A gentle reminder – 優しいリマインド

Tomorrow (Wednesday, May 20) I’m giving the noontime chapel organ recital at Rikkyo University’s Ikebukuro campus.  Do come by if you are in the area.  I chose music to to match the wonderful sounds of the Tickell organ, so the repertoire is all English.  Here is the program. The recital begins at 12:30 and lasts for 30 minutes.  Admission is free.

明日、(5月20)立教大学の池袋キャンパスチャペルにて、オルガン演奏会を行います。12時30分開演、入場無料。チャペルのイギリス製ティッケル社オルガンのために選曲しました。プログラムは以下の通りです。是非お越し下さい。

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Anything but organ music 〜 オルガン音楽以外のトピック?

(日本語は今晩追加します)Today would be a good time to blog about anything other than organ music.  A typhoon is bearing down on Tokyo (in May!!), so I sit at home in my music room, which is dominated by my practice organ.  With recitals looming in the near future (see the previous post), I hear the siren scream of the organ day in an day out – “practice.. come play me… you’ll never be ready if you don’t practice 14 hours a day…”  Today, for at least 30 minutes, we are going to ignore anything and everything about organs and organ music.

The other day I was over in Shinjuku to buy and sell camera lenses. After finishing my business at Map Camera (highly recommended, by the way, for those who like to sell old camera stuff for good prices), I wandered around seeing what there was to see.  My find for the day was Narukoten Shrine (成子天神社).  It appears to have been completed (rebuilt?) and is beautifully arrayed in a manmade canyon of high rise buildings.

2015-05-02 Narukoten Jinja Shinjuku (1 of 6) At the back of the shrine is a mini Mt Fuji, which, in earlier days, people who couldn’t make a pilgrimage to the mountain itself, climbed for similar spiritual benefit.  The contrast between gleaming towers and the artificial mountain is really worth seeing.  I climbed it, as did a family who appear in my photos of the monument.

2015-05-02 Narukoten Jinja Shinjuku (6 of 6) 2015-05-02 Narukoten Jinja Shinjuku (4 of 6)I had other photo chances during the golden week holidays.  One was a very pleasant all-day walking photo shoot with T. H. Kondo.  We did two major Japanese gardens in the city – Koishikawa and Rikugien.  Both are highly recommended for photographers.2015-04-27 Koishikawa Teien (8 of 9)

Other brief outings with “the wife” produced interesting shots.

1. Here we found our dream house, or rather, dream living room.  It is in Seien Bunko in Asukayama Park; a museum that was formerly the library of Eiichi Shibusawa.

2015-04-28 Asukayama Park (18 of 18)This park also houses other museums, and what appears to be the world’s shortest monorail (it carries people from the park down to Oji Station).

2. Black and white photo ops.  A quick jaunt over to the Otsuka Station area for coffee with “the wife” (she appears in photo four below) turned up some fine contrasty scenes to use my new 60mm lens on.

2015-05-05 walk Otsuka (58 of 59) 2015-05-05 walk Otsuka (51 of 59) 2015-05-05 walk Otsuka (47 of 59) 2015-04-28 Asukayama Park (1 of 18)-2

3. Finally, it wouldn’t be a spring blog post without mentioning cycling.  Well, I’ve done far less than in normal years, but I did get out Monday for a 50 km ride on the Arakawa cycling path in Saitama Prefecture.  I was rewarded with views of the newly-planted rice paddies.

2015-05-11 ride (29 of 55) 2015-05-11 ride (21 of 55) 2015-05-11 ride (17 of 55) 2015-05-11 ride (14 of 55)

I’d like to continue writing, but wail of the organ “come practice, come practice” has overwhelmed me.  If you need me I’ll be sitting in front of the monster trying to concentrate.  In closing, I leave you with a gratuitous cute cat photo (my 16-year-old Snow).

2015-04-27 walk (40 of 42)

PS: more photos can be seen by clicking on the FLICKR ALBUM link above right.

 

 

 

Posted in Nature ~ 自然, Organ ~ オルガン関係, Photography ~写真 | Leave a comment

Happy GW!

