Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Yoshida Brothers: Rising

For all of you heavy metal-Japanese-traditional-rock fans, here’s something a little different from the Yoshida Brothers: Ryōichirō and Ken'ichi. The song is called “Rising.”

I first heard this song about a year ago on West Virginia Public Radio and I believe it was on Jim Lange’s show "Electopia." If I remember correctly, he was featuring a variety of music that had an Asian flair. The songs encompassed music from the Arabian Peninsula to the Land of the Rising Sun. I came into the house after sitting in the driveway listening for the name of the artists and found this recording on YouTube immediately. The quality of the video is not the best, but it gives a good example of the Yoshida’s official video for this song.

The instrument they are playing is the shamisen – a long necked, three string chordophone that has an animal skin head over the instrument’s body. Typically, the shamisen is tuned D G D, but other tunings are also used. The shamisen and the Yoshida Brothers are not new to you, as their song “Kodo” was used for the very first series of Wii commercials a number of years ago.

Longer Stereo Version

It is an interesting concept of east meets west and it meshes quite nicely. Both brothers began playing the Shamisen at age five and the early introduction to the instrument and years of practice are readily noticeable. The duo fly up and down the fretless finger boards without any pitch issues. I will have more to come from the Yoshidas in the very near future.

Live Version of “Rising”

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