Dawn to the West

Chiyomi Yamada & David van Ooijen
soprano & guitar
Japanese songs with guitar

Chiyomi & David Chiyomi Yamada sings a programme of beautiful Japanese songs, accompanied on a 19th century guitar. Some of these songs are traditional, going back centuries in Japanese music history. They have been loved and sung all through the ages, and ancient texts already mention them. Others are taken from the collections of songs that were written at the beginning of the 20st century, when Japanese composers were finding a new style, based upon the existing traditions that were still very much alive, and incorporating the new music that they encountered during their studies in the west. One of these composers was Kōsaku Yamada (1886 – 1965), with poet friend Hakushū Kitahara co-founder of Shi to ongaku (Verse and Music), the journal devoted to uniting these two art forms. The delicate balance between words and music, the melody following the word expression, is mastered to perfection by this couple.

The guitar, and especially the light, clear and flexible sound of a 19th century model, is an ideal instrument for accompanying these songs. Audiences in Japan find the sound of my Fabricatore guitar reminds them of the koto.

Just like her namesake Kōsaku Yamada, Chiyomi Yamada was born in Kyūshū, the southern island of Japan. In 1980, after graduating from the Kunitachi Music College in Tokyo, she came to Holland. Here she studied baroque singing with Marius van Altena and Dr. Rebecca Stewart at the Royal Conservatory in The Hague. She soon joined the vocal ensemble conducted by Dr. Stewart, later to become Cappella Pratensis, and participated in many concerts and radio recordings. Her time with Cappella Pratensis has been a great influence on Chiyomi’s vocal technique and musical ideas.
As a soloist with lutenist Toyohiko Satoh, and from 1982 onwards as a member of his ensemble ALBA MUSICA KYO, she has performed extensively in Europe, Canada and Japan. Chiyomi can be heard on several cd’s, such as ‘Dowland & Purcell’, ‘Works of Toyohiko Satoh’, ‘Machaut’, ‘Landini’, ‘Music of Shakespeare’ and ‘Dutch music in Dejima’ (for Channel Classics in The Netherlands and Brain Music in Japan).

Chiyomi Yamada and David van Ooijen have recorded this programme for CD in December 2001. This CD, called Dawn to the West, as well as as the sheet music for all the songs, is available from me. Both CD and sheet music come with English translations of all the song texts.
Here you can already listen to the first verse of the lullaby Chūgoku-Chihō no Komori-Uta.


Dawn to the West

24 Japanese songs with guitar accompaniment
Chiyomi Yamada, soprano – David van Ooijen, 19th century guitar

Dawn to the West


蕗の曲 Fuki no Kyoku
2. さくら Sakura
3. 黒田節 Kurodabushi
4. 来るか来るか Kuruka Kuruka
5. 沖の鴎に Oki no Kamome ni
6. 箱根八里 Hakone Hachiri
7. 中国地方の子守唄 Chūgoku-Chihō no Komori-Uta
8. 五木の子守唄 Itsuki no Komori-Uta
9. 荒城の月 Kōjō no Tsuki
10. 待ちぼうけ Machibōke
11. からたちの花 Karatachi no Hana
12. ペチカ Pechika
13. 曼珠沙華 Higambana
14. かやの木山 の Kayanokiyama no
15. 赤とんぼ Akatombo
16. 信田の藪 Shinoda no Yabu
17. 河原菜種 Kawara Natane
18. 叱られて Shikararete
19. 花嫁人形 Hanayome Ningyō
20. ちんちん千鳥 Chin Chin Chidori
21. 浜辺の歌 Hamabe no Uta
22. あの子この子 Ano ko Kono ko
23. 平城山 Narayama
24. お六娘 Oroku Musume

Sheet Music

Dawn to the West

Book of sheet music with 24 traditional and early 20th century Japanese songs, all lyrics in Japanese hiragana and transliteration in alphabet under the music. The book also gives short introductions on Japanese music and poetry as well as English translations of the lyrics.


Fuki no Kyuoku

Both sheet CD and music are available from me, for information on either you can contact me.

David van Ooijen