Saturday, June 29, 2013

Back in Tokyo

Finally got my ride on a Shinkansen (the Bullet Train). It fells pretty much like any other train, you are just moving fast. Maki advised me to get a window seat on the left side so I could see Mt. Fuji. I did, but I didn't see Fuji. If I saw Fuji, I didn't recognize it. I did fall asleep a couple of times; that might explain it. So I have been here almost three months and haven't seen Mt. Fuji. Maybe that is not acceptable; maybe I'll have to do something about it. 

This is Mark Rappaport and his wife Michiyo Yagi. Mark organized the concert I am playing tonight with his wife and drummer Nori Tanaka. We will also probably be joined by a renowned bassist, who doesn't deal with function too much. Amen to that! After our meeting/rehearsal, Mark and I went to a French/Basque restaurant that specializes in pork. Blessed be the pig.


Warm jellied head meat.

"Graisseseron de porc." Neck bone meat pate.

Another pate.

Breaded trotter with French mustard. Mine.
The trotter split.

Pork leg confit.


Final Day, June 28.

This was my last full day in Kyoto. That meant packing. Kyoto was a bit of a frustrating experience, mostly because of the compacted time and the rain. There was so much I didn't get to do and see. So it goes, and so I go. Off to Tokyo and time even more compacted. 

A shot from Maki's on a full day. She told me today that in winter monkeys come down from the mountains to visit her garden and one night on returning home, she encountered a wild boar.

Remember the shrine next to the laundromat? This was added the next day. I have no clue what it is about.

 Shots from Kyoto's famous food market street.

One thing I wanted to do before I left was ride the Eizan Railroad. It was late in the day and I had to make a special effort, but I managed.

This is Tenku, one of the bad guys.

Police bulletin board with a poster for a different kind of bad guy.


June 27th.

The performance went very well. I had to cut one piece because the video images were too subtle to be seen in the space. The same piece is scheduled for the July 2 performance in Tokyo; I am hoping to not have the same difficulty. It was okay in Kyoto, as we would have been over our allotted time with it. As it was we stretched "Cloud Hidden…" a bit and all was fine. 

"Cloud Hidden Whereabouts Unknown," is a piece that has gone through many permutations. It was originally commissioned by the Gloria Newman Dance Theatre for single dancer and on-stage tubaist. It was no stretch to make it an instrumental work for solo tuba. Later I added a shamisen part to have a vehicle for Glenn Horiuchi and myself. In Schwandorf, Bavaria, I adapted it for tuba and soprano, making it a short one-act melodrama. That version has been done many times and you may have seen Christina Linhardt perform it. Meyou took the piece and combined dance movement with melodrama and it has become something else again. For next Tuesday's performance with Nozawa Tetsuya on shamisen, it will undergo another change as we add Leza Lowitz reading her poetry between sections of the piece. There's no business like show business. 

The thing for me in the vocal and latest versions of the piece is that I play with my back to the audience and the other performer. I don't know what she is doing, other than what I hear musically. Meyou is not a singer, she is a dancer, so she didn't learn the part like a singer would. And she didn't have tons of time to learn it. I told her she had artistic license; as long as we hit the transitions the piece would work. I know this from experience. Well, there was one transition we didn't hit. So I kept playing. I didn't know what she was up to because she wasn't singing and I couldn't see her. I was getting worried. I am sure you can understand this. All of a sudden there was a big laugh from the audience. A laugh? That can't be bad, things must be okay. It got quiet again…for a long time and I'm wondering what the hell is happening. Then I get hit in the butt by a tennis shoe! She threw a tennis shoe at me. It was all I could do not to burst out laughing. That was an act of genius. I relaxed from there on out. 

There aren't a lot of photos of the performance - two at the moment. Maki may have some others in her camera. I'll post those when she e-mails them to me.  The two on here are from her iPhone and have the expected resolution issues with iPhone photos. I posting some shots I took of the other acts that night, as well.

Meyou, prepping.
The other acts...

The two shots...
Performing "Darkest Night."

Closing tableau from "Cloud Hidden Whereabouts Unknown."

After the show...

Left to right: Maki, Roper, Kyoko, Kyomi.