Blog and Book Reviews

Busy Spring! 4/23/14

April 23, 2014

We live in the busy era, but for me this spring has been extremely busy personally and professionally. I lost my beloved brother-in-law in March, bought our second house in LA in March, and many concerts to perform + many students to teach… I have a moment to write a blog today, and up-loaded some photos.

I had a great time having a lunch and chat at friends’ house for Easter. I so much value those moments. I have several more concerts to perform before the summer, and the end of the school is within the reach! The students recital will be next Monday, and the juries on Friday. And we have to get ready to move to the new house. It is very exciting! The new house has a great room for music/gathering, and an amazing view with a pool. I look forward  for this new opportunity.

This summer I have an opportunity to perform in France, and I look forward to performing it. It has been for many years since I performed there, and I can’t wait visiting there. I keep enjoying the full life.

Joe Garrett (May 2, 1954 – March 22, 2014)

March 30, 2014

Joe was an amazing brother-in-law for me for last 20 years. He passed away last Saturday with a pancreatic cancer. It was 10 months after the diagnoses. He went through very difficult treatments, but he gave us precious moments to share. He is in peace now. He helped me when I had to endure the tough time. Thank you, Joe, for including me in Garrett family! I remember Joe forever for his thoughtfulness, warm heart, kindness, wit and silliness…..

 

Piano Recital “Romance on Piano” in Bird Studio, Occidental College on Wednesday 3/26, at 12:50pm

March 22, 2014

Romance, Romance, Romance…! Composers tell love stories in their music. I will perform some of most beautiful music from Romantic and Impressionistic periods and talk about anecdotes on composers and pieces. Please join me!

2014 March 26 Recital Poster

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大相撲が熱い! 2014年3月22日

March 22, 2014

連日熱戦が続いている春場所。そして満員御礼の垂れ幕も良いですね。ああ、日本にいたら大阪に駆けつけるのにと、ロスアンジェルスの青空の下で歯軋りしています。こんなにファンを沸かせる場所も、久しぶりでは??九重部屋の5人の力士の躍進(何と言っても師匠は、私のヒーロー元横綱千代の富士ですからね。。)、負け越しが決まったとはいえ、遠藤関の活躍、ベテラン旭天鵬、安美錦関らの若々しい相撲、関脇を2年近く続けて何度か大関候補にも挙がった豪栄道関の闘志溢れる相撲、そして何といっても綱とりの鶴竜関の白鵬を破った完璧なまでの相撲。。。どの一点を取っても相撲ファンには堪えられない場面の連続です。今日が千秋楽。私は、鶴竜の琴奨菊戦は、どう見ても鶴竜に分があると思いますが、さてさてどうなることやら。。熱い大阪場所も今日で最後です。最後まで応援していますよ!

A Movie “Gloria” 3/1/14

March 1, 2014

I saw this movie little while ago. Gloria (Poulina Garcia) is a “woman of a certain age”-2 grown up children and has an office job, but still feels/wants to feel young.  The story is based in the life in Santiago. Though lonely after the divorce, she makes the best of her situation and fills her night seeking love at social dance clubs for single adults.  She is NOT shy at all. She goes!! Her life changes the day she meets Rodolfo. Their intense passion (it looked to me as very Latino culture.. It may not happen in Japan so often)  and love affair moves very quickly.  She hopes and she is devastated. Going through this affair she discovers her strength. At the end she acts triumphantly. It is directed by Sebastian Lelio. It is a fun movie!

Debussy: L’Isle joyeuse and Rain… 3/1/14

March 1, 2014

Los Angeles has been having a big rain. The city is not made for rain so anytime we have some rain it causes some troubles. Anyway I was practicing Debussy’s L’Isle joyouse in my piano studio at Occidental College yesterday. I love my studio there. The building is old (I discovered many century old music in my recent cleaning ups in studio!) and very cozy :) As I was practicing L’Isle joyouse, which is associated with composer’s flight with Emma Bardac to the isle of Jersey and portraits their new love affair, the rain outside was getting harder and harder. I was so inspired and so excited to play this piece. It was rare experience to have. The music and the sound of rain was going together to make a huge crescendo toward the climactic moment in the piece. So fun!!

A Movie – Dallas Buyers Club 2/10/14

February 10, 2014

It is just an amazing movie, one of the strongest movies I ever seen. This movies portraits every single side of human, ugliness, beauty, irrational mind, courageous, love, hate, sex, addiction, bias, humanity…. Of course Matthew McConaughey is doing, to me, more than any human can do as an actor, and a co-star, Jared Leto is doing exceptional work. This is the kind of movie that makes you feel good after leaving a theatre even though the ingredients are often very tough to watch and accept. If you have not seen Dallas Buyers Club you must see it.

