The band Cicala Mvta was founded in 1994 by its leader Wataru Ohkuma who is rated as one of the most innovative musicians of contemporary Japanese music. He is a superb player of the clarinet, saxes, vibes and accordeon. As producer and bandleader Wataru Ohkuma had participated in many revolutionary recordings of the 80ties (a.o. "Soulflower Mononoke Summit"). Wataru Ohkuma merges in his music Okinawa-style music and other traditional Japanese forms like Jinta with western composition techniques and traditions. Some say this CD "Ching Dong" is the Japanese answer to Giora Feidman and to Fanfare Ciocarlia. The bands name, Cicala Mvta is Italian and is written as the epitaph on the gravestone of the greatest street singer songwriter of popular music in Japan before the 1920s,Soeda Azembo, who at the time around 70 years ago, unable to speak his mind in fear of being thrown into prison, like having a cicala stuck in his throat, a "mute cicada".

The band Cicala Mvta merges Japanese Chindon music with own compositions and traditional music from various ethnic regions. Ohkuma plays a composition by Paul Dessau as well as Kabuki-melodies (Shi-chome) and Nepalese wedding dances or Klezmer songs.

Basis is Chindon music which until 50 years ago was a popular street form of advertising. Chindon bands were common in Japanese cities where new openings of shops, inaugurations of Pachinko's a.o. were announced by them.

In Cicala Mvta brass bands from Balkan meet Klezmerbands as well as New Orleans Marching Bands within the overcrowded streets of Tokyo.

The British magazine "FolkRoots" about "Ching Dong":
“The stirring debut album by Cicala Mvta, Wataru Ohkuma's own band, produces complex, challenging and powerful music.”

01. Ohfuku Jinta
02. Punku Mancha No Odori
03. Rajamati Kumati
04. Michikusa No Tameni
05. Azuma Hakkei
06. Fratanisation Song
07. Okuni Tsujiru Tobira
08. Turkish Dance
09. Nekomushi Ga Hairu Kara
10. Aohige No Yu-Utsu
11. Shi Come
12. Punku Mancha Reprise

Wataru Okuma (clarinet, bass clarinet, vocals),
Yoshiyuki Kawaguchi (saxophone),
Yoshiki Sakurai (guitar),
Takero Sakijima (tuba, recorder),
Tatsuya Yoshida (drums, vocals),
Keisuke Ota (violin, vocals),
Yoshiaki Sato (accordion),
Yoichiro Kita (trumpet),
Akiko Watanabe (trombone),
Miwazo Kogure (ching-dong, gorosu)




Spring Day said...

I've never heard of this clarinet player before, but what I read here really sounds compelling - and I like the cover very much. So, I'm looking forward to give it a try.

dugg said...

Wow! this is terrific!
i've only heard a few tracks by this band over the years, and they've all been amazing. i am really looking forward to listening to this.
great big thanks,

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