Organs, bikes, and bars – オルガン、自転車、バー

There is no rhyme nor reason to today’s post.  It’s not even a proper diary.  Stream of conscience, shall we say?  Chalk it up to the end-of-semester exhaustion.  Here we go…

July 17: Bryan Ashley’s organ recital at Rikkyo University’s Ikebukuro campus chapel

This was a huge success in every way.  We had a full house to witness Bryan play a big program of music from Britain and the USA (with one piece by Petr Eben as well).  The program was brilliantly, forcefully, and extremely musically played.  Bravo, Bryan!  I am sure the Tickell organ enjoyed the exercise (though it might have been a bit stiff the next day)

2016-07 Bryan concert (15 of 17)

Bryan Ashley performing at Rikkyo University

Bryan Ashley performing at Rikkyo University

Bryan Ashley performing at Rikkyo University

July 18, Sunday

The following day, Sunday, was business as usual +.  It was the last Sunday service for the choir to sing this semester (whew), followed by the wedding of a graduate held in the chapel (congrats, Fumiko and Tim!), and a wedding party after that.  Obviously, I can’t share photos of the wedding or party, but here are the musicians for the wedding: members from both the chapel choir and handbell choir performed during the ceremony:

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After the flower tossing outside the chapel:

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July 18, Monday (a national holiday in Japan)

Monday was the “Day of the Sea” here in Japan and all citizens are expected to head to the beach.  Well, many do, I hear.  I studiously avoided it by lunching with “the wife” in Shinjuku, and then doing some camera shopping.  My new camera (new to me, I bought it used at Map Camera in Shinjuku) is a Fujifilm X100t, and was used to take all the photos in today’s post.  It’s great fun to use, and as expected, delivers fine results.  A walk in Shinjuku’s Central Park provided photo ops:

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Tuesday, July 19: a day one might well call “full,” or even “productive.” And possibly exhausting

Up at 4 am and out the door on my bike at 5 am.  I rode across the city to Mizumoto Park, and from there up the Edogawa River.  The average temperature was 34 C/93 F, so plenty sweaty.  I rode for 140 km, arriving back home at 6 pm, just in time to shower and dash out with “the wife” for a most enjoyable evening of live music in Shinjuku.  The ever-elegant Yuki Takeshita and two other women performed Chanson to piano accompaniment in a small establishment.  It was a relaxing conclusion to a busy few days.  You can read about the ride and an interesting couple of rural temples on the CYCLING PAGE.  Here is Ms Takeshita singing for the crowd (sorry for the poor quality – it was taken with my cell phone):

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Posted in Church music ~ 教会音楽, Music - general ~ 音楽:一般, Organ ~ オルガン関係, Photography ~写真, Rikkyo ~ 立教, Tokyo ~ 東京 | Leave a comment

An exciting organ recital this Saturday – 立教学院主催オルガンリサイタル(土曜日)


Recital organist Bryan Ashley is in Tokyo from Boston, USA, to prepare for his recital here at Rikkyo University this coming Saturday.  Bryan is organist at the Christian Science Mother Church in Boston, which boasts one of the world’s greatest church organs.  Here is the church’s website organ page.  There is a video of Bryan performing Bach’s Eb Major Fugue if you scroll down and click on it.  I have heard him practicing on our Tickell organ, and assure you that this is going to be one HOT recital!  All the music was chosen to highlight the Tickell’s abilities, and Bryan plays it all with passion and style.  I really do think this will be a concert to remember.  The doors to the Rikkyo University All Saints Chapel (Ikebukuro campus) open at 1:30, and the concert begins at 2:00.  Admission is free.  Here the concert poster, as well as a couple of snapshots of Bryan at work in the chapel today.  The program can be found at the bottom of the page.



Ashley Poster

Bryan Ashley @ Rikkyo U. All Saints Chapel

Bryan Ashley @ Rikkyo U. All Saints Chapel



Posted in Church music ~ 教会音楽, Organ ~ オルガン関係, Pipe organ links  パイプオルガンリンク, Rikkyo ~ 立教, Tokyo ~ 東京 | Leave a comment

A bit of a ride 〜 ちょっとしたライド

It used to be my pattern to work hard over the weekend, and then go cycling on Monday without fail.  This semester has been the worst in memory, as concerns the amount of work vs the amount of cycling accomplished.  I got a bit of revenge yesterday, however, by spending the day in the saddle.  The route was one of my favorites – down the Arakawa (tail wind!) and back up the Edogawa River (tail wind!) to Mizumoto Park.  Then across town and back to the Arakawa River before heading home.  103 km over 10 hours with plenty of long breaks, due to the heat (35 C, 95 F) and humidity.  The route map, and a few things seen, plus an egregious selfie below.


Screenshot 2016-07-12 20.14.17

  1. Early in the ride – the end of the Arakawa cycling path at Shinsuna.  I cross the river on a high bridge here, heading to Kasai Rinkai Park, Tokyo Disneyland, and then the Edogawa River cycling path. 下の写真:荒川サイクリングロードの終点(新砂)。ここから大橋で川を渡ります。

2016-07-12 ride (37 of 95)

2016-07-12 ride (40 of 95)

2. My Giant road bike on the Edogawa River 私のロードバイク2016-07-12 ride (65 of 95)

3. Yet ANOTHER cyclist who rides faster than I do また追い越されました!2016-07-12 ride (63 of 95)

4. The promised egregious selfie, near the end of the day すみませんが、セルフィです2016-07-12 ride (83 of 95)

5. Humor, 1.  Warning!  Unattractive children near here!

2016-07-12 ride (51 of 95)

6. Humor, 2.  Warning! Attention seeking children near here!

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7.  Finally, a bit of editing may have been done on this photo.  江戸川を渡る橋2016-07-12 ride (56 of 95)m


Posted in Cycling, Photography ~写真, Tokyo ~ 東京 | Leave a comment

I visit the palace – 皇居を訪れる

My recital at the chapel of St Luke’s International Hospital, Tokyo is safely finished.  Though I sometimes (often?) find performing to be nerve wracking, this particular concert was really enjoyable from the performer’s standpoint.  What’s better than playing repertoire you like on a perfectly suited organ in a full house?

