Eurasian Poetic Drama / Jun Kawasaki   feat. Marya Korneva


< Act 1>  Mysterious Relationship


1 Two folk songs 

2 Lake Svetloyar  

3 Traveler’s guide to Japan 


 <Act 2>  Voices of Diaspora from Eurasian Opera “Sansyo  the Bailiff”


4   String quartet 1 Sea of Japan<East Sea> 

5 Korean Sea spirit, Ino 

6 String quartet 2 Ainu Kotan, Hokkaido 

7    String quartet 3 Sakhalin and Arirang 

8 By the Wild Steppes of Transbaikalia 

9  String quartet 4 Chechenya 

10 Eurasian Sinawi «Father’s Will» 

11   Two Lullabies~12  Aryon 

13  String quartet 5 Korea 


<Act 3> Poets


14  Our first Song 1 

15  Kitezhanka     

16  Our first Song Ⅱ   

17  The Bosporus , Istanbul 


Act-1【 Mysterious Exchanges 】 There were unknown relationship between Japan and Russia behind well known history . And the sacred lake city Kitezh of the Russian orthodox old believers which is the roots of the singer, too. 


Act-2【 The voices of Diaspora】Traditional Korean myths written by Uzbek and Sakhalin poets.


Act-3【Female poets 】About poetical words by 20 century female poets lived in turbulent times.

<Act 1> Mysterious relationship

1 Two folk songs (Russian folk song /arrange: Jun Kawasaki)


Michiyo Yagi:21strings koto Kyonga Im:violoncello Jun Kawasaki:double bass・voice Akira Yoshimatsu:voice   Satoshi Tsuboi:voice


If you don’t love me. Shoot my heart with a pistol and kill me. And please come to the coffin to say goodbye. Write an inscription on the coffin. That I loved you


This is one of the old Russian folk songs collected by MilyBalakirev in 19th century. A young woman sings natural scenery of Siberia and her tragic love. 


A Japanese song is sung at the end of the tune by male choir. Some Japanese were washed ashore in Russia. Russian heard their nostalgic song in Irkutsk.  Later, some Russian visited Japan for business at the end of the Edo period. They conveyed and told this song to Japanese people of the Shimo-kita Peninsula in Aomori Prefecture. However, the melody was not recorded. So in this piece, singers imagined the melody by themselves.


2  Lake Svetloyar  (Melnikov-Pechersk   /Jun Kawasaki)


Junpei Otsuka:sho Chihaya Matsumoto :percussion Tamran Music:singing bowls  Jun Kawasaki:keyboard Sainkho Namtylak:voice


"The stars are looking at lake Svetloyer.  here is the gift of my dreams and songs."  


People start praying. Trees decorated with icons are illuminated by candlelights. There are many people, but there are no loud voice. Psalms and hymns are chanted as if whispering quietly. The sounds are like a flock of bees in a grove.The nuns couldn't hear the sound of the bells out of the water. But they go home with a satisfied feeling.(summary)


Kitezh is the city under the small lake Svetloyar in the forest. Here is a sacred place and the utopia for Russian Orthodox Old Believers. Melnikov-Pechersky portrayed fantastically that pilgrims visited the forest and lake. 

3  Traveler's guide to Japan   (Unknown /Jun Kawasaki)


Keiko Komori: alt sax Aki Ozawa:electric guitar and bass Junzo Tateiwa:drums Chihaya Matsumoto:Latin percussion Jun Kawasaki:keyboard


Marya Korneva lives near Lake Baikal in Siberia. It is the most transparent and the deepest lake in the world.  Many Russian Orthodox Old Believers called "Semeisky" live in this area. An ancestor of the singer was too. They were banished during the Reformation of the Russian Empire in 1666. So they needed to enter into the deep forest and became hermits.  Because of being limited  their worship, they imagined a utopia (Belovoge: The border of white water)  beyond Siberia. One of utopias was in Japan, and a monk called Marc wrote a book of "Travel Guide to Japan". It was said that some people actually drifted and arrived at Japan.


In this song, these words are read by Marya Korneva.


Departing from Moscow, crossing Kazan (Tatarstan), Krasnoyarsk (Tuba), Steppe road and Altai mountains, over the Chinese canyon, about 44 days later, Gubani (somewhere unclear) .  After that, we will arrive in Japan which has small islands are lined up.(summary)


”God fills this land.”

