Mail Magazine vol.08

■Kumiko’s “In Search of the Transparent Sound”vol.8

I used to take Prof. Sasaki’s lesson every week.
Little by little, I got acquainted with other pupils. As being in the spring of my life,
I talked about not only music but also miscellaneous topics with some of them.
What I had been always interested in was how other people created their sound. As time passed by, my interest had become more and more passionate.
In those days, I was always under a sense “ I’m not free・・・”when I played piano. I felt my sound was stiff, rough and not smooth. In consequence, my music became artificial, which made me almost suffocated.

I wrote about my struggle with the music of Chopin in my mail magazine vol.7.
My essay vol.4 is focused on the incident when I accompanied a little girl on the piano.
( See the back numbers of my mail magazine at http//
Before these incidents, however, there was a prelude for me. It happened just after having finished my lesson in the evening.
Prof. Sasaki came to the hall to see me off and said to me,
“ Kumiko, give up opening your ear. Nobody who has as good ear as you has opened his ear. So, give up” ( in fact, I have perfect pitch.)
I was sure that his words jumped into my ear. But they seemed to get through me.
If in usual condition, such a hopeless pronouncement would have cut me to pieces. However, on that particular day, I was not damaged.
After his words passed by in me smoothly, a simple feeling came up.
“ It may be true. But, if others can do it, why cannot I? No matter how much time it would take, I’ll do it! I never give up!”
Without impatience, anger nor despair, I was very calm and stable.
I remember that I replied with a smile to him.
And I kept taking his lesson as before.
After several months, he said to me,” Kumiko, I see the light!” when I accompanied him on the piano. However, I couldn’t understand why my sound was good then.
I remember another incident.
One day, when I entered the lesson room, he was playing a tune of Schumann.
”Good tune! ” I admired in my mind.
“Sing! Kumiko ”, he suddenly said to me.
“ ? ”
“Again! Stop your passing fancy!” I cried in my mind.
But there was no way except to obey him. I sang despairately the German words with his piano.
“Good! Kumiko, how about changing your major to singing?”
“ What ? ”
In my mind, I murmured, “ That’s that! He finally gave me up. It’s impossible for me to study singing with my voice!”
When I recall this incident now, it may not have been so bad as I thought.
Why couldn’t I comprehend that my sound was good then?
Why did I interpret his words differently from what he meant?
Now that I have taught many private lessons, the answer to these questions is clear to me.
Listening thoroughly to the sound highlights how one’s consciousness works. When we consider the sound as a vibrating space, the sound represents what one’s consciousness is. They are two sides of the same coin.
Prof. Sasaki used to say,
“The music is subconsciousness, Kumiko”
It dropped straight in the depth of my heart and convinced me without reason. This is one of my favorite words.
We think that we recognize our superficial consciousness. However, it often separates oneself from one’s nature.
Prof. Sasaki’s lesson was a great guidepost for me. It indicated the way to go into my deep consciousness and helped me to open the new doors of my consciousness. It never failed to guide the long way to the light which is twinkling far, far away.
In other words, it was a journey to discover beads of light one by one.

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