Everything always takes longer than I think it will. I thought it would be okay to release the CD on the same day as the concert… and ultimately, I managed it. However, it took several very late nights in a row, a lot of frantic emails with friends in Japan who were helping me with translations and such, a lot of fussing around with MS Publisher, even more fussing around trying to make a DVD/lightscribe burner talk to my Windows 10 computer (it wouldn’t), and many visits to kinko’s… followed by frustration that all the italics in the booklet has mysteriously disappeared and the pictures had moved around. At that point, I gave up trying to fix anything else. (It’s a good thing, too. I fixed the pictures and italics before printing the second batch, and it took about 4 hours…) I wouldn’t have gotten it all done if Shino hadn’t been delayed by 2 days due to a snow storm in Sapporo… which was a stress of a whole different magnitude.
But it’s all done now, sort of. The concerts are finished! We did it… despite having only 3 days to rehearse! I handed out a whole bunch of CD’s at the concerts, sent links to download for the tech-savvy, and mailed out a whole bunch more CD’s. I am very nearly recovered and caught up from the month in which nothing got done that wasn’t urgent. Now I just need to translate the booklet into Japanese. That will be an easy task… ha ha.
The concerts were pretty good, despite lack of sleep and short rehearsal time—one of our better performances, I think. It was cool (and encouraging) that a wide variety of friends came to the concerts, including people I hadn’t seen for a long time. Our concerts took on a similar format to what we usually did in Japan: I chose the stories I wanted to tell, then we chose pieces to fit the stories. This time Shino played a solo piece and told her own story, too. I thought she would speak in Japanese with translation, but she decided to speak in English—as she put it, there’s less of a barrier with the audience that way. (Now Shino has a lot of sympathy for what I usually have to do!)
Shino and I had fun being together and playing together—I was reminded again what a blessing our friendship and partnership has been. When it comes to music, two is definitely better than one (unless you’re playing unaccompanied Bach).
After the concerts were over, of course we went and did all the things I never get to do unless we have out of town guests. I’d never been to the Chihuly museum before. Fun times! I had a huge adrenaline letdown during lunch at Ivar’s. After that, I couldn’t eat normally for several days… so tired…
Thanks for praying for us! Things went really well, despite some setbacks, which we managed to overcome. (I didn’t mention that one of the piano’s jacks broke during dress rehearsal…) I’m looking forward to our next steps when we’re back in Japan!
And now, Celia and Shino's crazy Seattle concert photo album! Enjoy!
|No time wasted: we started practicing right away! Here we are in my parents' living room, rehearsing with my great grandmother's piano!|
|How to cure jet-lag: get sprayed in the face by a massive waterfall.|
|Jingis Khan! Shino brought the sauce.|
|Concert #1 at Newport Covenant Church. Of course we had to get our signature shot with the two of us sitting on the piano bench. (This was the piano I took lessons on when I was little.)|
|Shino gets to tell her story!|
|We also played at church the next morning.|
|Concert #2: Japanese Presbyterian Church!|
|Our friend, Satoru Nakanishi is the pastor there. We studied together at Regent. Since it's a Japanese church, we did the whole program bilingually. (Satoru is an awesome translator... I would know.)|
|This church is so gorgeous. It's so Seattle, and so Japanese. It would fit really well in Hokkaido, I think.|
|Concerts are over... time to take Shino to our favorite Seattle spots!|
|Space Needle, as seen from the Chihuly gallery|
|Lunch at Ivar's, of course!|
|Standing in line with the rest of the Japanese tourists at the original Starbucks...|
|Cherry blossom season! Shino was lucky... they were super early this year!|
|We had to get a family picture, of course.|
|Last activity before going to the airport: walk in the woods near our house!|