Rin’ is a music group that combines contemporary music style and Japanese traditional instruments. There are 3 members in the group (Mana, Chie and Tomoca), each of them specializes in different instruments but koto (琴), biwa (琵琶), shakuhachi (尺八) and sangen (三弦) are more used than others. I’ve always liked the sounds of koto and shakuhachi, but plain traditional instrumentals are probably a little bland for most people these days and they certainly aren’t something I’d like to listen very often. And then I learnt about Rin’. The formula of fusing traditional and modern instruments is probably nothing new, but the key here is the execution and applying the formula will get anyone nowhere unless it is actually done right.
With that said, the vocal is probably the weaker point of the group. While it might not be too noticeable in the recordings, it is apparent in the live concert that they struggle at certain notes (especially Mana) and they are clearly not the best singers out there. They also don’t always write their songs, despite being a group, but that is probably reasonable since it is no laughing matter to construct a piece of coherent music that employs a set of unconventional instruments, for a group of freshly graduated music students at least.
Sadly, the group was disbanded in February 2009 and they were no longer active. Some of the members became solo artists, and Mana just released her first album recently, but the Rin’s essence was lost. I guess it is logical to say that it’d be more interesting to listen to 3 traditional instruments than just 1 =/
But that doesn’t stop anyone from enjoying their released work. Below are some samples from their first album – Jikuu (時空), and it is thought to be one of the best.
- Jikuu (時空) (sample) http://sites.google.com/site/depthcharge101posts4/media/100228jikuu-jikuu.mp3?attredirects=0&d=1
- Sakitama – Sakitama (幸魂)
- Yachiyo no Kaze (八千代ノ風) (sample) http://sites.google.com/site/depthcharge101posts4/media/100228jikuu-yachiyonokaze.mp3?attredirects=0&d=1
- Fuhen (普遍) (sample) http://sites.google.com/site/depthcharge101posts4/media/100228jikuu-fuhen.mp3?attredirects=0&d=1
- Miyabi (雅) (sample) http://sites.google.com/site/depthcharge101posts4/media/100228jikuu-miyabi.mp3?attredirects=0&d=1
- Doushin (道心) (sample) http://sites.google.com/site/depthcharge101posts4/media/100228jikuu-doushin.mp3?attredirects=0&d=1
- Smile on (English ver.)
- Sai no Kami (サイの神) (sample) http://sites.google.com/site/depthcharge101posts4/media/100228jikuu-sainokami.mp3?attredirects=0&d=1