<Act 2> Voices of Diaspora from Eurasian Opera “Sansyo  the Bailiff”

4   String quartet  No.1 Sea of Japan <East Sea>   (Jun Kawasaki)


 String quartet :1st violin: Nao Takahashi 2nd violin: Takuto Takagishi Viola: Kyoko Moriguchi Cello: Toru Yamamoto


In the afternoon / Heavy blue fog on the sea/  The rough  sea with white waves / Beyond the mist– I see a migrant bird / It flied from the Siberia – a white bird


This is the first tune of string quartet suites ( 1.Sea of Japan / East Sea  2.Ainu /Hokkaido  3. Sakhalin /Arirang  4.Chechen /Kazakhstan  5.Korea ). Music express the mental landscape of the blind mother's journey. She continued her lonely journey. Along the way, blind mother heard many songs and music which were sung by peoples. Fragments of these songs were reflected diffusely in her body and mind.


It is based on the story of the Japanese old oral performing art "Sansho the Bailiff ". A mother was separated from her little daughter and son and their nanny on the Sea of Japan. She was trafficked to the northern island of Japan, Hokkaido. She became  blind and  wandered in search of her children while working to drive off harmful birds away in the fields. In Jun Kawasaki's Eurasian opera  "Sansyo the belief",  she was lead further north to Sakhalin Island. On the way, on the Strait of Tartar she met Koreans who were immigrating to the Far East of Russia and northern China. She fell love in one of the men. A sea spirits made an ice road.  She crosses  with them and settles in far east  Russia. Such Koreans are called "Koryo Salam". However, during World War II, Stalin accused them of as  enemy "Japanese spy." They were displaced to Central Asia and engaged in hard agricultural labor. 

5  Korean Sea spirit, Ino  ( Ludmilla Tsoi / Jun Kawasaki and Michiyo Yagi)


Michiyo Yagi: 21strings koto


Not listening to the wave, on the calm sea bottom / Lonely Ino lives

Ino sings softly, on a large canvas / Endlessly weaves patterns.


The poem by Russian  was written by the Uzbek female poet Ludmilla Tsoi. The roots of her family in are also Korean diaspora who have even been displaced to Central Asia. The poem is based on the old Korean legendary the mermaid  «Ino». It lives in the East Sea (Sea of Japan) of Korea.  Linked to the legend of Japanese Echigo's mermaid. In "Sansyo the belief" , a nanny committed suicide in the Sea of Japan in despair of her family's dispersal. A nannny Uwa-take revived as the marmaido.  So in the tune this song was sung accompanied with the e traditional Japanese strings instrument Koto. The player is Michiyo Yagi is most avant-garde koto player in Japan. She used new koto which has 21strings. She expressed waves and deepness of the sea.

6 String quartet No.2 Ainu Kotan, Hokkaido  (Ludmilla Tsoi /Jun Kawasaki) 


Only now / Like a whirlwind of despair / It carried away the miracle of hope. / Winter cold from foreign lands / I am a blind guide/ Strange living dead. / In the song of the wind she heard a ghostly call / I'm not looking for peace / It is the end for me.


He is the end for me. / Do you know why it makes noise / Is my drum in the night? / I'm afraid that is silent / Flame in an empty oven. / Fire dogs / In a rage, they seek the light.


Lyric is quoted from some poems by Lyudmila Tsoi. Some of words were written on the theme of Korean blind shaman myths.  Ainu culture is very different from Japanese culture. There are various types of music, for example the epic "Yukara”, playful songs, ritual songs, and lyric poems. It is impossible to embody it in the way of Western music. But important facts will be suggested this impossibility in the music.It will make new beauty of music.


7 String quartet No.3 Sakhalin and Arirang (Roman Khe /Jun Kawasaki)


JaeChol Choi:Korean percussion・voice  


This land/all buzzing/ like the womb of a huge shell!

And if I were deaf. I would hear the hum of blood flowing into the depths of a nameless body.

O hum of the earth where you were born! / O hum of the earth where I shall die!


The lyrics is  from "Sakhalin" by the poet Roman Khe. He lives in Sakhalin in Russia. His parents moved to Sakhalin from Korea during the Japanese rule in 1940 and they lived as a "Japanese". After World WarII, they lived as a "Soviet people".  Roman Khe was born in 1949. was extremely difficult for many Korean in Sakhalin to return to South Korea. 


