Violin made from Japanese tsunami driftwood goes on tour

GregJohnson March 2, 2012 0

A violin that has been partially made using driftwood from last year’s devastating Japanese tsunami is going on a world tour.

It will be played by 1,000 musicians in a ‘musical relay’.

Marking the one-year anniversary of the disaster, which struck the country on March 11th 2011, 1,000 professional violin players will take part in a global ‘musical relay’ by performing on the instrument, named ‘Sen no neiro de tsunagu kizuna’, or Bonds made of a thousand tones.

Violinist Gerard Poulet from France and Mexico-based Japanese violinist Yuriko Kuronuma will form part of the 1,000-player line-up, the Mainichi Daily News reported.

Israeli violinist Ivry Gitlis will kick off the relay with a performance on the tsunami’s anniversary at Rikuzentakata in Iwate Prefecture.

“I hope these concerts will cheer up all disaster survivors and commemorate the victims who lost their lives,” violin manufacturer and organiser of the project Muneyuki Nakazawa told the news provider.

“At the same time, I hope it becomes a step forward toward the prevention of forgetfulness among people.”

He added that while the event will remind people around the world about what happened in Japan 12 months ago, it will also reinforce the power of nature.

The unique instrument will be constructed out of maple and pine wood that was collected by Nakazawa and a friend in Iwate Prefecture, one of the areas hit by the tsunami and earthquake.

Other parts of the instrument will see the main boards using Romanian or Croatian wood.

Music has had a major role in the recovery after the disaster. Many schools that were affected saw all of their musical instruments destroyed and since then organisations like the Asia America Symphony Association of Los Angeles has organised fundraising concerts to donate money and old instruments to schoolchildren.

Last year saw a rare Stradivarius violin sell at a record-breaking price at auction, with every penny of the £9.8 million raised going to Japan’s tsunami relief fund.

As a London resident, famed Japanese violinist Taro Hakase responded to the tragedy taking place in his native Japan by raising funds for the Red Cross through impromptu performances across the UK city in March 2011.

His desire to make a difference took the world famous musician to shops, book stores, cafes and the Cadogen Hall. You can watch his interview with BBC breakfast below: