1. Home
  2. Essay
  3. CD Signing Session After a Long Time


Essay “The Sound of the Heart”

July , 2023
CD Signing Session After a Long Time

It’s been three and a half years.
Holding a CD autograph session in the lobby after my concert.
It was at a recital at Keyaki Hall, a concert hall in Kiyose-city in Tokyo. Seeing the audience’s smiling faces was delightful, though most people wore masks in the packed auditorium. The people with masks also had relaxed expressions which I could see even through those masks.
Talking during the recitals has become my regular recital format and during the two-hour recital, with several talks in between the playing, the atmosphere becomes more relaxed, and somehow, we, meaning the audience and myself
get familiar with each other. And when the recital is over, I go out to the lobby of the concert hall to sign autographs which becomes some sort of get-together session with the audience. It makes me happy.
It was about two weeks before the recital that I heard I would be able to do a signing session after a long time. I felt so excited as though I was going to meet old friends whom I hadn’t seen for many years. It was a strange feeling because obviously, I would be seeing most of my audience for the first time.

Looking back, in 2020, we suddenly had the Corona disaster and all concerts were canceled for the first six months
and we were restricted from going out and seeing people and going out for dinners and so on. Recalling it now, the bleak atmosphere then was so sad and lonely. I am sure that everyone in the world felt lonely and bitter and also painful. We could not visit our relatives in hospitals and our beloved grandparents in elderly homes who had to live lonely lives. Even now, there are some restrictions in hospitals because the number of Corona infections is slowly increasing again.

Wearing masks in concert rehearsals became the norm and at the hardest times, everyone on stage had to wear masks even during our recital and concertos performances. It was inevitable that we had to perform in a struggle against bitterness. We positioned ourselves taking distance from each other on stage, and we could not hug each other or shake hands after performing.
The human race was forbidden to mingle with others.
What was that all about?
What did the warning mean?
What did God want to warn us about?
We were unable to read the other person’s expression on their face, and it was uneasy to interact with each other and we had the worry about the fading of human connections.

Important things in life were not just the material things, but having fun, feeling happy, being moved, talking, reading facial expressions without words, useless talks, children joking, hanging out with friends. How important those things were.
The CD signing session after three and a half years brought comfort to me as if a fire had been lit in my heart.
How important it was to have a brief, face-to-face conversation with eye contact with the people who have listened to my music directly. Though we were wearing masks, it was enriching to feel the presence of each other in a close space. Once again, I realized that this was the kind of thing that I always wanted to cherish. It was necessary for me to be able to thank the audience directly.
The Corona infections have not yet disappeared, and there are still, infectious diseases such as the flu and measles
that we need to watch out for.
We do not want to have the situation of “limitation of unnecessary outings” anymore. So, we still will have to spend some time taking careful precautions, in order to maintain a minimum level of mingling with people!