Post “Akutagawa Award Concert” Update

For the month of August I was in Japan.  First I spent several weeks to see my family back in Hokkaido.  Then I was in Tokyo for the last week of the month to do rehearsals leading up to a concert that selects a winner for the Akutagawa Award in Music Composition.  On Sunday, August 31, I had my work Tramespace I for large ensemble (2012~14) performed by New Japan Philharmonic under the baton of Yoichi Sugiyama.

I was not selected for the award, but I do not feel discouraged by it.  In fact, the fact I was able to work with the orchestra and the conductor was a sheer joy for me that everything else was really secondary.  Also, my mother, en route to California, came from Hokkaido a day earlier to attend the concert.  I was very happy as it is a rare occasion that my family members hear my works live in general.

Truth to be told, I was quite worried about the performance of my work, as when I wrote the piece initially, I never thought I would have it performed by an orchestra later.  But the musicians of the New Japan Philharmonic worked on the piece so intensively, and in the end they interpreted the work so well.

I also would like to thank those who came to the concert and heard the work.  It was the first time in my life that my music was performed in Tokyo.  And it was performed in Suntory Hall no less.  No wonder so many musicians from all over the world rave about that hall.  I join them, too.

Quite a few people came up to me and remarked how shocking my piece was.  While I was happy to receive their remarks, positive, constructive or otherwise, the word “shocking” made me wonder: “After the shock, what remains in my music?” I hope I write music that lasts even after that shock is gone.  This is my ongoing and perhaps perpetual challenge.