Sakiyama Yuko performs at Tokyo Cathedral 12/9 – 﨑山裕子氏@東京カテドラ:12月9日(金)

As I wrote recently on this blog, Rikkyo University organist Yuko Sakiyama is performing on the Tokyo Cathedral Organ Meditation series tomorrow evening (December 9) at 7:00 pm.  I went to the cathedral yesterday afternoon to hear her play.  Her’s is a program reflecting the season, with both Advent and Christmas organ music.  I think you will find it as enjoyable as I did.  Here she and the cathedral are (photo left), and below is her program.

先日、ブログに書いた通り、立教学院オルガニストである﨑山裕子さんが東京カテドラルのオルガンメディテーションというシリーズで演奏されます。本番は明日(12月9日、19時より)です。昨日、本人の練習時間の最後に少し聞く機会がありました。大変魅力的なプログラムです。演奏される曲目は以下の通り、降臨節(アドベント)とクリスマスにふさわしいものです。カテドラル前で演奏者の写真を撮りました(左)

If you haven’t heard the cathedral’s organ before, this will be a good chance to do so.  The acoustics are rolly-polly grand, and the organ is a very refined-sounding instrument by Mascione of Italy.  The church’s homepage declares proudly that this is the biggest church in Japan, but actually it is the second largest, as far as I know.  The 52-stop Mander organ at Urakami Cathedral in Nagasaki is quite a bit larger, in fact.  That has nothing to do with the quality or beauty of the Mascione organ, of course.  I just like to correct the misconception that you will be hearing Japan’s largest church organ if you attend the Meditation.

カテドラルのオルガンを初めて聞く方は先ず教会の残響にビックリされるでしょう。ヨーロッパの教会のような残響を持つ建物で、オルガンの音は大変長く響きます。楽器自体はイタリアのMascione社によって造られた上品な楽器です。カテドラルのウェブサイトに日本の教会に設置されているパイプオルガンの中で一番大きなパイプオルガンだと書かれていますが、実は、長崎の浦上天主堂のマンダー社によって造られた52ストップオルガンの方が一番大きいです。しかし、サイズは楽器の質と関係ないし、カテドラルのオルガンは教会に大変よいフィットであります。是非、聞きに行って下さい。

Program:

Part 1

  • J. S. Bach: Chorale Prelude on Nun komm der Heiden Heiland BWV659
  • Anton Heiller: Variation fur Orgel: Nun komm, der Heiden Heiland

Part 2

  • Alexandre Guilamant: Offertoire dur Deux Noels
  • Craig Phillips: Carol
  • Kenneth Lowenberg: Advent (Tone Poem on Conditor alme siderum)
  • Rebecca Groom Te Velda: Besancon/Carol of the Advent

After hearing Ms Sakiyama play, she, Steven Dieck and I enjoyed good coffee across the street at an elegant cafe called Oto no ha – highly recommended.  It was sunset time, so the view over toward Shinjuku from Mejiro Dori was quite fine (photo).  Finally, a photo of the cathedral bell tower.

Ginko trees line the street outside the cathedral

Coffee at Oto no ha cafe

Sunset over Shinjuku

Cathedral bell tower

Posted in Pipe organ links  パイプオルガンリンク, Rikkyo ~ 立教, Tokyo ~ 東京 | 2 Comments

Patience is the word of the day – 今日の言葉=忍耐力

fullsizerender

Recovery.  Patience is required.  Yet patience is not my strongest attribute.  After resuming work, walking, stretching and light weight training, I’d say I’m 80% to my pre-pneumonia stamina.  No complaints on this front.  My hearing, on the other hand, improves, but at a snail’s pace.  I should be (and am) thankful that the ears, badly infected during the bout with pneumonia, are improving at all.  Until late last week it was nearly impossible to tell what people were saying to me from any distance.  Women’s voices were particularly difficult to make out.  I have progressed to the point where I can hear my “the wife” at home without any strain, and even the TV news (for better or worse) is audible.  but I’d estimate I have only 60-70% of my pre-illness hearing back so far.  Make haste, ear canals and related tubing!  I need you by Christmas!!  My doctor remains sanguine, despite my regular urging to hurry up the healing process.  So, patience is the word of the week, faithful readers.  Patience!  If you have any suggestions on how I might actually gain this state of being, do share your thoughts!

