Mar 14, 2011

Power of Music! (video added Mar 15)

Maestros and Musicians at Work

This is Maestro Seikyo Kim and the Kanagawa Philharmonic Orchestra rehearsing Bizet’s Carmen Overture and Beethoven’s Symphony No.5 for an outreach concert for elementary school students. (Oct.2010)

Video streaming by Ustream

The maestro after a geneprobe (with their virtuoso concert master Yasunao Ishida in the back^^)

Video streaming by Ustream

On March 12, the Kanagawa Philharmonic Orchestra was scheduled to perform Mahler’s 6th Symphony. I had the privilege of sitting in on their rehearsal (it is open to anyone!) on the 9th in this very hall.

The maestro had just returned from Europe after a series of successful concerts with the Flanders Symphony Orchestra.

After his first rehearsal with Mahler's 6th, he expressed his satisfaction towards the Kanagawa Philharmonic for being well prepared^^

On the 12th (the day before the performance) I enjoyed listening to the rehearsal live through USTREAM and was excited to see that they were even better than when I heard them 2 days ago. Clearly, they were all set to give a great performance in Yokohama Minato Mirai Hall (very close to where the APEC meetings were held last year) the following day.

It was the two hours later, that the earthquake hit us....

While I was waiting in the dark for my family to come home, I was wondering if they were going to go on with the concert. Unfortunately, I had other plans so I couldn’t go any way, but I really wanted to know how things were.

Later, when we got our electricity back, I read the tweets by the maestro and orchestra staff.

Seikyokim: I haven’t received notice of whether we will be performing tomorrow or not. I’m sure the musicians and the people participating as extras are anxious too. I’m going to bed now believing that we will be on tomorrow. I should give my body and mind a rest.

Awhile later...

Seikyokim: It's no use. Can't sleep.

Kanagawaphil at 9:26 We apologize for the delayed announcement. Our subscription concert will be given as scheduled. As there is major disruption in transport, we hope that you will take all precautions on the way to the concert hall.

Kodaikooyaji (percussionist): Received notice from the orchestra admin. I am on the way to generalprobe. The present situation gives us all the more reason to have our concert. We are professional musicians. Just as there are people at the site of disaster working hard to repair the damage, we will give our all to help heal people’s hearts. 9:35

Retweeted by Seikyokim: Let’s do it! Yoroshiku onegaishimasu! (thank you)

tarohakaseHATS@Seikyokim: Believe in the power of music!

And after the concert…

Seikyokim: There are certain things only musicians can accomplish. I can only hope that I may be of some support for people’s hearts. I will do what I can. One at a time.

We just finished our Mahler No.6 subscription concert. I would like to express my deepest gratitude to everyone who came to the concert hall. Thank you very much. I am overwhelmed. I hope our thoughts will reach the people of northern Japan... thank you so much. It was a concert that will remain in my memory forever.

@Seikyokim: Today’s performance which began in a silent prayer and ended in a prayer... Sitting in the silence after the final note, I could not hold back my tears. While giving my prayers for the repose of the souls of the victims of the disaster, the performance gave me great comfort as well, at this time when I am so devastated by what we have been seeing. Thank you very much for a memorable performance. (tweeted by a Kanagawa Phil fan)

After the performance, all the musicians called out for contributions to support the victims of the disaster.

And a day before, on the very day of the earthquake, another maestro had given an extraordinary performance.

British conductor Daniel Harding with the New Japan Philharmonic.

The maestro after the performance:

Just played Mahler 5 for the 50 who made it... Hope the other 1750 are all ok. Wonderful atmosphere on strangest of days.
Would have played just for the 69 year old who walked 4 hours across Tokyo to make it to the concert! That's dedication to music!! 3.11 21:50


Although I was not able to attend neither of these incredible concerts, I too feel energized and comforted by their efforts. Thank you so much!

Renowned Japanese musician Taro Hakase will be giving a Charity Concert for Japan's Earthquake @ LONDON MITSUKOSHI


Ida said...

Dear Flowerbossa,

Music is a powerful tool that can comfort, unite and energize people in difficult times. And it has no language barriers but can be understood and felt no matter where you are or who you are.
In music you can escape for a moment and be transferred into another dimension where there is tranquility even in the midst of disaster.


flowerbossa said...

Hello Ida,

Yes, I couldn't agree more!
You have many wonderful musicians in your country too^^


Shinji said...

Dear flowerbossa,

Thank you for all these videos! Though I have to sit down calmly to view the first one ^^;

It's nice to see how all those musicians have had the determination to continue with their performances. That's their work, make the public to pass a good time after a lot of hard work and effort during rehearsals, and that at this hard moments is praiseworthy and the public response too.

And yes, I also agree with everything Ida says, word by word. I think no one concieve the world without music and even at this moment it remains important.

Finally, I hope you and your family are well, as far as possible.

Please, take care!


flowerbossa said...

Hello Shinji-san,

It is very unfortunate that the marjority of the performances in the Tokyo area have to cancelled due to the damages of the earthquake and the need to conserve electricity.

They are eager to go on with what they are best at, and I think many of them are looking for ways to deliver their music.

We are trying to get used to not having electricity a few hours a day (and water too because the system is supported by electricity^^;)but we are thankful that we are alive and well.