November 15, 2014

Performances and diamonds

Performance is a heightened reality, which Tomoko has experienced both as a performer and an audience.

Tomoko remembers attending a concert of the famous Bohemian pianist Rudolph Serkin. He was touring Japan in the 1950s, and Tomoko bought a ticket in the cheapest seating sectoin. Listening to him play Schubert's Fantasy for Piano Opus 15, Tomoko found herself crying nonstop for the first time at a concert; she felt, "This is what an artist is supposed to do." She thought that his performance was perfect, not just a technical feat. "It was the most gorgeous feeling in the world," she remembered. She also remarked, "My tear was like a diamond: a symbol of the most valuble and authentic emotion."

Tomoko also considers that the performance is whole within itself. The performer selects and sequences a set of compositions to convey a specific message with a particular pacing. For that reason, Tomoko does not like encores. She remembers going to a balalaika recital. "The musicians were exhausted; they had given their all." Tomoko continued," When the audience cried for an encore, I felt sorry for the band who were forced to perform more. The good feeling of the performance was gone -- it dissipated."

Tomoko muses, "Real music is everywhere. A performance is special because it intentionally communicates emotion with its audience.There is a mysterious feeling that cannot be explained away."