I am from Kochi (Japan). No matter how far away, I never forget my hometown. Kochi in a way raised me. So many encounters, such plentiful nature… How proud I am of Kochi and how grateful I am! Recently it is quite cold in Vienna, where I now live. Above all I miss Kochi! A little out of season but I uploaded “Yosakoi Naruko Odori (Dance)” to Soundcloud. “Yosakoi Festival” is held in August and this piece of music is performed then. As a classical singer I performed this piece in my own way. I would be happy should you decide to listen to it. P.S. Yosakoi Festival is quite famous and has its origin in Kochi. When dancing this music does not necessarily have to be used.
A melody which sticks in your head and does not go away. Have you ever experienced this? In German this is called “Ohrwurm”. Ohr means ear and Wurm means worm (insect). This expression may come from the image of a worm drilling into wood or some other object. When I was about three or four years old I experienced an “Ohrwurm” for the first time. I was almost obsessed with this melody and I almost could not fall asleep, which I found rather shocking. I did not know the name of the song and what kind of music it was. Much later, when I started buying records with my own pocket money, I encountered this melody again. First I thought that that melody sounded quite familiar and then I remembered the time of my childhood. That was a kind of “Aha” experience. It was a feeling of relief and I was very happy. The song was “I feel fine” by The Beatles. Still it is a mystery how and where I noticed this song as a child… Some other melodies besides this accompanied me in my childhood. One of them was “Träumerei” by Robert Schumann. My mother had a music box with this melody and she told me the name of the song and the composer so without any doubt I knew about it. I did not have the feeling of being unfulfilled without knowing the name of the song, but until I played this song on the piano I did not it very thoroughly. That was also an “Aha” experience. I finally understood how the piece should sound. Yet another melody was the Japanese song “Hanayome ningyou” (bridal doll) by Haseo Sugiyama (lyrics by Kouji Fukiya). As a small child I had a toy that when a string was pulled used to turn and played this song. That was the melody of “Hanayome ningyou”. Maybe this was meant as a lullaby but this music sounded so sad. Much later when I became a classical singer, I wanted to record this song for my Japanese songs CD. In reality I dedicated this CD to my mother and so I recorded many songs, which my mother had used to love.My mother chose this music as a lullaby for me so I thought that she really liked it. Recently I planned to publish this song on Youtube and because there has to be some kind of visual presentation I did some research on this song. Then for the first time I realized why this song sounds so sad. According to one interpretation, the paper dolls mentioned in these lyrics are not for children but rather for unmarried soldiers who had to go into battle. Therefore the words “red (which could be associated with blood)” and “tears” appear in the lyrics. When I read that, that was yet another “Aha” moment. In this video I used Japanese paper and dolls made of paper, which have no direct connection to the things mentioned above. I wanted to show Japanese tradition a little bit with that.
When I was a small child, even before I started really talking, I often drew things on paper with a pencil. Those could not really be called drawings but I wanted to draw any kind of shape. That was only a child’s drawing but I was so enthusiastic and happy that I could draw something on paper. Fortunately I always had enough pencils and paper so whenever something came to mind I could draw it, which made me very happy. I think in general I still like to express something. I have a feeling that expressing something is quite important to me and when I think back on those days I feel grateful for my parents that I always received pencils and paper.
In Japan now is the season of “Seijinshiki”. That is a ceremony of those young people reaching the age of 20. Their coming of age is celebrated and there are many offical parties. Those young people dress up with Kimonos, Hakama etc. and they celebrate there. It is a Japanese tradition. When I was that age, I did not attend such a ceremony. Previously in a blog post I had mentioned that I am a rather slow person and therefore I thought at that time that I was not fully grown up. I still feel like that so the decision back then seems to have been correct. However I will try my best at some point in my life to have my own “Seijinshiki”…
Personally I do not differentiate in terms of program according to the location of a concert. Of course the program and the concept should be suited to the occasion but that program can be performed in other venues as well. For each and every concert I want to give it my best.