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Essay “The Sound of the Heart”

October , 2022

Until a few years ago, we enjoyed the mild sunshine in spring, and in summer we heard the cicadas in the nice heat, in autumn the wind gradually changed to chilly breeze and the so-called “autumn of the arts” began, and then came the Christmas concert season with the hint of winter of dry air and rain turning to snow…
Indeed, we were able to enjoy the transition of each season and I liked every one of them, and yet…
It seems that we have somehow lost the sense of seasons. Moreover, we are facing torrential rains, huge typhoons and we often hear the phrase “nothing that we have ever experienced before”. The news tells us
about river floods and rain inundation as if it were common sense.
Usually, concert dates, time and venues are planned and decided more than a year in advance.
Artists need to be there at the concerts no matter what kind of typhoon or torrential rain there may be, as well as what our physical condition and practice situation may be, unless the concert is cancelled.
Luckily, during the decades that I have been performing, I was able to get to the venue each time. Thank goodness for that.
I have, sometimes, been troubled.
Once, I experienced on a flight that though the plane had flown to the destination, it had to return without landing, and I cried “Oh no! that’s impossible!” in despair. But I took the chance taking the next flight though I was told that it was a conditional flight. It succeeded and I was able to get to the venue just when the orchestra had started playing the overture. I performed the concerto with them without any rehearsal, I even had to change into my stage dress at the stage wing as there was no time to go to my dressing room.
I have actually been through lots of pinch situations, once my plane arrived in an unscheduled place due to bad weather, I’ve been caught in accidental traffic jams on motorways, bullet trains stopped by typhoons and so on.

Now that the typhoon season for this year has arrived again, I am trembling in fear how I would confront with them.
Just last month, I made a decision not returning to Tokyo after a concert in Sendai due to a “dangerous typhoon”, just before boarding the Shinkansen from Sendai.
I decided to take the Shinkansen to Kyoto instead of Tokyo, though I only had the clothes I was wearing. It was just like diving into the typhoon that was coming towards me.

I will be busy checking the weather forecast for some time to come and check the size and the direction of the typhoon, as well as the traffic conditions. I may have to go closer to the venue on the day before the concert, secure plane and shinkansen tickets before they are sold out and so on…
And then I go on stage.
The faces of the many audiences watching me on stage and trying to listen to my music despite the unstable weather make me feel so grateful, an inexpressible feeling.
I hope to reach out to the heart of every person who has come to hear me on that day!

It’s autumn, the concert season, and the typhoon season!
But please wait for me, I will be there!