Here in Japan we are nearing the end of the Golden Week holidays.  Classes begin again tomorrow, so I am trying hard to enjoy my last day of freedom for some time.  As regular readers know, I’ve let this blog lie dormant for several weeks, so will try and catch up on a few doings before the mood slips away again.

GWはいかがお過ごしですか?明日(水曜日)立教大学の授業は再開しますので、今日は私の最後の自由日です。最近、オルガン関係イベントが多く開かれているので、今日のテーマはORGANです。

ORGAN-RELATED EVENTS オルガン関係行事

For fans of organ music it has been an excellent season.  “The wife” and I have attended three concerts over the past few weeks.  They were:

2015-04-18 Koito Kei concert (1 of 5)

(ショウ、小糸、﨑山)

April 10 at Rikkyo University: Kei Koito in a program of early music from England and Germany.  Everything was played with passion and flair, making for a totally engrossing 70 minute program.  Here is Ms Koito (center) with yours truly (left), and Yuko Sakiyama (Rikkyo University organist).  I apologize for dominating the scene, vertically.

4月10日@立教大学の池袋キャンパスチャペル:小糸恵。17〜18世紀のイギリスとドイツオルガン音楽を演奏しました。小糸さんの演奏を一言で説明すると、パッションに溢れる、ということでしょう。70分間のリサイタルはあっという間に終わりました。

April 30 at Tokyo Metropolitan Art Space: Rie Hiroe, organ and Hiroki Tochimoto, trumpet.  This was another well-planned and beautifully performed program.  In 60 minutes we were treated to music from the Spanish Renaissance (Cabezon), the French and German Baroque era (Muffat, Clerambault) and 20th-century Germany and France (Hindemith and Dupre).

4月30日@東京芸術劇場:廣江理枝(オルガン)と栃本浩規(トランペット)。スペインルネサンス時代(Cabezon)、ドイツとフランスバロック時代(Muffat, Cleranbault)、そして20世紀ドイツとフランス(Hindemith, Dupre),などの作品を演奏されました。芸術劇場のオルガンの特徴は、1台の大オルガンに3台の違ったタイプの楽器があり、それぞれの時代の音楽をオーセンティックな音色で演奏出来ることです。廣江さんは3台とも利用し、大変刺激的なコンサートでした。

May 2 at Kawasaki Muza: the Japan Organ Society’s annual new performer’s concert.  This is another very large instrument in a concert hall, and was performed by recent graduates from various schools of music across the country.  Two hours of loud organ music without a break required a bit of work on the part of the audience, but the young artists all played well.  One wishes them well as they pursue careers in music.

5月2日@ミューザ川崎シンフォニーホール:日本オルガニスト協会の第42回新人演奏会。3月、国内の音楽大学オルガンコースを卒業した若いアーティストの演奏会でした。今年、主にフランスロマン派の曲目が多く演奏されたのが特徴でした。休憩のない2時間の演奏会は聴衆者側の努力を必要としますが、若いオルガニストの皆さんはとても上手に演奏したと思います。これから、彼らは日本オルガン界のために頑張って欲しいです。

CYCLING?  ORGAN-ING? サイクリング、OR オルガニング?

I am embarrassed to admit that the only pedals I’ve touched during golden week have been these:  恥ずかしいことですが、GW中に触れたペダルは自転車のものではなく、以下の写真のように、オルガンのペダルのみです。運動になりませんが、演奏レベルはGWのおかげで少し上達した気がします。本番の内容は以下のチラシの通りです。ご覧ください。

2015-04-27 walk (1 of 1)

Yes, I am practicing for a couple of upcoming recitals, so instead of enjoying picture-perfect cycling weather of this year’s golden week, I have been sitting in front of the organ, grinding my teeth.  Well, I DO enjoy playing the organ, but it is challenging to practice when my bikes are whispering “let’s ride” in my ear (there are two bikes in the organ room at home).  These concerts are:

May 20 at Rikkyo University’s Ikebukuro Campus Chapel.  12:30 start, 30 minute lunchtime organ recital.  Information is available on the concert flyer below (sorry, Japanese only).  I will be playing a program of all-English music from the 19th and 20th centuries that I chose to match the sound of the Tickell organ in the chapel.

