Midsummer Nights Brought to Life in Japan
Drakskip are a bit of an anomaly. While traditional folk bands exist all over the world, the likelihood of a Japanese foursome playing Scandinavian-inspired folk music halfway across the world is… slim to none. Add to this the fact that they have a nyckelharpa (literally key harp)—an instrument that although hails from Sweden, is one that few Swedes have ever seen in person. Simply put, it’s a combination of a fiddle and a hurdy-gurdy; and just as complicated to play as to imagine. (Aren’t you glad there are pictures?)
The band has played everything from street gigs to shrines, to music festivals in Sweden and Finland, and the foursome (viola, nyckelharpa, acoustic guitar and percussion) have created their own personal twist to the traditional music genre. It’s an energetic and fascinating show, which puts a fun and dynamic spin to “stuffy” folk music. While performing, they claimed that normally “People just sit and watch us while hanging out, or eating…” but given the rambunctious group dancing and swaying at the front, I’m not sure that’s entirely true.
Drakskip (which, incidentally means dragon ship—the ships Vikings used) will unfortunately be breaking up in August (aww), but only for a year (yay!) due to members Shota Enomoto and Yuki Noma going to Sweden to pursue studies in folk music. Want to find out how they all started, and why they decided to study abroad? Check out the interview, coming soon!
Photo by Taio Konishi / Text by Lisa Wallin
Posted on 2015.7.24 21:13