Mail Magazine vol.04

Hello! This is Kumiko.
How are you doing?
Strolling around my house, I’ve got more and more chances to find the white-eyes in the trees recently. And how nice to feel the wind carrying a subtle scent of the new season! Spring brings us new encounters and experiences in this country.
Even if it is a negative one, it has a seed which will develop your life in the way you have never imagined Looking forward to seeing how it grows, let’s prepare for the coming new season!

■Kumiko’s “ In Search of the Transparent Sound” vol.4

I used to take Prof. Sasaki’s lesson. I was always very tense.
He inevitably pointed out what I had never been conscious about no matter how carefully I played piano. What he said to me was not only about playing piano but also about my behavior, words, attitude……almost everything about me.
The truth is that one’s weakness expresses itself in the way one cannot imagine no matter how much attention one pays in playing or listening .
“You did not listen. Listen carefully to the sound !!” his voice rose several times one day some years ago.
“Did you see the flowers at the hall?” he asked me.
Of course, I had admired them in my heart but didn’t mention it.
“You say nothing about them since you entered the room. You have already become indifferent to their beauty.” His voice sounded sad and at a loss.
I doubted whether his comments were more or less related to my sound those days.
But now I realize that he used to sense my consciousness and point it out in various situations.

One day, he yelled to me, “ It’s no use for you to go to college of Music. Quit!”
I was astonished and lost my way.
I have loved music since I was a little girl. So my mother worked hard for me to enter the college of Music. Studying music at college costs dearly as you know. Thinking of my mother, I could not even imagine to tell her that I would quit college”
He understood my circumstances, saying“ I see. Then, you do not have to quit.”
His words were always very substantial. He chose words according to the age of his students of course, but he was always very outspoken and to the point in the end.
I also remember the day when a little girl was playing . He told me to accompany her on the piano. I played very cautiously although it was a very simple tune.
“Listen! You are defeating her in the volume. Why does the accompanist play more loudly than the pianist?” he said.
Of course, I did not mean it!
But when I look back on the situation, I realize that I was so much concentrated on my playing that I did not pay enough attention to the balance of the sounds or did not listen to the whole sound.

When almost a year passed away, he told me to play again and he accompanied me.
No sooner had I started to play than he said to me “Kumiko, I see the light”
I was surprised to hear that. I was just very tense and never focused to play well.
On reflection now, my sound was out of any intention or aim to play well. It naturally sounded simple and transparent although I did not know why.
For the first time in my life, I felt my sound refined, light, profound and powerful

It was the moment when I realized the essence of < to listen >which he strictly taught me. However, I was pacing back and forth between conviction and disappointment because it was not as easy as a piece of some practical skill.
Anyway I was looking forward to taking his lesson. It was just like a journey to seek the spring of the sound in the bottom of my heart.

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