Choir records for a CD – CD録音プロジェクトに参加する聖歌隊

Auntitled (353 of 54)-1 jolly good morning to everyone out there.  It is 10:30 am, and I’ve finally got my bones moving about the house.  The combination of a long day on campus yesterday coupled with a bad cold gave me sleeping rights this morning.  Normally a morning person, today I rather enjoyed lazing about, watering the garden, discussing the weather with my cat, etc.  Here is a photo of an tenacious flower that comes up in my garden every year, however much we ignore it.

おはようございます!お元気ですか?私は”半元気”です。数日前、風邪をひき、そして、大学の卒業関係行事と聖歌隊の録音プロジェクトによって疲れました。だからこそ、今朝かなりゆっくりしています。家の猫と話したり、庭でプチ写真タイムをしたり、とてもリラクシングな朝を過ごしています。風邪クスリを飲むより効果的だと思います。

RECORDING PROJECT 聖歌隊が録音プロジェクトに関わります

The Rikkyo chapel choir was invited to participate in the continuing project to record all the hymns in the fairly new Kyokai Fukuin Sanbikashu (hymnal) .  We were asked to record four Advent/Christmas hymns for volume 3.  (The choir also contributed to the previous volume 2: click here to read about that session, page bottom).  Yesterday setup began at 11 am, and the chapel was finally ready to be locked up at 8 pm. Whew!  The choir sang from 2 pm to 7 pm with breaks.  5 hours is a long time to try and concentrate, but the students did very well.  I really enjoyed rehearsing them for this project, and seeing how well the younger members of the group now blend in with the seniors.  Here are some photos from the day.

録音プロジェクト@立教大学の池袋チャペル。立教大学チャペル聖歌隊は最近出版された「教会福音讃美歌集」に含まれている4曲の録音依頼を引き受け、昨日(3月27日)収録しました。(興味のある方:このプロジェクトのCD vol. 2はこのリンク先にあります)。録音は午後2時から7時までかかりました。写真の通り、チャペルは12本のマイクと様々の機材によって、一時的に本格的なレコーディングスタジオになりました。聖歌隊の1〜2年生参加しました(写真)。

1. A short break – some of the men are still overflowing with energy 短い休憩時間。男性はまだ元気そうです。

untitled (326 of 54)-12. recording 録音の風景

untitled (340 of 54)-1untitled (333 of 54)-1

4.  Finished!  Some members are still smiling – ah youth! 終了しました!笑顔のメンバーもいます!

untitled (341 of 54)-1

The CD will be released in the summer or early fall, and should be available in all Christian bookstore in Japan.

販売は9月頃だそうです。全国のキリスト教書店で買うことができます。

What do I do with the rest of my free day?  I think my Brompton needs some exercise, so cycling is probably on the menu.

 

 

 

Posted in Choral ~ 聖歌隊関係, Church music ~ 教会音楽, Photography ~写真, Rikkyo ~ 立教, Tokyo ~ 東京 | 2 Comments

A Walk, A Passion, and a Preview

A WALK

Grab your cameras – it is nearly time for the2015-03-21 walk (411 of 168) annual cherry blossom season – a time when all 12 million residents of Tokyo become photographers overnight. Snappers include everything from the cheapest cell phone camera to the newly-purchased but not-yet-mastered high-end DSLR.  Fun for all, including yours truly.  Though most cherry trees haven’t blossomed yet in the city, I did find these in a park fairly near my house (Tetsugakudo Park, Nakano-ku).

The reason for my afternoon walk was the purchase of a Sony RX100 compact digital camera.  The sad occasion for this purchase was last week’s choir camp.  Remember my complaints about howling winds?  Well, it turns out that you can ruin a compact camera under those conditions.  I shot into the wind, and found my camera sucking in sand and salt water as the lens retracted after I shut it off.  Sorry, Panasonic LF1 – you served well for the 6 months I owned you.

