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by chromclass | 2004-11-23 10:18 | Tremolo Club | Comments(0)
HKHA forum からの引用
The following is from HKHA forum.


Hi, ChromLover

It's discussing the tremolo champion....

let me translate what I had written in chinese...

I used to not convince, with the Japaneese, winning the tremolo champion (please, no offence). we very often found that the beauty of tremolo harmonica is not at it's best, and the player had shown too much of "violent playing". but, the champion for 5th harmonica festival, I'm 100% convince, and I clapped until my hands swallen. When I first saw,岩间朱美, 20 years ago. She was still a young teenager, whilst she played together with the other 2 young girls, "Sail along the silvery moon" in Singapore ! Now she is the champion of the Asia Pacific harmonica festival (As good as world champion, as there are no better tremolo player in any other known area other than Asia !).

I think, her teacher, Iwazaki San must be very happy, if he knows, his disciple had won the competition, with praised and appaluse whole-heartedly, from the audience in the hall of Hong Kong cultural center. As she eventually fullfill his dream, idealism and possibility on a tremolo harmonica, with very high artistic value.

The chinese people, must polish up !!!!

This is my sincere words after watching 岩间朱美's performance.



Thank you LaoMao for the translation and thank you too for the praise to her.

I wrote my opinion about her and Yuko Yanagawa's play on my BLOG
after I came back from Hong Kong.


It is written in Japanese and I try to translate it to English here.

Congraturation Champion Iwama and the follower Yangawa.
I heard you two girl's plays at the contest was super and the audience got be in silence. I listened to Iwama's play at the final stage and convinced it was wonderful. You two keep the fame of Japanese tremolo harmonica reputation. It stood out among Japanese players who wasn't very good in other categories this time.

But I myself considered deeply about tremolo harmonica world this time.

Tremolo harmonica remind us that it is played without accompaniment and use various basing and arpegio technique. But this time, these top two girls use it as a pure melody instrument with piano accompaniment, and the result was very very artistic.

I fear then if unaccompanied tremolo solo can compete equally with piano accompanied tremolo solo from now on. These two may have to be separately categorized in the future, otherwise there will be no space for unaccompanied tremolo solo.

Challenging to new direction was the every day way of Mr. Hidero Sato and these two girls' direction should be praised a lot, I convince. But because the piano accompniment for tremolo solo has advantage in artistic over unaccompanied tremolo solo, I worry about the future of unaccompanied tremolo solo world. I hope there will come fine arrangements and compositions for unaccompanied tremolo solo. Thus I wish the contest should not disturb the growth of the unaccompanied tremolo solo. It may require the separation of the tremolo solo category, the the festival will be massive like Olimpic! I really wish ther will be super excellent compositions and arrangements for unaccompanied tremolo solo so that they can compete evenly with piano accompanied tremolo solo.

There may come another aspect in tremolo solo. It may be because of the existence of new SUZUKI tremolo chromatic harmonica. I tried it at SUZUKI booth and felt that it is actually a nice tremolo harmonica and in addition it has a slide button that can be equall to the chromatic harmonica. How will this harmonica categorized in the next festival in Taiwan? Will it be in chromatic or in tremolo? That is the question. I have a tremolo chromatic developped by John Infande and used it in the forum in Japan and asked as a joke to which category does this harmonica belong. Hong kong staff considered a while and said it be in chromatic in laugh. That harmonica was a custom made and there will be no contestant who use that harmonica. But Suzuki one is a standard instrument that any one can buy at the shop! People cannot tell whether it is many tremolo harmonicas or a SUZUKI tremolo chromatic if he listen to it with his eyes closed. Then there will be some contestants who use SUZUKI one. When compete with piano accompaniment, which harmonica will have advantage in the playing technique. I think SUZUKI one is fur easier to play. In some years, this may be discussed in the festival committee. The topic may be very serious because the two girls' play were so excellent.

In Hong Kong finale, I saw and listened both the chromatic harmonica play and the tremolo harmonica play of the champions. I felt the switching movement of the two or more tremolo harmonicas were super technique and also funny movement. I dare to say it is like chord harmonica action of the Gallopping Comedians. The trio performance is like showman ship and it should make audience laugh with performers over action. On the other hand, the tremolo solo was serious and very artistic. It should not be funny where the chromatic play was very elegant. It was the same at the Gala concertos.

I am very anxious about the existence of the tremolo chromatic harmonica. Jean Labre and Yoshio Morimoto are very interested in this harmonica and they will develop the new technique for this harmonica. I would like to ask, which harmonica will you use in Taiwan Festival, you tremolo players?

As I am a chromatic player, I don't play tremolo harmonicas like these two girls. But I thought they were wonderful (......if I listened to them with my eyes closed).


The tremolo harmonica has it's own right to be used as an "melodic" instrument. And this is proven. The traditional "solo-alone" playing, (without any other instrument accompaniment) among all asian folks, is applying the tremolo harmonica as their's own traditional instrumnet within their's own culture, and rightfully, this is two different catergory, and they shouldn't be placed together in any competition, if the organizing commitee is knowledgebale enough. But sadly, it's not the case, since the 1st Asia Pacific harmonica festival.

A little off topic here,

I'm one of the adjudicator of catergory 5J, and the champion of this catergory, the 3 Korean girls, playing the El Chocolo, The lead player is playing with tremolo harmonicas too. They really did an wonderful job, in terms of musicallity and arrangement. I'm not the one that grant them the top marks (which they well deserved it) but the second highest among 5 adjudicators . The group whom played the Vlasentino is voted by another very senior judge, and he did voice, after the results known to the adjudicators. I can't rate them too highly, because of two thing, first they lacks the "feeling" of novelty offered by a nice europe gentleman, whom the original composer Tommy Reilly did it remarkebly well. Also, the chord they choose, in within the first 5 opening bar is incorrect. Making the listenability of this otherwise beautiful piece dedicated for chromatic harmonica, diminished. they lost my marks because, of the inperfect musicianship, and musicallity. In contrast, the El chocolo played by the Korean girls is amazing, especially, the chord player, whom offered a sense of "kissing" so beautifully. How can I not rate them highly ? The musicallity scores 40 point, and the techniques constitute another 40 point. The level of difficulty took only 10 points, according to the guide line set by the organizer. which I didn't rate them too highly on the level of difficulty as this is too famous a piece, set by the harmonicats. However, they really have MAJOR breakthrough, over the cats version, which the chord is not doing a tango like the cats. The effect is dramatic, and is certianly an eye-openener for those whom appreciate fine art. but not only the champion girls. The arranger for this contest piece, deserved an award too, for the contribution, he/she did for the world of harmonicas. This is why I rate them highest among all contestants. And I think I'm dead fair !!!!

With regard to the chromaticed-"tremolo" by Suzuki, I had tried it too. No doubts, if you play it gently, it's lovely. Jean Labre had proved it with "Jenny" in the closing ceremony too !It's driving me crazy, making me almost want to buy a piece without asking for the price ! but I was set back after knowing the price ! This make a real big headache, for the future, competition organizer. They have to either, bent this instrument to be used in tremolo catergory, as switching of harmonicas in tremolo playing, is one of it's biggest magic, and it's important to keep this tradition going, or they have to open one more new catergory for this instrument. I afraid, there are no better arrangement.

Chrom Lover, your's post really show how, sharp and prophetic you are in forseeing the headache problem, one might have two years later

Really must get to know you in person, as it's rare in life, to find a friend, that we can understand and communicate at this level.

All the best !


by chromclass | 2004-09-02 10:06 | Tremolo Club | Comments(0)