In the music fragments of the Ainu and an indigenous people in Sakhalinwere included. At the final part of the tune, a famous Korean folk song "Arirang" is performed using the technique  Hoketus of European medieval classical music. The hoketus is a stylistic device of the ArsNova (14th century, Machaut and others): the melodic tones are divided between two or more descants. 

8  By the Wild Steppes of Transbaikalia  (Russian folk song /Jun Kawasaki)


Saori Nakazawa: violin Kyong-a Im: violoncello  Jun Kawasaki: double bass  Naoko Aoki: piano


Cursing fate, at the step of the Baikal's wilderness, digging for gold in the mountains.

The wanderer curses his own fate as he drags the bags over both of his shoulders. / He drags the bags over both of his shoulders.


He escaped the prison during a dark night, after suffering imprisonment for justice. / He could not run away from it anymore. / Before him opens up the view of Lake Baikal. 


The wanderer walks towards Lake Baikal. / He robs a fisherman of his boat, then he starts to sing a sad song. / He sings something about his homeland. 


This is famous Russian folk song . Many people became prisoner as the Siberian pioneers in  the imperial Russian era and USSR. They were sent to  Gulag. In the lyrics, the scenery of Baikal  is expressed  from their point of view. Baikal was a relay point where prisoners were  sent to the Far east Russia from Siberia. Russian most important avant-garde Jazz  Sax player Sergey Letov said that there are still Russian people's soul in the tune. From this song, we may  feel «Tosca» which expresses the spirit of Russian, tremendousness, nostalgia, surrender ...on the vast earth. This music  was arranged on the background of history.

9  String quartet  No.4 Chechenya / Kazakhstan  (Roman Khe / Jun Kawasaki)


When I die far from my home, I want my bones dispersed into the blue ocean. The wind will take the bones to Chuncheon, the land where my umbilical cord is buried. Throughout my life, I had this one wish: that it rains in my homeland and that grass grows there, in the land where my umbilical cord is buried. When wind blows and my ashes are blown away, light and weightless as it becomes dust, the flowers on pear trees become fully blossomed, and then to the land where my umbilical cord is buried...on the day of my father's memory


In Central Asia during the Soviet era, not only Korean but also Volga Germans, Chechens, Ukrainians and many others were forced to migrate to Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan. After World War II, many Japanese were also detained in Siberia and engaged in harsh labor as prisoners of War. This music was made with reference to the Islamic recitation ritual "Dhikr" of  Chechenya. In Dhikr, Islamic holy words are sung on repeating two strong basso continuos. 

10  Eurasian Sinawi «Father's Will»   (Roman khe /improvisation)


Sergey Letov: tenor sax   Rakhymzhan Nurlykhan : dombra nJun Kawasaki: double bass JaeChol Choi: korean percussion   Min-a Ji :voice


Korean singer Min-a Ji read same poem in translated Korea from Russian. Japanese tale "Sansho the Bailiff", the main character Anju was born with laughing from ground where she was buried. In Jun Kawasaki's Eurasian Opera, she died with laughing, too.  


Anju suicided into lake. she tried to make confusion for the people of slave-labor plantation the farm by her disappearance. In the confusion, brother Zushi could escaped from slave farm and went to seek their mother. 


Japanese Butoh dancer Aya played the role of Anju on the stage. Marya Korneva expressed her inner voice.  This is a live recording in Seoul,2019 by Kazakhstan's traditional stringed instrument «Dombra», Korean percussion instruments,  sax by Sergey Letov and double bass by Jun Kawasaki.  They  improvised using the rhythm and format of the traditional Korean shaman music «Sinawi». 

11  Two Lullabies12  Aryon  (Ludmilla Tsoi /Jun Kawasaki)


Min-a Ji: vocal Keiko Komori:clarinet    Aki Ozawa :electric guitar   Junzo Tateiwa: drums   Chihaya Matsumoto: marimba


SONG ABOUT ARENA(English translated original poem)


Oh, lyuli-lyulyushenki, / Bainki-baiushenki…/ Sleep well at night / Yes, grow by the hour. (Russian lullaby)

Cha-dian cha-dian tyagar ... (Korean lullaby)


Don't go uphill / Don't run away from your mother / To the evil witch-grandmother. / You better sleep my little one / In an old cradle!