The Sony has a 1 inch sensor, which is far larger than most small digital cameras, including my deceased Panasonic.  It really shows in the quality of the photos.  It handles areas of contrast better, and the general quality of each photo is head and shoulders above those of smaller sensor cameras.  Obviously, APS-C or larger sensor are even better (as in my Fujifilm XE-1), but for a pocket-size camera, this Sony is amazing.  It is certainly the best pocket camera I’ve owned (and I’ve been through quite a few over the years).  The Rx100 is already two years old, and Sony has two successor models on the market.  If you have the cash, go for those, but if not, the older camera makes a wonderful walk-around shooter.  Another shot from today’s walk in the park below.  Others can be seen by clicking on the FLICKER link, upper right side of this page.

2015-03-21 walk (384 of 168)

A PASSION

No, not my passion for cameras, but a concert passion.  In fact, “the wife” and attended a performance of J. S. Bach’s St John Passion this afternoon.  Conductor Aoki Hiroya ably led a large amateur chorus (the Johannes Cantores), and professional orchestra and soloists through this major work.  The concert was held at the large Yodobashi Church in Okubo, and was well attended.  Good work, all!  A quick snapshot taken before the performance:

2015-03-21 walk (459 of 168)

A PREVIEW

Tomorrow – you all MUST come to Rikkyo’s All Saints Chapel at 3:30 p.m. for a recital by the graduating members of the chapel organist’s guild.   I recently heard one student, Ohara Rika, perform the first and last movements of Elgar’s monumental Sonata in G.  It was beautifully played, and perfectly matched to the Tickell organ in the chapel.  She and others equally talented will be performing tomorrow, so y’all come, now!

 

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

All good things… 〜 合宿最終報告

As it is said, all good things come to an end.  Choir camp is over, and I am back in Tokyo getting ready for the season.  Directly ahead one spies not only graduation ceremonies, but Holy Week and Easter (in the university chapel), followed by entrance ceremonies and countless sessions of chapel orientation.  Is that a sigh of anticipation that just escaped my lips?  I’m not sure – it might have been a sigh of joy.

聖歌隊の春合宿が終了しましたので、東京へ戻りました。今日、3ヶ月ぶりに池袋周辺で散歩しました。大都市に住んでいることを強く実感しました。これから、大学の卒業行事、入学式(7回も!)、キリスト教の聖週とイースター礼拝、そして数々のチャペルガイダンスが目の前に並んでいます。ため息する暇がない、と感じます。研究休暇に戻ってもよろしいでしょうか?

Here are a few concluding photos from spring choir camp, 2015. 合宿からの写真:

1. Rehearsals.  Notice my “what was that, basses?” look. リハーサル風景。指揮者の「ベース!何やっているんだ?」というルックに注目してください。

untitled (823 of 525)Practicing Palestrina (his motet “Exultate Deo”) in the round パレストリーナ作曲”Exultate Deo”を練習している

untitled (815 of 525)

2. Not all the time was spent practicing (though there were over 25 hours of rehearsals conducted during the week).  Sporty people sported: 五日間、25時間以上のリハーサルを行いましたが、自由時間もあったので、スポーツ好きな人たちは外で遊びました

untitled (793 of 525)

untitled (765 of 525)

3.  We took the train down to Tateyama in order to sing the Sunday service at St Andrew’s Anglican Church.  The forty-voice choir outnumbered the congregation by a ratio one dares not publish.  At St Andrew’s: 日曜日は館山聖アンデレ教会で礼拝奉仕を行いました。聖歌隊は会衆の方々より多かったです

untitled (362 of 525) untitled (366 of 525)

4.  Closing photos:

– Do I resemble myself? 私に似ていますか?

photo by  Yanagimoto Ikumi

photo by Yanagimoto Ikumi

– Student leader Kohei Uramoto and I compare cameras on the train.  (we have the same camera, but more on this amazing coincidence in the next post) 聖歌隊学生代表(リーダー)の浦本さんとカメラを比較する場面。偶然(?!)に、同じ機種を使っています!(時間ブログを更新するとき説明します)

photo by Motoyanagi Ikumi

photo by Motoyanagi Ikumi

– Party time! 打ち上げ@みなみ荘!

untitled (401 of 525) untitled (404 of 525)- fond farewells さよなら、ぶちなて

untitled (419 of 525)

– and a final group photo at the beach 最後の集合写真。お世話になりました、田中さんとみなみ荘の皆様!

untitled (431 of 525)

 

 

Posted in Choral ~ 聖歌隊関係, Church music ~ 教会音楽, Nature ~ 自然, Photography ~写真, Rikkyo ~ 立教 | Leave a comment

Endless wind, a free afternoon – 止まらない風、自由時間@合宿

As you can see, the wind still howls here at Iwai, Chiba Prefecture. The roof continues to rattle, the sand continues to fly, and the ocean continues to have an angry look. I’m almost used to being blown about while walking.

