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Essay “The Sound of the Heart”

December , 2019
Stage Shoes

When December comes, I start feeling the need to tidying up my home, throwing away unnecessary things to get ready for the new year.

Next year will be the 45th anniversary since my professional debut as a violinist.
45 years anniversary? Really? It is quite surprising, but I did make my debut very early.
So next year, I have plans to perform various concerts including the “Unaccompanied Violin Concert of Ysaye’s sonatas in one evening” and “Unaccompanied Violin Concert of J.S. Bach’s sonatas in one evening” which I had decided to do every 5 years since my 20th anniversary.
I made a promise with myself, and it is something like the meditation sitting under a waterfall.
Therefore, this month, I would like to put everything in order, both mentally and physically, using my time in between concerts to get ready for the coming anniversary year.

So, I actually started tidying up when I spotted my stage shoes that have become quite worn out. I always order my stage shoes to be made at a specialty leather shoes shop. Leather shoes do last very long but my stage shoes in gold, silver, white and black were made 15 years ago. They have been worn out through the 90 or so concert performances every year.

So, I decided to renew these stage shoes.

For violinists, stage shoes are very important. They influence the sound making.
When I hold my instrument between my chin and clavicle (I do not use the shoulder rests), I directly receive the vibration of the instrument with my bones. I feel the sound through bone conduction that spreads throughout my body, the low tone goes towards my feet and high tone towards my head. The vibration of the low tone that reach my feet go right down through my shoe soles to the stage floor, so my shoes are like extensions of the instrument and assists the sound.

Also, stage shoes have the important role to help my body move on stage.
Solo violinist shifts their body weight to left and right in order to change the sound. Legs and feet are very useful to create various nuances like giving vigor, putting pressure on, and for making the sound to reach far ahead.
So, I visited my specialty leather shoes shop.
I had my feet measured up in order to make well fitted, movable leather shoes.
My new stage shoes in gold, silver, bronze, black and white, will be my new partners on stage from next year, supporting my performances.

When you are at my concerts, please spare a minute to take a look at my shoes as well!