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Essay “The Sound of the Heart”

June , 2020
What Changed with the Coronavirus

It wasn’t until May 25th that the state of emergency declaration was lifted throughout Japan.
Yet we are worried about the virus for which the cure is still undecided and wonder if our fear is over or not.
The fact that the request for self-restraint has been lifted, does not mean there are no more new cases of infection, and the graph showing infection traces a suspicious line of ups and downs.
Even though there are more people out there in the city now, various detailed requests continue and if you don’t avoid the “ 3 mitsu” (advise of keeping social distance) , the frightening virus will bear their teeth again. I am worried about when people will start coming to the concert venues feeling safe, in the classical music world.

It has been more than three months since my own concerts were cancelled or postponed, and the June concerts were also all cancelled, so it will be four months with no concerts.
Who would have guessed that it would be like this on a global scale? With Classical music, no microphones are used and so it is a kind of sensory experience of the sound that touch your skin.
The breath of life, the sound of life touches the five senses via the vibration of the air.
I believe the best thing about classical music is the high sound quality in live performances and on recorded CDs.

So, it is frustrating.
You can’t beat the Coronavirus.
Standing on the stage, you are entrusted with a once in a lifetime encounter with the art of sound that fades away in one instant.
The heart-to-heart exchanges that can only be done by special creatures called humanity on earth which the Artificial Intelligence cannot do. The emotional sensibility born out of these exchanges are also the joy, which is unique to the mankind.
Now we are forbidden to touch each other.
We are forbidden to show affection and friendship by hugging, shaking hands and touching the beloved. These acts are all listed among the “3 mitsu” restrictions that remain even after the state of emergency is lifted.

It is so sad.
For me, so is playing the violin.
Even when I’m practicing at home in my own room right now, I don’t have anyone to deliver the sound to. The phrase I play comes right back to myself like a boomerang.
But if you don’t keep practicing, you won’t be able to keep playing the instrument.
I keep practicing day after day, in a kind of emptiness.
It doesn’t mean that I want to do concerts right away.
It is a matter of peoples’ lives.
I am not exaggerating.
I think that we need to be extra careful and be cautious about the decision.
It is all about making sure that everyone in the audience feels safe, coming to the concert venues.
And the next time when we go back on stage, we would need to be more thoughtful than before to avoid further spread of the virus and need to think what we can actually do.
I will continue practicing today and tomorrow for “the day” when I can share the excitement on stage, together with the audience.

I am wondering how so many people are suffering right now, in various industries and jobs.
People who are enduring the situation, or people who have not been able to endure and had to close their jobs and lay off their employee in tears.
People who have lost their jobs and cannot lead their normal daily lives.
Students who had to quit school, losing their part-time jobs.

In this difficult time when even the National High-School Baseball Championship is cancelled, I am just waiting for a true peaceful everyday life for everyone.