December 11, 2007
In commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Japan and Ireland, the Ambassador of Japan, Mr. Keiichi Hayashi organised a concert, “A Celebration of the Musical Links between Japan and Ireland.” The performers were Mr William Dowdall (flute), Mr John Feeley (guitar), Mr Philip Horan (shakuhachi) and Mr Junshi Murakami (Irish harp). This concert was presented by the Ireland Japan Association and The Embassy of Japan and sponsored by Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited. It took place on Friday, 7 December 2007 at 8.00pm at the Coach House, Dublin Castle.
The first part of the concert contained two pieces by Takemitsu Toru, including ‘Towards the Sea’ for flute and guitar and was performed by William Dowdell and John Feeley. The duo also performed special arrangements of ‘Sakura Sakura’ and ‘Haru no Umi’. Philip Horan and Junshi Murakami opened the second part of the concert playing pieces by the Irish composer Turlough O’Carolin as well as a performance of the solo shakuhachi honkyoku ‘Sokkan’. The four musicians then joined together for some Irish and Japanese favourites including ‘O’Carolin’s Concerto’, the ‘Last Rose of Summer’ and two Japanese lullabies. There followed a unique performance of ‘Shika no Tone’ with Philip Horan playing shakuhachi and William Dowdell playing an adapted sliding flute headjoint to copy the meri-kari technique of the shakuhachi. The concert ended with two encours, ‘Danny Boy’ and ‘Hana’, in which the performers were joined by the ambassador, Mr. Keiichi Hayashi on the flute.