Mar 18, 2008

Conductor Seikyo Kim and His Camera

This is an excerpt from an interview by Maestro Seikyo Kim (who conducted the orchestra for the "April Snow" event at Saitama Super Arena, and will also conduct the BYJ Classics Concert next month), for the Ricoh (Japanese camera brand) website.
(photo is also from the same site.)

Interviewer: I would like to ask you a bit about your work. Being a conductor, do you listen to a lot of classical music in your daily life?

Seikyo: No, I don’t listen to it much at home. I try not to listen to it, including my own recordings --- actually, this came naturally, and it has been this way for some time now. Although I do install everything I think that would be useful in iTune, so I can listen to it any time it’s necessary. But it’s more in the way of “reference” for my work, rather than “appreciating” music for its own sake.

At home, I have a lot of jazz playing on my stereo – especially by the pianist Yutaka Shiina. I collaborated with him in the past, and I really like his music.
I: Is it since you became a professional conductor that you have come to listen to less classical music?

Seikyo: No, I listened to it a lot even after I became a conductor. It’s probably in the past one or two years that I’ve stopped listening to it. It got to the point that my mind was always filled with music and I was always in the frame of mind for work. It became difficult to shift gears for me. From that perspective, because the world of digital cameras is a totally visual one, it is useful for me in switching modes.

When I am in the state of concentrating on music for work the whole time, I am so saturated with music that my visual senses become neglected. I am less moved when I see things. Then, I would be inclined not to notice all the beautiful things the world is filled with. I thought this is a waste. This is what led me to take photographs. Taking photographs helps me shift to a different mode.

I: Obviously, your sensitivity is essential for your work. So, I guess you try to condition your senses (by doing what you just explained).

Seikyo: I think you can say that. And once I started, it didn’t take long to become passionate about my camera (laughs).

(my previous post on what the maestro thought of BYJ:

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