Kawaguchi - Sayaka Nojiri drums on manhole covers, frying pans and any other metal objects she can find to promote the metal-casting industry of her hometown in Saitama Prefecture.
The unusual 23-year-old percussionist from Kawaguchi hopes that by drumming on products made in the city she can promote the merits of its once prosperous industry, which is now suffering from a shortage of people willing to take over existing companies.
Nojiri graduated from the percussion department of Musashino Music College in 2007. A promising talent in the genre, she has won several prizes, including the grand prize at the Japan Percussion Society's New Future Players Concert.
She first used metal products as drums in November for a recital at a foundry owned by a longtime acquaintance.
She said she was brought up in the city and she wanted to show gratitude to the city by drumming on metal products cast there.
She turned metal-cast products, including frying pans, into percussion instruments by putting holes in them to create a variety of unusual sounds.
At her recital last year, she improvised for an audience of about 300, while imagining the sounds and smells of foundries and the feel of the casting process.
At her next recital, scheduled for Sept. 9 at Kawaguchi Culture Center Lilia near JR Kawaguchi Station, she will perform her own pieces with a cosmic theme using metal-cast instruments.
Her grandfather established a foundry that produced printing machine parts after World War II. Her father ran it after him, but it stopped production three years ago.
The Kawaguchi Cast Iron Foundry Association says there were about 700 foundries in the city in 1947, but now there are 140.