LA Phil Green Umbrella Concert 2/1/14

February 1, 2014

LA Phil’s Green Umbrella Concert on Tuesday January 28 included a wonderful program of Boulez, Carter, and Van der AA. I mostly went to listen Van der AA’s Up-close, but I enjoyed all of the pieces. First of all the conductor, Grad Lubman, is amazing, technically and musically. His hands were very musical. They were really parts of music making. Boulez created a beautiful atmosphere and interesting conversation between the instruments. Carter was very interlectual and technical. And after the intermission Up-close, a cello concerto with string ensemble and video, was played. I loved this piece. The soloist, Johannes Moser, offered everything, even he acted and became a part of video story. Multi-media compositions are trendy, but this piece is so cohesive between music and video story and that effect makes Up-close so strong. Moser is the first male cellist to play this piece because the character in video is a female.

A Movie – Inside Llewyn Davis 2/1/14

February 1, 2014

‎I saw this movie little while ago, but I have been extremely busy.. The story depicts a life of this young folk song singer, Llewyn Davis (Oscar Isaac), in the scene of the Greenwich Village in 1960′. Isaac’s singing is remarkable. Llewyn is struggling to make it as a musician, but he misses so many opportunities because of his ego and inflexibility. He lives depends on his friends’ help, sleeping on couches in their houses most of time. I found this movie as not pleasant and destructive. I did not feel good at the end. Yes, the music and the acting is good, but I feel something is missing inside..

年の始めに思うこと  1/11/2014

January 11, 2014

ちょっと遅れましたが、明けましておめでとうございます!今年もどうぞよろしくお願い申し上げます!

皆様の2014年、どんな幕開けですか? 今年はこんなことに挑戦するぞ!とか、是非長年の目標を達成したいとか、いろいろあると思います。もちろん、家族、友人達、そして世界のすべての人々の、幸せと健康、平和を願う気持ちは、私も皆様と同様です。

私の最大の目標は、固定概念をなくすこと、そして、忙しさを理由にした出不精から脱却することです。つい過去の経験から、何も始まっていないのに物事判断したり、人との出会いにしても、ついて回る肩書きで、出会う前からその人となりを判断(!)してしまう愚かしさ。こういう愚行はとても大事な事を見過ごさせてしまうのに、ついやってしまいがち。固定概念があると、心が固まってしまうので、真実の姿が見えず、物事がとんでもない方向に進んでしまったり、心が開放されていないので、物事をクリエイテイブに進められない訳です。出不精の件については、私事のつまらない例ですが、パーテイなどの招待(こちらのパーテイというのは、日本で想像するホテルに着飾って集まるものとは違い、個人宅で行うことが大半)でも、何となく面白くなさそうでも(何でこう思ってしまうのか??)面倒くさがらずに取り敢えず行ってみて、本当につまらなければ早々に帰ればよい。大体、新しい人達との出会いがあり、おもしろい会話でひとしきり盛り上がるもの!出不精は本当にだめです!自分の世界に閉じこもっていては、限界に突き当たってしまいます。

そして、例年のごとく「仕事全開、遊び全開」で行ければ本当に嬉しいです。そして、日々に感謝し、楽しく毎日を過ごして行きたいですね。自分も楽しく、周りも楽しく!人間関係で、そして仕事の場面で厳しくなければいけない事は沢山ある、でも「嫌な言葉」「人を傷つける表現」は避けるべき。私は子供の頃に余りにも沢山こういう言葉を聞いて育ったので、その惨めさは知っているはずなのに、知らずのうちにそれを繰り返していて、それに気づいた時に、人間関係が何故上手く行かなかったの理由にたどり着いたものです。醜い言葉からは、明日は出てきません。又、新年早々こういう話は余りよくないかもしれないけれど、とても近い関係の人が、昨年夏に甲状腺がん(この癌は残念なことに生存率のとても低いものです)の診断を受け、抗がん剤の辛い治療を長い間受け少し良い方向向かっていたのですが、年明けから再び体調が悪くなり、今後は回復に向かうというよりは、様子を見るという治療に変わりました。夏までもつか・・・という状況です。我々一人一人、大事な命を受け、この世に生まれ、様々な人生を送り、再び、この世から去っていく。その人生は長いことも、とても短いこともあって、大方それは自分では決められない。人生沢山困難もあるし、不可能のように見えることも山のようにある。でもやはり自分の人生を切り開いていくのは、自分しかいないんです。限られた時間の中で、どのようにその「時間」を使うか、大事な課題でありながら、毎日の暮らしの中で忘れがち。人生の目標は皆違うし、違うから素晴らしい。改まって、人生の長期的目標について、考えてみるのも、大事なことだと思います。そして、最後になりましたが、今年も、地球上のすべての人々が、笑顔で楽しいと思える時間が沢山あることを願っています。