Today was the third day of choir camp, which is when we take an afternoon off from work and have fun. Some take walks, some play games, some sleep, etc. Personally, I tend to go completely manic, trying to accomplish everything humanly possible in one afternoon. My itinerary for the day (after the morning rehearsal):

ご覧の通り、強風が続いています。聖歌隊春合宿の3日目が終わりましたが、今夜は到着した日と同じ強い風が吹いています。嵐の中に住んでいる感じです。3日目と言えば、午後は自由時間です。学生は遊んだり、練習したり、寝たりしました。自転車に乗るのは危ない天気だと判断しましたので、代わりに4時間の散歩・プチ登山しました。海辺で撮った写真を見れば、風の強さは十分理解出来ると思います。普通のビーチウォーキングより運動になった気がします。休憩を好きな喫茶で、その後、偶然に見つけた登山道に入りました。アップ・ダウンの激しい2時間した後、不思議な場所を発見しました。伏姫の籠穴と言う、小さな洞窟です。伝説的な物語(19世紀?)の関係するスポットだそうです。調べずに見つけましたので、これ以上説明出来ませんが、大自然の中の神秘的な所です。宿へ帰る途中、もう一度ビーチへ行ってきました。ご褒美は富士山の姿でした(下の写真)。立派な自由時間でした。

1. brave the storm for a long beach walk

2. stop at my favorite coffee shop in the village, “Luck,” for two cups of finely brewed java

3. wander around until finding a promising mountain trail – follow this trail, with no idea of where it goes, despite the fact that most of the way it climbs as steeply as the stairs in your grandmother’s attic

4. stumble upon a mountain shrine, complete with spooky cave (see photo below)

5. hit the beach for one more photo, this time of Mt Fuji towering over Tokyo Bay.

Clearly, choirmasters are well rewarded for their work. I wonder why people aren’t lining up for the job?

 

Posted in Choral ~ 聖歌隊関係, Nature ~ 自然, Photography ~写真 | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Choir camp buffeted by angry winds 聖歌隊の春合宿、怒りの風

Hello from beautiful Iwai, Chiba Prefecture. I am here with 39 members of the Rikkyo University All Saints Chapel Choir for our annual spring choir camp. We normally enjoy calm days to enjoy walks on the beach during our rehearsal breaks. This year, though, we have tortured by a hell of angry winds every since arrival two days ago. I have never seen the likes of this continuing wind storm. It howls through the windows, shakes the building, and blows sand from the beach all over the town. I took a walk this morning and wound up with a sandblasted face. My reward, though, was ample – views of Tokyo Bay with violent swells and whitecaps.

Morning walk views:

In the afternoon the wind was even more maniacal, producing these views. Remember, this is a protected bay within Tokyo Bay that usually has very little wave action.

Excitement aside, rehearsals are going well. The choir comprises only 1st and 2nd year students at this time of the academic year, but even so, we have a well-balanced group of nearly 40. I am enjoying working on the coming semester's rep with the students. A few of the pieces we are working on include:

  1. Gregorian chants for Easter
  2. Palestrina: Exsultate Deo
  3. Bach: Awake thou wintry earth (an arrangement of a cantata movement)
  4. Noble: Magnificat & Nunc dimittis in B Minor
  5. Howells: O pray for the peace of Jerusalem
  6. Bairstow: The king of love my shepherd is

Of course, staying at Minamo-so, a minshuku, or facility aimed toward student groups like ours, means three wonderful meals of fresh fish, vegetables, etc. a day.

Tomorrow afternoon is free, so I am hoping these howling winds die down so those of us who brought bikes (only me, actually) can get out and ride along the coast. Pray for calm seas!

(a wind-damaged shed in the village)

 

Posted in Choral ~ 聖歌隊関係, Church music ~ 教会音楽, Nature ~ 自然, Photography ~写真 | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments