Mail Magazine vol.03

■Kumiko’s “ In Search of the Transparent Sound”  vol.3

In his lesson, Prof.Sasaki used to say to me, “ You’re too stubborn. Listen modestly and carefully to the sound!” It was very difficult for me to admit that I seemed to be too stubborn. Equally, I had to admit that I did not give an ear to my sound when I played piano. What do I have to correct? And how? I was in a labyrinth without an exit for a long time.

I grew up in a musical family. Not only my mother but also my grandfather and my uncle loved music. I used to enjoy listening to the wide range of LP records which my uncle collected throughout the world.
Those days, I was very fond of Leopold Stkouski(1822~1977 Russian conductor. He conducted the music of Fantasia by Disney). And also what made me excited was the record of some youth orchestra in the Soviet Union. Considering its sincere style and musicality, I assume that it was conducted by Kiril Kondrashin(1914~1981 Russian conductor).It sounded fresh and alive than skillful.
Speaking of records, Prof.Sasaki also played various records in his lesson. One day, he played a record conducted by an amateur American. It was simple, unaffected and very warm sound as if it had the center of itself. When I remember that sound now, it was just like of Mengelberg(1871~1951 Dutch conductor), one of my favorites. Prof Sasaki said that his sound was good. He had a relationship with that amateur conductor.

A few months later, however, Prof.Sasaki said “ I`m disappointed at him. I will quit communicating with him.” In fact, he received a letter from the American conductor. In his letter, the American Mengelberg wrote;
The famous conductor X praised me!
I was very glad that I was recognized at last!
Prof.Sasaki was at a loss, saying “ I don`t understand why he is so pleased just because he was recognized by such a terrible conductor!” Prof.Sasaki did not seem to sympathize with that famous conductor`s style.
One day, I listened to a high-school student`s play. He had learned playing piano under Prof.Sasaki since he was 4 years old. Prof.Sasaki ordered me to play the Walz in Db,Op 64. No.1( 1 Minute Walz) by Chopin in a duet with him.
“ Without any advance arrangement or practice? No way! ” I mumbled.
However, once I started playing with serious and intent concentration on his sound, my sound fitted perfectly to his sound, which generated a smooth and alive flow of the sound.
Each lesson made me become aware of some new sense. I was looking forward to discovering a little but clear drop of happiness. In other words, it was the process that I started over meeting the music. Gradually, I became to have profound determination to continue taking his lesson although his lecture and instructions were all Greek to me。   
Each experience of light keeps on opening our cells little by little, which never fails to transform “ current “ ourselves. The truth is that we are on a long journey to light which seems twinkling far, far away.

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