Midori In Asia: Of East And West

Midori begins a tour of Asia, and blogs about it on ArtsJournal: “To be reminded that Japan was completely closed (at least officially) to the West and its influences for over 250 years until 1854, and at what lightning speed some elements of the Western culture have become part of Japanese society is absolutely breathtaking. More to the point, in my case, I grew up thinking (and feeling) that music was Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, even Stravinsky, Bartok, and Prokofiev. There was classical music, which was “music,” and then everything else bulked together in one. All other genres of music were exotic and mysterious including jazz and Traditional Japanese music. For me, a Schubert lieder was much more “normal” and “understandable” than the infamous Japanese song “Sakura, Sakura.”