Saturday, March 29, 2014


Today’s coffee: Ka’u (Hawaii) at home

I have a confession to make. I’m a professional musician, but I struggle to find motivation to practice if I don’t have concerts scheduled in the immediate future. I’m balancing the roles of musician, missionary, wife, etc., so sometimes I get distracted by whatever is most urgent at the moment.

As I type this, I’m looking at my shamisen case across the room, and thinking that I’d really like to play it. Last February, I received a shamisen with broken skins; the previous owner’s hands had become shaky enough to make playing impossible, so it came to me via the pastor of our previous church. After a period of not playing much, I took the new-to-me shamisen in for repairs… and a look inside the body of the instrument informed me that it was built in Meiji 25 (1892)! Shamisen are not like cellos; they do not appreciate in value, so it’s rare to find an instrument this old. I still think it’s cool to have an instrument with some history… and now that it’s been fixed, it sounds really good! In May, I’ll have a couple of opportunities to play it, so I’m looking forward to that. I also have a lot of motivation to practice!

After: new skins and accessories! Still needs a name...
Last June, I started writing Friday blog posts. I said I would write something every week. I’ve written most weeks, with the exception of some concert weekends and during our vacation time. It’s been really good to have a weekly space to reflect on my life… even when I don’t feel like it. Like this week. I’d rather be practicing my shamisen right now. Anyway, thanks for holding me accountable, dear readers on the internet. And I think I’ll go ahead and announce that I’m going to practice every day from now on, with reasonable exceptions allowed. Feel free to ask me how I’m doing. If you come to my concert, I promise I’ll practice really hard!

Next concert: May 6! I will be playing a very small part in this, but I promise I will practice lots in preparation! The main performers are awesome, so you should come if you are here in Sapporo.
Also: I'm playing on May 30 at Gateau Kingdom. If you live in the Sapporo area, you will know where that is. That performance is a "Spring Banquet" which will feature traditional music and dancing and food... but the food is expensive. I think it's well worth going to one of these sorts of events if you've never been to one before. I'll post a chirashi with more details when I get one.

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