June 18 at Tokyo Metropolitan Art Space.  7:30 pm start, 6o minute program.  ¥1,000 per ticket, available at the door.  With me the Rikkyo University Chapel will be performing, so I believe it will be an enjoyable event.  See the two posters below for more information (all Japanese).

2015-05-20 recital flyer (1 of 1)2015-06-18 recital flyer

Lest you feel too sorry for me, I will admit to having had some fun, as well as sitting in front of the organ during the holiday.  Parties with friends, and quite a bit of photography.  All this and more in the next post.

GW中は練習しかしなかった印象を皆さんに与えるとよくないので、次回ブログを更新するとき、写真撮影会、などのことを報告します。

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Organ Concerts this semester – 春学期(前期)オルガンコンサートシリーズ@立教大学

(日本語はチラシの下にあります)Rikkyo University sponsors six or more organ recitals annually.  The series for this semester begins on Saturday, when Kei Koito will perform on the Tickell organ at the university’s Ikebukuro campus chapel.  Ms. Koito is a veteran international performer with a large catalogue of recordings.  You can see her website here.  This Saturday (April 18) she will perform early English repertoire, as well as her speciality, the works of J. S. Bach.  The concert begins at 2:00 and is free and open to all.  Here is the series poster (sorry, Japanese only).

The other concerts this semester:

May 20, 12:30 pm, Ikebukuro campus chapel: Scott Shaw (yours truly, performing an all-English program)

July 9, 12:30 pm, Ikebukuro campus chapel: Duo Syvati (organ and cello), from England

untitled (1 of 1)

立教大学はオルガンコンサートシリーズを計画しています。毎年、6回以上のコンサート開き、両キャンパス(池袋と新座)チャペルで行われます。今学期最初のコンサートは今週土曜日、14時より予定しています。演奏者はスイス在中、日本人の小糸恵さんです。小糸さんはヨーロッパ、アメリカ、そしてアジアで演奏会を開き、多くのオルガンCDをリリースしています。本人のウェブサイトはここです。今回は池袋キャンパスのイギリス製ティッケル社のオルガンを使い、小糸さんの得意ジャンルであるJ。S。バッハの曲目の他、イギリスオルガン音楽も演奏されます。是非お越し下さい。

上記のチラシに今年の全てのオルガンコンサートが記載されています。次回は私が演奏します。昼休みなので、30分間の短いリサイタルです。曲目はオールイギリスで、ティッケル社のオルガンに似合う音色だと思います。お待ちしています。

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Happy Easter! 〜 ハッピー イースター!

Happy Easter from Tokyo! We were not blessed with good weather this year, but are still enjoying the day – both the sacred and secular aspects of it.

イースターおめでとうございます!今年は良い天気に恵まれませんでしたが、素晴らしい1日でした。明日の大学入学式まで少しリラックスタイムになりました。家でシャンパン、イースターディナー、などでこの日をお祝いします。皆様も?

立教大学チャペル(池袋キャンパス)のハイマス(荘厳ミサ)が無事に終わりました。司祭の皆さん、学院オルガニスト、アコライト達、聖歌隊とハンドベルクワイアのメンバー:大変お疲れ様でした!大変良く出来ました!下の写真今日のチャペル風景です。

It is time to relax (briefly – university entrance ceremonies continue tomorrow), and enjoy a delicious Easter dinner. This morning’s Easter high mass went splendidly, thanks to the chapel clergy, acolytes and musicians who participated (in particular, our great university organist, Sakiyama Yuko, the chapel choir, and the chapel handbell choir). Well done, all!

Below are some photos from the chapel today.

Sweet Easter dreams, faithful readers! お休みなさい、読者の皆様!
 

 

 

Posted in Choral ~ 聖歌隊関係, Church music ~ 教会音楽, Rikkyo ~ 立教, Tokyo ~ 東京 | Leave a comment