PoiL Ueda (Japan/France)
Front cover© Lilas Mala


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PoiL Ueda, Yoshitsune is a meeting and a musical creation between the french rock/contemporary music band of PoiL + Benoit Lecomte (bassist of the band Ni) and the Japanese traditional music singer / satsuma-biwa player Junko Ueda. The theme of the creation is around the Japanese epic story ‘Heike-Monogatari' from the13th century.

The composition is based on this traditional epic singing accompanied by the satsuma-biwa and Buddhist Shomyo chant. This project is a great opportunity to explore a new musical universe by meeting between an European super modern musical formation and a Japanese ancient traditional music. An experimental, yet powerfully common musical expressions of both styles will create an exciting discovery.

A new experience where the unbridled experimental rock of PoiL mixes with the calm and sinuous voice, the narrative force and the great charisma of Junko Ueda.

Kujô-Shakujô sutra 九條錫杖経
Kujô-Shakujô is a sutra that describes the virtues of the Shakujô, a Buddhist instrument with metal rings on the top of a stick. By shaking the Shakujô and creating its sound, we wish that all living things will be liberated from the Six Worlds of endless circle of transmigration and go to the path of enlightenment. The Kujô-Shakujô sutra consists of nine parts (Kujô) in total. In this recording, the first, second, and third parts are sung. At the end of the first piece, a poem by Antoine Arnera is sung.

This story represents the climax of the Heike Monogatari and describes the last scene of the war between the Heike clan and the Genji clan at the Dan-no-Ura 1 bay. On this sea, the battle is reaching its end. Here, both clans show their last energy and courage. The bay of Dan-no-Ura is fully covered by the boats of Heike and Genji. The scene reminds us to the ripples of a river carrying fallen autumn leaves. As Heike is being defeated, the commander of the Heike is still encouraging their warriors: "This battle will decide our destiny. Don't cling to your life!" At the end, Heike is defeated completely. Most boats of Heike are sunk or floating aimlessly in the Dan-no-Ura bay. The noble Heike women,
dressed in heavy costumes, commit suicide together with the children by plunging into the sea. Among them there is a little boy of eight years old who is actually the present Emperor Antoku and his grandmother Nii-dono (the wife of Kiyomori 2 who was the head of Heike). Before they plunge into the sea, Nii-dono calms her grandchild saying there is a beautiful capital waiting for him at the bottom of the sea.

Antoine Arnera I keyboards, vocals
Boris Cassone Iguitar, vocals
Benoit Lecomte I acoustic bass
Guilhem Meier Idrums, vocals
Junko Ueda I satsuma biwa, vocals

Stéphane Piot I recording
RemyBoy I mix & mastering
Lilas Mala| artwork
Clément Dupuis| executive production
Judith Saurel I layout