Monday, December 09, 2013

Japan: Singing at Shirakawa Hall in Nagoya.

"Life is all a memory, except for the present moment
that goes by you so quick you hardly catch it going."
~Tennessee Williams

On Thursday afternoon, October 17th, we arrived in Nagoya at our hotel, the Hamilton Black, where we again had single rooms. As much as I love my friends in the choir, having a single room is actually pretty nice. You don't have to worry about tripping over each other in small spaces, being modest, or disturbing anyone with your travel quirks and habits.

First off, I have to back up and document the delicious road-side meal I had on the road to Nagoya. A bowl of ramen, white rice, and pot-stickers. Yum. Finally something other than a white bread sandwich with the crust cut off. True Japanese fare.

And now back to the hotel. We had robes at this hotel, just like all the others.

 And although our rooms, actually the entire floor, smelled like smoke, apparently no smoking is allowed in the bed. I guess if you're sitting at the desk, it would be permissible.

After settling into the hotel, once again we were off to have a rehearsal. sound check, and a little recording time. Our concert was at the Shirakawa Hall, which was within easy walking distance of the hotel -- a very nice perk, not to have to bus it again. When we got there, they loaded us all into a freight elevator. Almost all 34 of us. It was huge! And we are not all small people.

 The hall itself was of course beautiful, as all our venues have been.

I loved the way the seats folded up/down.

Salt Lake Vocal Artists
One of Seven Choirs in the Salt Lake Choral Artists Organization
Photo by Dave Reeder
Prior to the start of the program, we waited in the green room area and ate yet another white bread sandwich with the crust cut off (what do they do with all the crust??). You can see how excited both Angela and Andrew are about dinner.


We shared the program that night with a Girls Choir, who were very excited and nervous to speak with us. They wanted so much to speak English with the Americans, but they could barely walk over to us without giggling themselves to death first out of nervousness.

The audience was very reserved that night. They seemed to really enjoy our performance, but after our standing ovations in Karuizawa, Tokyo, and Matsumoto, they were much more reserved. Nevertheless after the concert we greeted the audience members, who were so appreciative and in awe of these Americans.

Tara with her two biggest fans.

With a friend (fan) from South Korea, living in Nagoya, Japan.

The entry foyer at Shirakawa Hall in Nagoya.

That night was also our last night with Sawako. She had been our guide, escort, and translator the entire trip. She quickly became a good friend. Her impeccable English and her funny and loving personality endeared her to us almost immediately. What a wonderful friend!

With Sawako.
A bittersweet feeling came knowing that this was our last concert in Japan. We met and shared our music with so many wonderful people. Sharing music and giving service like that is a feeling that's hard to match. I connect with people. And when I'm able to hear straight from them their honest feelings about how we made them feel, how we blessed them, inspired them or moved them, I know that I lead a privileged life and I, in turn, have been blessed to know them and to feel of their spirits. Music reaches into souls. It's a universal medium of communication. As are smiles. And even though the frequency, width, and varying degrees of public display vary from culture to culture, a genuine smile is felt with the heart.

And here's another recording for you. If Music Be The Food of Love...Sing On.

Stayed tuned for our last day in Japan, a free day sight-seeing in Nagoya! Then we cross the International Dateline to have Friday all over again, this time in Hawaii!

1 comment:

Aimee Lunt said...

I love your blog.... Haven't read all of it yet but I will! Wish I were with you and SLVA in Japan!