17 Mar 2013

Charity Concert in East Finchley

We will have a charity concert to support a music school for children in Palestine, at East Finchley Methodist Church in north London. All the donations will go to a nonprofit organisation, Al Kamandjâti, who runs the school in Ramallah in Palestine. The organisation offers music lesson for children who have to survive in poor and violent situation depriving opportunity of any kind of education.

Al Kamandjâti says “We must give our children the opportunity to think beyond soldiers and tanks. They must think creatively, not about the destruction of their country, but about rebuilding their civilization.”— quoted from Al Kamandjâti’s website

As being musician, we still want to believe a certain power of music to open up people’s imagination beyond a confined situation. Our hope is to hear a new music, new sound on different perspective, by those children in a future when they grow up, not sound of gun and missile.

To the programme, we are thinking to include some latest works, both new arrangements and compositions, and also, upon a request of the church, some pieces of guitar & piano which we have not played almost for a year. Let’s see what will happen..!

Melodica/Piano: Ayumi Toyama
Guitar: Ryusuke Koarashi

“Unconventional Convention Conventional Unconvention”
Date: 14th April (SUN)
Time 19:30 - 21:30
Venue: East Finchley Methodist Church
Address: High Road, East Finchley, London N2 8AJ
Collection in aid of Music school in Palestine (Al Kamandjâti)

Click here to download the flyer.

Click here to download the leaflet of Al Kamandjâti

10 Mar 2013


Pocket Penguin has been expanding their repertoire mainly by adapting various pieces with a view to exploring different possibilities of interpretation. Our repertoire is not all mentioned on the list, is constantly increasing and frequently being updated.

Recently we are taking a different approach to the sound world of melodica & guitar. What we are experimenting with is to find new sound material or different ways of producing sound on each instrument and then assembling them into a pattern or a time framework.

These fruits from our explorations are output as a series of "Preludes"—so named because we think they have some similarities to general aspect of conventional prelude, i.e. rather short duration, limited material and pattern, improvisatory—as some parts are left for the performers' judgement.

Our Prelude may include some "pre-removed" material, structure, and ambiguity from music. So we seem going back "before music", that is a place where the sound may not yet be called music, as in the Latin "Prae-ludere" which etymologically meant "before playing".

3 Mar 2013

A Concert at Union Chapel (The Daylight Music)

Pocket Penguin finished a performance on 2nd of March in the Daylight Music, a musical event regularly held at Union Chapel.

We would like to say thank you to all the people who were there listening to our performance warmly and carefully, and those who gave us good feedback, that will certainly encourage us to go to next step of music making. And also we would like to give special thanks to Ben who gave us the opportunity to play in such a nice venue, and stuffs who supported our performance.


J.S Bach: Prelude from Cello Suite III
Ryusuke Koarashi: Walking through a forest
Pocket Penguin: Prelude I, III, IV
Ryusuke Koarashi: Çok Güzeller

Melodica: Ayumi Toyama
Guitar: Ryusuke Koarashi

We played 6 pieces. Prelude from Cello Suite III is a piece we recorded in the first album "A Bird Flying over Mountains" and played several times before. And all the rest of the programme was the first time to play in public.

The title “Walking through a forest” just came from an impression of the piece, like walking in a winding road in a forest and sometimes stopping suddenly and looking around.

Prelude I, III and IV are from a series of experimental pieces by Pocket Penguin, exploring sound material and combination of our instrument. We will describe more details of the series 'Prelude' later in our blog. You can have a glimpse of our rehearsal on Facebook, and also listen to Prelude I on Soundcloud.

“Çok Güzeller” was a piece Ryusuke has just made last week in a demand of rhythmic and “happy” repertoire of Pocket Penguin. The title is Turkish, meaning “very beautiful” in third person plural form. We wondered if someone noticed the Bach motif, a succession of notes, Bb A C B natural, used at somewhere in the piece. Our programme of this time actually began and ended with "Bach".

After the Concert, "Music for a while"

Date: 12th May (SUN) Time: 19:30~ Venue: East Finchley Methodist Church High Rd., London N2 8AJ (opp.Creighton Ave) Admission: Free Coll...