change the tone.

The Egyptian Center for Culture and Arts – Makan, is an organization dedicated to preserving and promoting traditional Egyptian music and renewing the tradition through this action. The Founder & Director of Makan, Ahmed El Maghraby, has supported the event, through supervision, advice and holding the rehearsals at the organisation’s headquarters.

The event witnessed the attendance of a diverse audience, including university students, professional musicians from the Cairo Opera House, journalists and those interested in Japanese culture and arts. Egyptian actor Ahmed Amin was also keen to attend the event.

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