回復するため、忍耐力が必要と言われます。仕事を再開し、軽い運動をやっています。体力が8割ほど戻った気がします。しかし、聴力が大変遅いペースで回復しています。ここで忍耐力が必要でしょう。肺炎になった時、中耳炎がおこってしまい、今だに6割ぐらいまでしか聴力が回復していません。かかっている医者は毎回「よくなっていますよ」と言ってくれます。確かに、先週末まで会話を聞き取れることも困難でしたが、今週に入ってからは大分楽になりました。毎日耳に頑張れよ、クリアになりましょうね!と言い続いています。クリスマスまでに、ね。。

A bit PR: I was supposed to play a recital this Friday at 7:00 pm at St Mary’s Roman Catholic Cathedral here in Tokyo.  But with the ears down, practice was impossible, so I suggested my colleague at Rikkyo University, Yuko Sakiyama, to the cathedral staff.  They agreed, and she is going to play a fine program in a few days from now.  It is the Organ Meditation series, for which the organ plays a 30 minute program, half before, and half after a short talk by one of the cathedral’s priests.  Free, and well worth the travel to get to the cathedral.  Friday, December 9 at 7:00 pm.   I’ll post the program in a day or so.

今週金曜日、東京カテドラルのオルガンメディテーションと言うシリーズで演奏するはずでした。しかし、耳の状態が上記に書いた通りなので、オルガンの練習が不可能です。カテドラルのスタッフに立教大学で一緒に働いている﨑山裕子さんを代わりの奏者提案し、教会の関係者も、﨑山さんを引き受けてくれました。12月9日、19時よりカテドラルで﨑山さんの素晴らしい演奏を聞きに行きませんか?明日、プログラムとカテドラルで練習する﨑山さんの写真をシェアしますので、またこのブログをチェックして下さい。シリーズの詳細はカテドラルのウェブサイトに掲載されています。(残念ながら、演奏者はまだ私の名前のままです)。

It has been a beautiful fall here in Tokyo, and part of my strategy to get the ears up to snuff has been to walk everywhere possible.  You know, to get the blood and good vibes, and all that flowing.  I treated myself to a new cell phone – the iPhone 7 Plus – which has a very good camera and two lenses, making autumn walks a treat, even when I haven’t got a normal camera.  Here are some photos of the season taken with this amazing phone camera.

今年、東京の秋はとても美しいです。温度の変化は確かに激しいですが、青空の日は多くあります。私の回復を早める対策としては、毎日なるべく長く散歩するようにしています。血の循環をよくすれば、もしかすると聴力も早くよくなる?と期待します。そして、この季節に合わせて携帯を買い換えました。iPhone 7 Plusのカメラが(携帯として)あまりにも素晴らしくビックリしています。カメラを持っていかない時、この携帯さえあれば写真撮影も楽しめるのは嬉しいことです。以下の写真は全てアイフォーンで撮ったものです。

untitled-168-of-183 untitled-115-of-183 untitled-112-of-183 untitled-99-of-183

And finally, two seasonal photos from the Rikkyo University Ikebukuro campus:

untitled-51-of-183 untitled-73-of-183

Posted in Tokyo ~ 東京 | 1 Comment

Happy Thanksgiving!


This week is Thanksgiving in the United States. With all the recent turmoil over the presidential election, perhaps this is a time to shut out the noise from both sides of the political spectrum and concentrate (for a few days, anyway) on family and friends and the act of giving thanks.

Living in Japan means that one has to be flexible about the actual date of celebrating. My family and I will enjoy a small turkey and all the trimmings today (Monday). We wish all of you (Americans and otherwise) the best for the week.

Finally, I am going back to work this week after four weeks off for pneumonia, hospitalization, and recovery. I’ve been declared free of any lung infection – hooray for that! Unfortunately, my ear infection continues for the third week, making it difficult to hear conversation. Back to the hospital today for more outpatient treatment today and tomorrow. I hope for the best, and am looking forward to getting back to work. I’ve missed my choir and daily interaction with my colleagues.

Posted in Uncategorized | 4 Comments

Home! 〜 退院しました

untitled-108-of-140I am happy to be able to say that I am writing this from home.  Two weeks of fevers and coughs, a week in the hospital, and now recuperation at home have combined to create an unforgettable Autumn.  One I might rather forget, but quite an experience all the same.  You don’t often think about medical facilities until you need them, but while it’s fresh in my mind I’d like to publicly thank the doctors, nurses and staff at Toshima Hospital near Oyama Station here in Tokyo.  Professional and caring at the same time, even when I first went in at midnight on Sunday.  What dedication! (not to mention beautiful facilities).

