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Friday, Sept. 3, 2004


Latvian ladies to revive the 'kokle'

Nine young female musicians from Latvia will revive the art of playing the kokle, an instrument with a history dating back more than 800 years, in concerts in Nagoya and Tokyo this month.

The kokle ensemble "Dzitari," which means "a drop of amber," was established in 1991 in Baldone, the oldest resort in the Baltic region. Valda Bagata is the group's musical director. Most of the musicians, in their teens and 20s, are graduates of Baldone Conservatory.

The kokle is made from a hollowed-out slab of wood with strings set across it. In ancient times, five to seven gut strings were the norm, but these days, as many as 30 steel strings are used. The kokle is played by plucking the strings with wooden picks or duck plumes.

Dzitari Concert 2004 will start at 7 p.m. on Sept. 14 at Atsuta Bunka Shogekijo in Nagoya and on Sept. 16 at Kioi Hall in Tokyo. Tickets for the Nagoya performance are 4,000 yen, while those for the Tokyo performance are 4,500 yen and 4,000 yen. To reserve, call 0570-02-9990 or (03) 3585-0486 or visit eee.eplus.co.jp/

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