Goodbye, Chigasaki – さよなら、茅ヶ崎

Statue in Chigasaki Catholic Church

(日本語を追加しました)Goodbye, Chigasaki.  I enjoyed getting to know you for one short week.  Shall I list the charms of Chigasaki?

  1. Delicious Brioche breakfasts at the station before beginning my practice sessions.
  2. Cool ocean breezes wafting through town.
  3. Friendly people and an elegant pipe organ at Keisen Church.
  4. An art museum with an exhibit of historical bicycles.  As well as decadent chocolate cake in the cafe.
  5. Funky atmosphere – half Hawaii, half Japanese town
  6. Brilliant craft beer restaurant – Beer Cafe Hopman
  7. Proximity of the ocean and seemingly endless stretches of clean beaches

さよなら、茅ヶ崎。リサイタル準備のため、わずか1週間しか通いませんでしたが、この街が本当に好きになりました。どんな点で好きなったかは以下のリストをご覧ください。

  1. 駅構内の美味しいパン屋でモーニングを食べること
  2. 電車を降りたときの涼しい海風
  3. 恵泉教会のフレンドリーな方々とエレガントなパイプオルガン
  4. 茅ヶ崎美術館:歴史的自転車の展示とカフェの美味しいチョコレートケーキ
  5. 街の雰囲気:半分ハワイアン、半分日本の街
  6. 一流のクラフトビールレストラン(ビールカフェ ホプマン)
  7. 海と美しい砂浜

The day of the recital (May 20) was hot and clear.  The small church was filled to overflowing, with some 150 in attendance.  I played for 70 minutes, heard nary a cough, whisper, or phone ringing during the performance.  What an excellent ,enthusiastic audience!  I hope they enjoyed the music as much as I enjoyed playing for them.  Here is a photo of the church’s pastor and his wife, the Kashiwas, with organists from the church.  As well as yours truly and “the wife.”  Thank you, everyone!

リサイタルの日は晴れで真夏日のような暑さでした。教会は大きくありませんが、超満席状態で(150人)コンサートが行われました。子供達がいたにもかかわらず、最初から最後まで会場はとても静かでした。演奏者にとって、最高の状態でした。オルガン関係者(特に沢井さん)と牧師の柏先生に感謝しています。本当にありがとうございました!以下の写真は(左から)牧師ご夫妻、教会のオルガニストたち、“ザ・ワイフ(本番中のアシスタント)とショウ、沢井さん、そして、教会の方々。

Most days I had to take the train to practice, due to time restraints.  But on my day off I managed to sneak a ride out from home, some 70 km.  Thinking it would take much longer than it did, I left at 4:30 am for a noon practice session.  I was shocked to arrive at the ocean by 9:00 am, and found myself putting around the area killing time.

仕事の関係で、ほとんどの練習日は電車で移動しました。しかし、研究日である月曜日は自転車で行きました。自宅から教会までは約70キロなので、12時開始の練習時間のため午前3時半に起き、4時半に出発しました。結局、到着は3時間早すぎました。まあ、ビーチ、公園、辻堂駅周辺をウロウロしながら面白い写真を撮ることができました。

Beach viewpoint near Tsujido City

Funky Tsujido City restaurant

Life is… (near Tsujido Station)

Proof of arrival

Other things of interest in Chigasaki 茅ヶ崎のその他:

1. A surprise visit by Dola and his friend, who both ride the same model of Brompton as I do.  I suspect Pastor Kashiwa will be getting one soon. 突然に現れた友人(川内さん)と彼の友達。偶然でしょうが、私たち3人はブロンプトン(折り畳み自転車)の同じモデルに乗っていました。おそらく、柏先生もこれから購入されるでしょう。

2. Interesting barber shops ユニークな床屋さん

3. Bikes and cake at the Chigasaki Art Museum 茅ヶ崎美術館

4. Excellent health food lunch at the Angel Cafe, overlooking Chigasaki’s Catholic Church 茅ヶ崎カトリック教会に面しているエンジェル・カフェの美味しくてヘルシーなランチ

5.  And, finally, my post-recital reward: craft beer at Hopman そして、本番後の素敵なビールカフェ ホプマン(私のご褒美でした)

Posted in Church music ~ 教会音楽, Cycling, Organ ~ オルガン関係 | Leave a comment

I’ll a give an organ recital this Saturday – オルガンリサイタルを予定しています

I’m playing an organ recital this coming Saturday, May 20, at Chigasaki’s Keisen Church.  It begins at 2:00 pm, and is free.  The organ is a very nice instrument built in 1998 by Gebruder Reil of Holland. Here is a video of me playing through “Vater unser in Himmelreich” during a practice session.

5月20日(土)、茅ヶ崎恵泉教会でオルガンリサイタルを行う予定です。詳細は以下の通りです。教会のオルガンはライル社(オランダ)の楽器です。美しい音色と繊細なタッチを楽しく練習しています。先日の練習セッションで撮ったビデオを見れば、オルガンの音は少し聞くことができます。

Program

  • Praeludium in d-moll, Vincent Lübeck
  • Schmücke dich, o liebe Seele, Johann Sebastian Bach
  • Vater unser im Himmerleich, Georg Böhm
  • Komm, Heiliger Geist, Franz Tunder
  • Voluntary in D Minor Op. 5 No. 8, John Stanley
  • The Bells, William Byrd
  • Prelude, Gerald Finzi, arr. Alan Ridout
  • Fanfare, John Cook