Now I am looking at a recovery period for my lungs and ears, which were both infected by the same bug as my lungs.  Though not nearly as strong as I was three weeks ago, I did manage a very slow stroll to a nearby park for coffee and photos today.  It was wonderful to be out in the fresh air surrounded by people enjoying themselves.  Health is a great gift we often take for granted!  Below are a few photos from today’s mini outing.

この度、退院しましたので自宅でブログを更新しています。2週間の咳、高熱、などに続けて約1週間の入院は忘れられない経験でした。現在、家でゆっくりしたペースで回復しています。肺は少しづつよくなっていますが、中耳炎によって聴力が大分落ちています。治るまで仕事を少しづつしますので、ご理解をよろしくお願いします。医療機関を必要としない方はあまり医者、看護師、病院、などを考える事がないと言えるでしょう。私もそうでしたが、今回、真夜中でも仕事をして下さっている豊島病院の皆さんに心から感謝をしています。ちなみに、施設も綺麗です。

体力が病気する前より半分以下に落ちた気がしますが、今日、頑張って短い散歩をしました。おじいちゃんペースでしたが、暖かい日で、公園で遊んでいる人々のそばにいただけで少し元気になった気がします。やはり、健康が一番ですね。ちなみに、訪れた公園内の紅葉はとても綺麗だったので、写真も楽しみました。以下の通りです。

 

untitled-139-of-140 untitled-93-of-140 untitled-90-of-140

Posted in Tokyo ~ 東京 | Leave a comment

Hello from the hospital 入院しました

November 8

After consuming a mountain of pills and enduring two weeks of fevers, coughs, headaches and other unpleasant symptoms, I went to the emergency room of a local hospital at midnight Sunday and was admitted. Turns out the “bad cold” doctors and I thought I had was actually Mycoplasma Pneumonia. I will be here for a week, they say. Normally a one-week stay in a hospital is to be avoided like the plague, but when you are the one with the plague (pneumonia), on the other hand, it is a huge relief. There is nothing to do but follow orders, relax, and recover.

 

2週間ほど”厳しい風邪”の症状(高熱、咳、頭痛、など)と戦いましたが、2日前入院しました。その2週間の間、薬をたくさんのみましたが、効果がなく、結局マイコプラズマ肺炎と診断されました。1週間の入院になるでしょう。診断された瞬間にホッとしました。やっと原因がわかったし、仕事の事を一時的にポーズが出来ます。多くの方にご迷惑をかけますが、しばらくの間休ませて頂きます。

The good news in today’s post is that earlier the same day I checked into the hospital, the Rikkyo Chapel Choir performed a full concert in Matsumoto City’s beautiful Harmony Hall on (Nov 6). It was a career high point to have the choir I work with daily to be invited to perform in a setting such as this. The hall chartered the bus, put all 38 students up in a city hotel, paid for meals, etc, as well as providing for all possible needs during our time at the hall itself. The Harmony Hall seats 700, and approximately 500 people paid to hear the students sing with hall organist Harada Yasuko. I was extremely pleased with the choir’s performance, as well as my ability not to cough while conducting! After the concert, my “the wife” and I took an express train back to the city, and then drove to the hospital where I am now. What a dramatic change of scenery!

 

 

今日は悪いニュースばかりではないですよ。入院した日、立教大学のチャペル聖歌隊と一緒に松本市のハーモニーホールでコンサートを行いました。美しい環境の中で演奏する事と、ホールオルガニストの原田氏の素晴らしい伴奏のもとで歌う事は大変幸せでした。ホール側は貸切バス、全員のホテル、食事、などを提供して下さいましたので、聖歌隊は演奏に集中出来ました。700席だと聞きましたが、約500人ものお客様が聞きに下さいました。原田さんをはじめ、ホールの方々へ心から大きな感謝を伝いたいです。そして、厳しいスケジュールを守ってくれ、そして自分のベストを尽くしてくれた聖歌隊員:本当にありがとう!ボスは大満足しています。

Here are some photos of the concert taken by Mr Yamagishi of Harmony Hall.

Saturday Rehearsal

Sunday Concert

Post-concert happy time

 

Posted in Choral ~ 聖歌隊関係, Church music ~ 教会音楽, Music - general ~ 音楽:一般, Organ ~ オルガン関係, Rikkyo ~ 立教 | 8 Comments