Jan 5, 2012

A Candle Night With Folklore Music, BelleVientos, at Kyukamura Nyuto Onsenkyo

A Candle Night for 1,000,000 People (100万人のキャンドルナイト) is an event to raise the awareness for energy conservation. It is held twice a year on the day of summer solstice and winter solstice.

Kyukamura Nyuto Onsenkyo is a hotel which has been participating in this nationwide project for a few times now. On December 22, they held the event while entertaining guests in a concert by Akita’s local folklore music group, BelleVientos.

The candles were made of recycled materials.
 The snow monument was created for this event outside the building (top left).

At 8:00 pm, the hotel staffs lowered the lighting to the minimum, and the guests gathered at the lobby for the music. The candle lighting was just enough to show the silhouette of the musicians, so the audience were relaxed and focused on the beautiful sounds of music. The band members held a number of unfamiliar Latin American instruments and explained them in between the songs.

The songs wildly varied in genre of Latin American folklore music; however, the band also characterizes its music as a fusion with our Akita’s local culture. In the end, they performed a few songs that themed in the Legend of Three Lakes! The melodies layered by flutes and pipes created such a mystic atmosphere. With the beautiful lyrics, it told stories that touched our hearts.


For the unique style, the band has been invited to play all over Tohoku. Mr. 'Armando' Yamahira said, “Actually, we’ve been coming to Tazawako quite a few times lately. Also, we have been working on a musical play themed in Kunimasu, which I believe will be ready to be shown next year or so.”

BelleVientos is a group that Mr. Yamahira formed with students of Akita University in Akita City. There are more than 40 members in total, and the musicians present there were chosen to be on a short performing trip to Tazawako on this day and Iwate on the following day.

As we talked with the students, we were surprised to find out that most of them did not start such folklore instruments until the college. But they are all skillful and talented – more than anything, they are passionate and it is exuding with overflowing joy of playing music!

Even at the after party, when Mr. Yamahira casually started to play, one by one, the others just joined the leader – in a second, solo becomes ensemble and it went on like a real concert!

You can catch the band around Akita Prefecture. Check their schedule and locations.

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