Today was a national holiday called Marine Day. We spent the day cleaning our apartments, moving furniture between them, packing, and worrying about airline weight limits. We started around 8 this morning, and stopped at around 11 tonight, with brief intermissions to feed and rest. Though we haven’t really stopped with the worrying.
In the late afternoon, one of Jarrod’s classmates set up—with their drums, cymbals and flutes—in the park across the street with a couple of other kids. They must’ve practiced for two hours. It was quite something, especially with the hyperactive acoustics of the bare concrete buildings we live in and around. They gradually got better, but we were sure glad when they stopped.
But that has nothing to do with puppets. I know that at least one of my regular readers is a fan of puppetry, so here’s a trio of links, in random order of seriousness. Enjoy.
- On July 14, the New York Times published a review of a 1922 puppet opera by Ottorino Respighi, titled “La Bella Dormente nel Bosco” (“Sleeping Beauty in the Woods”). Hopefully this link will work. You may have to register to read the article.
- Over Time is an animated tribute to Muppets creator Jim Henson. It’s a beautiful and sinister film, done—I think—as a final project by students at a French animation school. The original server doesn’t have the file, but the site I’ve linked to does.
- And the last of our eclectic trio also concerns the Muppets: it’s The Rocky Horror Muppet Show, script by Tom Smith. From what I can tell on the linked page, it has been produced before, the premiere having been in 1987. Those of you unfamiliar with either The Rocky Horror Picture Show or The Muppet Show might find it a tad strange. Heck, it’s a tad strange even if you are familiar with the originals.
Ed – in your understandably shell-shocked state (induced by too much cleaning & packing) you forgot to mention that the kids were practicing for the upcoming Tobata Gion (the local HUGE festival).
I think it was more like 4 hours of practice. Over, and over, and over, and over. By the end the cymbals, bells, and taiko were mostly in synch with each other though! The flutes were still out of tune…
in the earliest days of our residence here when cracking my head on doorways and the subsequent mental threats to burn this cinderblock of a home to the ground were daily occurences, it seemed that the most terrible cacophonies of baseball playing-calisthenic rhythm screaming-brass band scale butchering youths always accompanied the worst moments. Since then Japan has continually proven its exquisitely appropriate (and almost preternatural) sense of decorum for every occasion.
perhaps then, festival bells, cymbals, flutes, and drums were the natural choice for moving day. marching on so to speak…
thanks for all the posts, Ed. Sadly, I’ll no longer be able to borrow your wit for my own emails home. unless of course, I can convince my family that Carol and I have moved to England. it’s a thought. then again, there’s always your archives.
p.s. the Overtime short is amazing. thank you.
Mark, regarding the sonic mayhem, I’ve been planning to write about the sounds of Japan. Not sure how soon it’s going to happen.
As for posts from which to steal wit, I can’t make any promises about quality, but I am planning to write much more about Japan. If you do pretend to have moved to England, I’d like to be in on the correspondence.