Song for “Water-buffalo” — the original poem and song
read by Wendy Poussard
02 Song played by Suigyu (Water
Water Buffalo — for accordion solo
03 Poem in Russian
04 Bayan solo
Recorded :1996 at the Concert Hall of the Gnessin Russian Academy of Music
in Moscow. Russia Sound engineer:
Pjotr Kondraschin at the KonClaRec studio
Recording: Valerij Lebedew
Editing: Natalija Meyerzon, Ruslana
05 Poem in
Recorded: May 2000 at Länna Church, Sweden Balance
engineer/Tonmeister: Dirk Lüdemann
Producer: Dirk Lüdemann
07 Poem in German
08 Bayan solo
Jupiter 1954 Moskau
Recorded: December 10th, 2004 at Tonstudio, Musikhochschule Hannover,
Germany Tonmeister/Balance-engineer: Ulrich
director: Ulrich Katzenberger
09 Poem in
Recorded : August 27th, 2004 at Church of Nummi. Finland
Sound and editing engineer: Pekka Vesanen
Twenty years have passed since Yuji
Takahashi's "Like a Water Buffalo" for accordion solo was composed. At
the composer's special request the piece was not published. Copies of the
manuscript traveled "from hand to hand" everywhere, and the work
became deeply loved and played by many accordionists all over the world. We can
say, the seeds of this music "Like a Water Buffalo" were sowed, they
made a remarkable growth throughout the world.
Who were the first to sow these seeds? Especially four
accordeonists came to mind: Friedrich Lips (Russia), Elsbeth Moser (Switzerland),
Matti Rantanen (Finland) and Mie Miki (Japan). These four had grown up in
completely different environments, in different cultures and climates, they
mastered instruments of different systems with their own particular repertoire
and style of interpretation, teaching at music academies in Moscow, Hanover, Helsinki and Essen.They had grown up with different
mother tongues and under different star
constellations (Scorpio, Aries, Aquarius, Virgo) in the four different elements
(water, fire, air and earth). They are the four who enjoyed the work of planting,
watering, giving sunshine and cherishing these special seeds.
One spring day in 2003 I had a dream: these four
accordionists on one CD, playing "Like a Water Buffalo" by Yuji
Takahashi and reciting the poem "Song for 'Water-buffalo' " by Wendy
Poussard in their own mother tongues. Could this dream come true? The responses
of Friedrich Lips, Elsbeth Moser and Matti Rantanen came immediately, they all
agreed with great enthusiasm.Of course I was very interested in the origin of
these seeds, the poem "Song Mr 'Water-buffalo' " by Wendy
Poussard. Mr.Yuji Takahashi and Mrs.Mie Yamaki searched for
the poet and kindly asked Mrs. Wendy Poussard to recite the original poem
Eighteen months passed after the original proposition was
made. The unique CD was performed with Wendy Poussard reciting her poem
"Song Mr 'Water-buffalo' ", with the Suigyu (Water Buffalo) Band.
performing Yuji Takahashi's original song, and with four soloists, playing the
same wonderful music in their own distinct styles,making this CD epoc-making in
the history of the accordion.
was a dream. Now it is a reality.
Special thanks to Yuji Takahashi, Wendy Poussard, Mie Yamaki, Friedrich
Lips, Elsbeth Moser, Matti Rantanen, Takashi Sakurai, Gen-ichiro Yagyu, Mirei
Takahashi and Akiko Miki.
Landgraaf, December 26th 2004
(translated by Akiko Miki)
Song for “Water-buffalo”
the people's fears.
the people's tears.
sound of freedom
when I hear it
know it's mine.
Singing a song together
walking down the road
we don't have long.
We're hot and cold,
stop and go.
but the song ploughs on
like a water-buffalo.
hands reach out to them.
love is strong
cannot touch them
we sing their song.
song's a question
and a memory.
There is not limit
a song can be.
what you do
Like a Water Buffalo
Water buffalo is a friend of
peasants in Southeast Asia for centuries, although in these days they are being
replaced by the tractors "the iron water buffalo".
took the name for our band we formed to introduce Thai protest songs in 1970s
against military dictatorship. Australian poet and activist Wendy Poussard
visited our home one day and wrote the poem for the band to which I composed a
melody and the accompaniment inspired by the sound of wooden cowbells water
buffalos hang from their neck are turned into a piece for accordion solo when
Mie Miki asked me to write music of heart for her instrument. It was in 1985.
And I asked her to give the music to anyone who wanted to see the score. As a
song reachs the ears behind the prison walls, handed down from musicians to
musicians, may this music transmit the sound of freedom.
music of "Like a Water Buffalo" is found on www.suigyu.com It is free
to download, copy and give to friends.]