Sayonara Kawasaki! – Friday, Jan. 16, 2009

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Thursday (Jan. 15) was a long day.  The first lesson started an hour later than normal, at 11:00 AM with a lesson on the Jolivet CONCERTO FOR PERCUSSION.  There was a good exchange over how to best execute the snare drum rimshots, and the resolve was to play them all with the right hand using the neck of the stick, only 2-inches from the tip, on the nearside rim.

The afternoon consisted entirely of dress run-throughs of jury pieces –

PAGANINI PERSONAL by Ichiyanagi

CONCERTO FOR MARIMBA by Sejourne

CONCERTO FOR TIMPANI by Kraft

VELOCITIES by Schwantner

PORTALS by Hamilton

REBONDS B by Xenakis

I CHING by Norgaards

CONCERTINO FOR MARIMBA by Creston

REBONDS A by Xenakis and  ASANO MAGARIKADO MAGARE by Takahashi

DRUM DANCE by Psathas

 

After a short break for a light dinner (sushi prepared by Yashio Meguro) there was a recital for me at 6:30 PM.  The program consisted of several marimba ensemble pieces, drum quartets and a piece for dancer accompanied by two percussionists, composed by Kazunori Meguro.

The recital was followed by an open rehearsal at 7:30 PM on the Chavez TOCCATA and the Reich MUSIC FOR PIECES OF WOOD, for which I was asked to conduct and speak to the student audience.  At 8:30 PM I directed a West African drumming session in which the entire percussion department participated.  It was a long day, and the students all played superbly.

 

On Friday, the final day of my residency, my schedule was full with four lessons.  The students at Showa were, as always, well organized in moving the percussion instruments in and out of the studio between lessons, in some cases for rather large setups.  They are always eager to help each other with these housekeeping tasks.  At the end of the day the entire percussion department gathered in the dining hall for a final buffet dinner reception.  The dancer from the Thursday recital was present as were Professor Kojima, and all of the accompanists.

 

The lessons are all history now, and at this farewell party the last sayonaras were said, along with the standard parade of photographs with the students finger V-for-victory poses.  All that was left to do back at the hotel was to pack and sleep.  Kaz will pick me up at 10:30 AM on Saturday for the 2-hour drive to Narita to catch my 10-hour flight to Detroit connecting to Rochester on another 45-minute hop. It is time to start thinking about my Sunday performance on the Michael Burritt recital at Eastman and the concert at the University of Toronto next weekend.  It was an intense 2-weeks at Showa, and I must say, very satisfying.

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