The day before the recital was unseasonably cool, so after practicing in the chapel I skipped the train and walked back home.  It’s about a four hour walk across town.  Tokyo is always a fascinating place to wander, and with a camera time flies.  I passed by Tokyo Station and the Imperial Palace.  This time I noticed that people were going into the east garden of the palace, and decided to have a look.  I don’t know if it’s always open, but leaving the traffic behind for the surprisingly wide open spaces within the moat was a real pleasure.  The day wasn’t ideal for photography, with sullen overcast skies, but I did manage to get a few good shots in.  See what you find if you wander for four hours?

2016-07-05 walk (45 of 132) 2016-07-05 walk (81 of 132)

The east garden area doesn’t have a lot of buildings in it, but a few of the Edo period guard houses, as well as the foundations of the 17th century castle building are worth a look.  It is also interesting to find oneself looking out at the city from within the walls, instead of peering at the greenery outside the moat.

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Foundations of the Edo-era castle and location of the shogun’s palace:

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After the palace I passed through Yasukuni Jinja (a prominent Shinto shrine) and snapped a few photos before getting serious about the walk and putting my camera away.

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Bonus shot – fountains between Tokyo Station and the palace grounds:

2016-07-05 walk (123 of 132)

Posted in Photography ~写真, Tokyo ~ 東京 | 2 Comments

An upcoming Organ Recital – オルガンリサイタルの案内

2016-07-03 St Luke's (33 of 49)

The above is a photo of the truly great organ by Marc Garnier in the St Luke’s International Hospital Chapel, Tokyo.  I am performing a thirty-minute recital this Wednesday evening (July 8, 6:30 pm CORRECTION: JULY 6!) before the service of Evensong.  The chapel is a gorgeous jewell of a room in neo-Gothic style, and is only accessible from within the hospital.  In fact, to get to the organ balcony one passes through the kidney treatment area.  The chapel is best accessed from the Shintomicho station on the Yurakucho subway line.  My program is below.  Everything I chose sounds wonderful on the instrument (let’s hope the performer does justice to the works!)  Below are a few more photos of the organ and chapel.  And here is a link to the chapel’s organ committee’s Facebook page, where you will find more information (sorry, Japanese only) and PR photos of yours truly.

上記の写真は聖路加国際大学聖ルカ礼拝堂の素晴らしいガルニエ社オルガンです。今週、チャペルのオルガン委員会主催で、夕の礼拝の前に30分間のオルガンリサイタルを弾かせて頂きます。6時30分から始まります。礼拝堂は大変美しいネオ・ゴシック様式で、ステンドグラス、などの見所がたくさんあります。弾く予定の曲目(プログラムはこの下にあります)は全て美しく響きます。詳細はオルガン委員会のフェイスブックページにあります:  オルガンの写真:

2016-07-04 St Luke's (12 of 71) 2016-07-04 St Luke's (28 of 71) 2016-07-04 St Luke's (13 of 71) 2016-07-04 St Luke's (9 of 71) 2016-07-04 St Luke's (1 of 71) 2016-07-03 St Luke's (37 of 49)

Here is the console.  Though air conditioned, it was still 28 C/83 F in the room today.  Warm enough to require shorts for the organist! 練習に行った今日は猛暑日だったので、冷房が作動していたにもかかわらず、オルガン周辺は28度でした。やはり、ショートパンツは欠かせないものでした!

2016-07-04 St Luke's (53 of 71)

Recital Program – リサイタルプログラム

  • Praeludium in C-Dur                                                                          Georg Böhm
  • 前奏曲 ハ長調                                                                                      G.ベーム
  • Partita “Wer nur den lieben Gott lässt walten”             Böhm
  • パルティータ「ただ神の摂理にまかす者」                           ベーム
  • Komm Heiliger Geist, Herre Gott (BuxWV 199)                         Dietrich Buxtehude
  • 来ませ聖霊、主なる神よ                                                                     D. ブクステフーデ
  • A Medley                                                                                           William Byrd
  • メドレー                                                                                W.バード
  • Praeludium in d-moll                                                                         Vincent Lübeck
  • 前奏曲ニ短調                                                                             V.リューベック

All this practicing and commuting to the chapel seems to bring on a hunger.  Today “the wife” (my faithful page turner) and I found a steak for lunch after rehearsal.  Batteries charged! 練習後、アシスタントである「ザ・ワイフ」と一緒にランチをしました。オルアニストの指のため、ステーキが必要でした。

2016-07-04 St Luke's (68 of 71)

Though it was terribly hot in Tokyo today, we did a tiny bit of looking around outside the hospital on the way to lunch.  Here is a marker showing where my university (Rikkyo Gakuin) was founded by Bishop Channing Moore Williams in 1874.  The campus today in Ikebukuro was purchased and built on in the early 20th century. 暑い日でしたが、病院周辺でちょっとした散歩をしました。立教学院の発祥の地がありました。以下の写真を参照してください。

2016-07-04 St Luke's (67 of 71)

Posted in Music - general ~ 音楽:一般, Organ ~ オルガン関係, Rikkyo ~ 立教, Tokyo ~ 東京 | Leave a comment