Don't go to the countryside. / If you go out, you won't come back, / You will be swallowed up by the evil darkness./  The one who knows the darkness, / Hundreds of moons will be washed away ...


Do not go under slander …/ Many, many kids / Gone without news / Made arenas / Burned candles.


The conspiracy will be strong …/ I'm safer than a temple / I won't give you to demons. / I will hold you to me / I will not let you into the damp darkness!


Cha-dian cha-dian tyagara…/ The conspiracy will be strong...


For many Koryo Saram in Central Asia, it is difficult to speak and understand Central Asian's language and Korean.Mother tongue of Lyudmila Tsoi is Russian. She wrote this poem as a lullaby based on old Korean mythology by Russian. At the beginning of the poem, traditional Russian and Korean lullabies overlap. Each characteristic phrase is sung. 


The Korean lullaby was sung by Korean classic court music singer Min-a Ji of this CD series Vol.1. After it, Marya Korneva tried to sing lyric which was translated into Japanese with romanized Japanese. She can't understand Japanese. So her  pronunciation was awkward. In this  series, there are songs that the singer sings with not  their mother tongue. Traces of their mother tongue remain in their singing.  We need to take the history  and coercing linguistic life and  letters among ethnic groups  into consideration. However the sound that transcends meaning may will make the new soul with a new resonance. 

13  String quartet No.5 Korea  (Jun Kawasaki)


This is the final piece of the string quartet suite. In here, Korean shaman’s music Sinawi,  old popular "Blue Bird",  5 beat and 12 beat polyrhythms of tradition are represented by western music notation. 


This piece was devoted to Russian contemporary dancer Alina Mikhailova from St.Petersburg. She acted blind mother of Anju and Zhshi by dance on the Eurasian opera. Her family's root are also Korean diaspora.  They came from near Busan, South Korea. In the previous album in this CD series, documentary recorded sound was included. Mikhayiova and Kawasaki visited to a Korean village in Kazakhstan and interviewed with old Koryo-saram people. They sang old Korean songs for them.

<Act 3> Poets

14  Our first Song 1 (Sophia Parnok /Jun Kawasaki)


Keiko Komori: clarinet   Saori Nakazawa: violin Hideaki Kondo: guitar   Jun Kawasaki : double bass   Junpei Otsuka : sho


And we'll have to walk different ways :/ those ― to people, the others ― to silence, 

but we'll walk together / when it's time for dying ./ A star will rise above the desert, / the sky will rise so high,/ and song just for the first time will be heard by us(Translatbion : Maryna Tchianova)


A poem by Sophia Parnok, a poet of the Russian symbolism "Silver Age", was read  in Russian and Japanese. She was also known that lesbian relationship with Marina Tsvetaeva, one of Russia's great female poets.  In No.16, the same poem are sung again with violin and Japanese traditional court instrument. 

15  Kitezhanka    (Anna Akhmatova / Jun Kawasaki and Marya Korneva)


Keiko Komori : clarinet   Michiyo Yagi:1 7 strings bass koto   Naoko Aoki:  piano   Chihaya Matsumoto: marimba Saori 


«And I visited the surface of the lake. I sing a song cheerfully.I Scooped up the water by hands and heard. You can hear familiar sounds. The bell is ringing from under the blue wave. The city of Kitezh is calling me.


"How did I hear the last word? I lost sight of the light in front of my eyes / Looking around / The house is on fire»   (summary of the poem)



This is a tragic poem by Anna Akhmatova, a female poet representing Russia. It was written for her son. He was eventually captured and sent to camp on suspicion of dissident. In USSR, her poetry was long banned to publish. The Kitezh which are described in No.2 was also done.

16  Our first Song 2   (Sophia Parnok /Jun Kawasaki)


Nakazawa: violin   Junpei Otsuka: sho


This is same poem as No.14.  Sho is used in Japanese court music «Gagaku».

17  The Bosporus , Istanbul   (Jun Kawasaki)


Junzo Tateiwa: percussion  Chihaya Matsumoto : marimba


Sergey Yesenin  praised the blue waves of  brilliant "Bosphorus" in Istanbul.  But he couldn't get there. He was tired of the revolution and love and committed suicide. There are no lyrics. The melody is sung without words . In the last tune of the album, music is released from language. 

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