“Fukkyoku (Restored or revived music)” refers to music that was once performed, but for which the knowledge of how it sounded has now been lost. In terms of Nagauta music for which only a written version remains, creating a restored version involves a process of guessing what the piece sounded like and adding sound accordingly, based on a sense of the musical style at the time the work was composed, the background, the musical idiosyncrasies of the composer etc. This is done by examining information recorded in the written version (information such as the date of performance, the theater, the musicians, the dancers, and the publisher of the text), and by considering the environment for arts and culture at the time, the social conditions, the chief shamisen performer (or sometimes the chief singer) thought to be the composer, other works by the performers, and contemporaneous Hogaku (Japanese traditional music) from other genres. This event featured “meriyasu” (instrumental shamisen solos), in particular the meriyasu “Hana no En” and “Matsu-mushi” first performed in 1753 and 1762 respectively. After research and investigation into the background of these two works from a theatrical and a musical aspect, the restored versions were premiered. In addition, for the second part of the event, the audience was treated to a special musical performance, a composition in Nagauta style based on the “gesaku” popular literary work “Mikka Korori Ai Ai Shi Shi,” written during the cholera outbreak of 1858.
Executive Committee for Concerts of Works by Masataro Imafuji
The committee was established after the retirement from performing of National Living Treasure, the nagauta shamisen composer Masataro Imafuji, in order to pass on his works, artistry and spirit to the next generation.
In addition to concerts of Masataro Imafuji’s work, the committee plans and implements occasions for disseminating and promoting Imafuji’s creative and artistic objectives.
Executive Committee of IMAFUJI MASATARO Cycle
Shizan-Kaikan, Chiyoda City,Tokyo