Greetings and salutations,
No photos this post; I've been too busy at non-photo friendly activities. The times when I have perceived a possible photo moment, I either didn't have the camera or couldn't stop the activity I was engaged in. So it goes. I have to say, I am a little tired of taking photos. Who could guess such a thing could happen? Just for the record, for every photo you see, five or six were taken.
Last night was the big show for the funding organization's Tokyo headquarters, the International House Japan. There was a big turnout. I was told that they had about 120 RSVPs. I'd say there were 100 people there. I started a head count, but got interrupted and never got back to it. Leza thinks 70; a very big crowd in any case, all sitting in chairs listening. It was one of those "talk and play" affairs. It is dangerous to give me a microphone. I have come to enjoy talking to people from the stage. It is more fun than playing the tuba.
I was joined last night by Christopher Yomei (who runs the program here) on shakuhachi, Nozawa Tetsuya on shamisen and Leza Lowitz doing spoken word and vocals. Leza is a poet. If you take the embedded link, you will see that she has published several books. I met Leza years ago on a project in the Bay Area with Wadada Leo Smith and Harumi Makino. Doing vocals was a first time experience for Leza. I had her perform on Glenn Horiuchi's "Optics." It is mostly a graphic score, so if one is courageous and empathetic to what is going on around them, they can perform the piece without benefit of musical training. Her performance was stellar. So was Christopher's and Nozawa's. The institution took photos and recorded video. I assume I will have access to those at some point in the future. Yes, I know what they say in Zimbabwe about the word "assume." When I get the photos, I will post them, assuming (there is that word again) that it happens before I suspend this blog.
Last night's program:
• La Petit Malambing Thang - this is a video made by Joseph Santarromana and myself, to which I improvised live. Originally I planned to show Bleu, a video from the same series of works, to which I have composed a live tuba part, but the images are too subtle to be seen when projected large. This was true in Kyoto also.
• Cloud Hidden Whereabouts Unknown - for shamisen and tuba. I had Leza intersperse poems from her book "Yoga Heart," into this piece.
• My Mother's Mother - for shakuhachi, shamisen and tuba.
• Optics - this is one piece on the program that I didn't compose. I perform Glenn's music as often as I can because it is good and he was my good friend. It would have been kind of crazy not to find a place to include it in a concert here, because it is very likely I wouldn't be here if it weren't for my association with Glenn Horiuchi. "Optics," is a perfect piece because it can be organized quickly, allows flexibility in its performance time and provides a foundation for the possibility of some very fine music-making.
• Darkest Night - originally for solo tuba with prerecorded sound. A couple of years ago I added a percussion part for a performance at L.A.'s MOCA for a William Leavitt retrospective exhibition. For this performance I added a parts for shakuhachi and shamisen.
That was the show and that was plenty.
The next and final performance here is on Friday with Daisuke Fuwa, Emi Shirasaki (you have seen her in these posts_from the 1st time in Tokyo) and members of ShibusaShirazu. That should be as wild as it gets.