プログラム

  • ヴィンセント・リューベック:前奏曲 ニ短調
  • ゲオルク・ベーム:コラール前奏曲「天にいますわれらの父よ」
  • ヨハン・ゼバスティアン・バッハ:コラール前奏曲「装いせよ おお愛する魂よ」 BWV 654
  • フランツ・トゥーンダー:コラール前奏曲「来たれ  聖霊よ」
  • ジョン・スタンリー:ヴォランタリー 二短調
  • ウィリアム・バード:鐘
  • ジェラルド・フィンジー:前奏曲
  • ジョン・クック:ファンファーレ

 

 

Posted in Organ ~ オルガン関係, Pipe organ links  パイプオルガンリンク | Leave a comment

A walk on the dark side

Being the owner of a blog can be exasperating.  You know you should post regularly, avoid all forms of negativity, and provide the reader with useful and/or entertaining content.  But life doesn’t always run along such sunny tracks, does it?  Since the beginning of the semester I find my self continually bombarded by “must do’s” that seem to come from all directions.  One project successfully completed means 3 others are demanding immediate attention.  Human relations further clog the wheels of productivity.  There are times when I wonder how long it will be possible to continue pushing forward on so many fronts.  I spoke to my dad the other day on the phone – he retired (voluntarily) at 58 and was able to focus on what he enjoyed doing since then.  I’m already past that age but have years to go before his sort of freedom will be possible.  So, today’s blog post is a one-man collective sigh.  I’m sure tomorrow will bring something positive (though I have to go to work on my day off…).  So just read today’s post and realize we all have these sorts of days.  I’ll sign off with a few photos that match the mood of the moment.  In the world, but not of the world, so to speak.  For the time being.  

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Happy Easter!

This post could be variously titled “Easter at Rikkyo,” “I bought a wide-angle lens,” or “Two weeks without a day off.”  Your choice.  Whichever you choose, it is still Easter, and I wish you the best for the day.  In Tokyo we went from moderately warming weather to a full-blown early-summer sort of day.  Air conditioning in the chapel saved us (and the organ!) from melting.  I wonder who the patron saint of air conditioning is?  When I find out I’ll make a donation to his/her shrine.

A high mass in a university setting means that we have nearly infinite human resources to draw upon.  Twelve trained acolytes are required?  No problem!  Six ushers in black suits?  Fine!  Forty experienced choir members at the beginning of the academic year?  Of course!  Six priests?  Naturally!  A full handbell choir?  How about a double set?  As always, Easter at Rikkyo is a joyous event.  Not only because of the resurrection theme, but because is serves as sort of a reunion.  Recent grads (we hold graduations in March, you will recall) attend, former choir members with babies come to show them off, and the fourth-year choir members temporarily on leave for job searches take the morning to come and hear their juniors navigating the music of the one hour forty minute high mass.

Here is the choir.  In addition to the normal joy of the Easter service, a member of the choir was baptized (congrats, Mr Arai!).

 

As is the norm for high masses recently, the choir moves from the balcony to the chancel.  This means I can’t sneak any photos of the vent, colorful as it is.  The best I can do is to share a choir’s view from the chancel before this morning’s rehearsal, and a closeup of the altar flowers.

Today was day thirteen of constant on-duty at the university.  It feels like eons ago, but on April 4th and 5th Rikkyo University held a series of seven entrance ceremonies for the entering class of some 5,000.  I directed the chorus and orchestra, while my colleague and university organist Yuko Sakiyama played the grand organ at the Tokyo Metropolitan concert hall.  Photos of the hall and organ:

In between ceremonies students are allowed up to the organ for a bit of a play.  This being Japan, all was done by committee:

Even the stop-pulling:

After thirteen straight days of work, and some twenty events for which the choir had to sing, “the wife” and I headed out for a casual lunch.  Nothing like beer and burgers outside to refresh the soul and body!

Finally, I did mention wide-angle lenses, didn’t I?  Well, I sold several unused lenses in order to buy a used super wide-angle lens for my camera (Fujifilm’s XF-10-24mm).  What fun it has been to shoot with!  All of the photos in this post were taken with it.  I’m very pleased so far, and look forward to taking it to England the next time I visit.  Look out, cathedrals!

 

 

Posted in Choral ~ 聖歌隊関係, Church music ~ 教会音楽, Music - general ~ 音楽:一般, Rikkyo ~ 立教, Tokyo ~ 東京 | Leave a comment

A nervous time 〜 緊張しています

Quite frankly, this is not my favorite time of year.  I don’t at all mind sitting through seven university entrance ceremonies, or directing the chapel choir at sixteen (!) separate chapel welcome ceremonies in three days.  What I dislike is the tension of wondering if this year the choir will catch 83 altos and 1 tenor, or 64 basses and no sopranos.  The Rikkyo choir is all volunteer, so I have no scholarships or other carrots to dangle in front of potential members.  The students are hard at work talking to potential members, so wish us luck!  I will continue to chew on my fingernails until I know we have enough new singers to keep up the busy schedule of the choir.  Here is a PR video the students made for the recruitment season.  Have a look (listen) if interested.

不安な時期です。他の大学クラブと同じように、立教大学のチャペル聖歌隊が新しいメンバーを募集しています(新歓活動と言います)。今年、37人の新しいアルトに対して1人のテナーしか入部しないとどうなる?12人のベースに対して一人のソプラノになったら選曲はどうするか?とかを既に心配しています。まあ、現役メンバーの努力を期待するしかありませんね。そういえば、学生たちが作成したPR用ビデオがあります。ご覧ください。そして、立教大学聖歌隊に興味ある新入生が見ていれば、是非お越しください。

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