It was a busy week with a great finale! Yesterday was Okafes, the World Music Festival in Kyoto’s Okazaki, and I spent most of my day there. The Okafes is an outdoors festival that invites musicians and dancers from Bali, Korea, Thailand, and of course, Japan to perform traditional music. It’s fun to watch and learn something new!

The highlight this year was Apetunpe, a female duo from Hokkaido singing Ainu tunes. Interestingly, they had no instruments, and the songs they brought along were canons (aka rounds) with a strong rhythm, which surprised me. Of course, they sing in the Ainu language, but even though I couldn’t understand anything, their soothing music touched me deeply.

Unfortunately, I couldn’t find Apetunpe on youtube, but it seems that they are a part of a larger group called Marewrew, and they do have a few albums online. Here is Sikata Kuykuy, with a significantly more happy sound than what they performed yesterday.