Supa-Ongaku!

In celebration of 50 years of Singapore – Japan diplomatic relations, a ten-day arts and cultural festival titled “Super Japan” was launched by Esplanade (13-22 May) to immerse audience in the arts, cultures and traditions unique to Japan.

As part of Super Japan, the Philharmonic Youth Winds will put up a one hour performance in the concert hall this coming Sunday, playing through an afternoon of magic and fantasy, featuring music from the enchanting world of anime, classic Japanese games amd themes from favourite Ghibli and Miyazaki animated films.

“The Japanese influence in band music is definitely evident in the our band scene, from the fundamental techniques such as block balance to pure intonation, to the music by the late Toshio Mashima, Satoshi Yagisawa and Yasuhide Ito, as well as the fantastic NSB pieces performed by Tokyo Kosei Winds; all these have been prominent in concert programmes and competition pieces across the Singapore band scene.” said Edwin Ang, current president of the Philharmonic Youth Winds, when asked about the influence of Japanese cultures in Singapore band music.

Due to an overwhelming choices in repertoire for the performance, choosing music was not an easy task for Edwin and his committee members.

“We wanted to make the best out of this one hour by performing music from anime and games which are a part of many people’s childhoods. The need to recreate that sense of childlike wonder and warmth reminded us that we cannot exclude the music of classic anime films by Studio Ghibli and Hayao Miyazaki, who have worked closely with composer Joe Hisaishi.

We also wanted to showcase themes from other popular series such as Giant Robo, composed by Masamichi Amano, as well as music from a recent anime, Sound! Euphonium which features the characters in a wind band setting. It is really exciting for us to have such a wind band representation in the anime scene,” Edwin briefly explained.

“As this year also marks the 20th anniversary of the Pokémon series and with the upcoming release of Pokémon Sun and Moon, we thought it would be nostalgic to relive music from the first-generation Pokémon games! Remember to also hear out our rendition of the ever-influential Super Mario series with a slight twist as well!” he continued.

Catch the Philharmonic Youth Winds this Sunday at 3pm this coming Sunday, 22 May, at Esplanade Concert Hall for their one hour concert of “Supa-Ongaku: Japanese Anime and Games”! Admission is FREE.

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