Azur Indian Music Project

My photo
San Jose, San Jose, Costa Rica
Welcome to our music for development space where we will try to keep our friends updated on Azur Indian's latests. We also hope to engage actively with other musicians and anyone who is interested in development issues in general to hopefully reach higher grounds. So please, post your comments and share your thoughts with us! Azur Indian(アズール・インディアン)のブログへようこそ!このページでは私たちの活動をご紹介していくほか、音楽に興味がある方、国際協力・開発に興味がある方との交流の場を作っていければと考えています。みなさんの思いやコメントをこの場でぜひ共有してください!

Monday, 8 November 2010

Poster

Here's the posters for the last event:
Innovations for International Development "Linking good ideas with good intentions"





We took the template from the same design used for our christmas presentation in 2008..
This was done with the help of a designer,
Thanks Omar!

Entry: Antarqui

Innovations for International Development Conference (entry continued)

This conference was of great success up to my consideration, taking into account the resources and time constraints due to a sudden change of venue brought up by  poor weather conditions and landslides that affected the surrounding areas of the UPEACE campus. Nevertheless the conference moved on smoothly in the Humboldt University in Pavas. The conference with different programs and thematic presentations allowed for networking and for the audience to participate in very interesting topics such as the ones mentioned in the previous post.

There is something that will stick with me from the initial presentations and that is the DIMENSIONS for international development projects by Renata Villers:
1.     Innovation in delivery and management of products and services
2.     Multi-Sectoral (presented also by Prof. Jan Pronk as the requirement of institutions for technical advances)
3.     Strategic management practices
4.     Scalable designs
5.     Measurement of results
6.     Financially sustainability design
7.     Policy dimensions

I think this will help very much in the analysis of our Music for Development Project, because it brings a clear and logical framework to work with.
Readers: Is there anything missing in these dimensions??

I wanted also to take this chance to post here the outline of the learnings from the Azur Indian Project presented in Japan, in the hopes of getting some feedback out there on how to move it forward.

Azur Indian Music Project
~Getting to know the world through Music~
6 November 2010
Azur Indian Music Project
Midori Kamada
Antarqui Romero
Overview:
To think about raising awareness on development issues through music, brings the question on how to link these two worlds together. Until today, for a cello and piano duet, the answer to that question varies according to the circumstances and audience to whom the presentation is intended for.  Consequently, the initial segment within which we focused our energy was primary schools and junior high schools, since these facilitated our efforts of association, definition of the performance site, and most importantly, the opportunity to touch these minds in development, to realize our objectives of raising understanding on ways to alleviate poverty and how to help build sustainable livelihoods, according to our experience in the field.

This project was validated as an NGO by the International Division of the City Office of Niigata, Japan. Since 2008 we have been active with this project and have managed to make many presentations that vary from among other topics:
Experience as a volunteer and how to become a part of this form of aid.
Developing countries and the differences between Japan on poverty issues and developing opportunities.
Music appreciation and early stimulus through sound.

The objectives:
Presented to schools initially and then to other organizations ranged from the following:
1. To be familiar with international music and instruments through live music appreciation.
2. To acknowledge the relationship between Japan and other countries such as Honduras and Zimbabwe through lectures and music instruments from those regions.
3. To be familiar with the cultures and the customs of countries/regions which are relatively unheard of in Japan such as those from Honduras, Zimbabwe, and in general Central America and Southern Africa.
4. To recognize their own Japanese traditional music through music appreciation.
5. To familiarize themselves with foreign languages such as English, Spanish and Shona.
7. To expand their knowledge on International Relationships in a rapidly changing multi-cultural society.

To achieve this, the topics and music presented in our lectures were set together with the school’s representatives according to their teaching agenda, and to develop a relationship with the students that would help in the communication process we attempted to build a set of presentations for that audience.

The balance between music and the lectures was defined in accordance to the audience’s age and interest, the depth and approach, grew from a familiar music repertoire, to international music that helped introduce the topics in the lecture.
Learnings:
This project brought a set of highs and lows in terms of seasonality.
Making our presentations for schools required adaptation to their yearly programs which sometimes was filled beforehand and had no space for events such as our project. This led to searching for more schools and other institutions that would keep us afloat regarding our expenses, which meant being more flexible in terms of these organizations’ requests, sometimes focusing more on music than our lectures.

Although we charged to cover our expenses for each presentation, if there had been financial support to charge less to these institutions, the control over the content and the amount of acceptance or repetitions on presentations would have been more. Therefore, something to look into for our project is alternative funding

Another important thing to consider regarding the initial question in this paper on how to link the world of music and development, now that Azur Indian is in Costa Rica, is the approach of the lectures.
In Japan we presented information about developing countries, but now that we are in a developing economy, we see music itself as a form of development. Music provides the tools for education to flourish, and a way to encourage a career path through music as an option. This is what we are now looking into in order to move our project forward now in Costa Rica

We would appreciate it if you can provide some feedback on your experience or any advice regarding our learnings and future goals.
                                                                                                                                      


Azur Indian

Entry: Antarqui

Sunday, 7 November 2010

Club Union San Jose: 4th November 2010

We practiced at "Club Union"(http://www.clubunion.com/) in San Jose today. This place was established in 1923, since then it has been utilized by important figures of Costa Rica such as politicians, entrepreneurs and so forth. I can imagine how those people talked in this place, having cigar and whisky, sitting on a comfortable sofa in front of a fireplace...(ummm maybe not a fireplace because Costa Rica is too hot to have one!)  



This construction has several rooms such as a conference room, a billiard room, a bar.... where we practiced was in restaurant. It was rich in ornament with beautiful a drawing (5 women representing central America) and chandelier.



The piano they have here was Yamaha, piano de cora (fluegel klavier). It was over all in good condition! I was too excited to play this piano in this spacious restaurant. There was no one in the restaurant when we arrived there, so started practicing immediately. We were a little excited since it was for the first practice after half a year.

After a while, we also had dinner there. I ordered a glass of red wine....it tasted just super, had rich flavour in it...fruity but heavy. I loved it!! Can you believe it was just a glass of wine, not like selected bottle?


For the main (though it was salad) I ordered Grey Palmito and Salmon Salad. I tasted White Palmito (heart of palm) a week before in Puntarenas, and really liked it because it was just like Bamboo which is my favourite. But this Grey Palmito (the long one in the picture) is very special in terms of its taste and the place you can have......the taste wise, I could feel the taste of palm, while the white one has slightly less taste of it. And the place wise, you cannot find grey one anywhere else in Costa Rica but only in this Club Union.



This one is white palmito, for example. A very kind servant brought it to us to compare with the grey one. The red fruit is actually from the same palm tree which bears palmito! You would boil it, and peel the skin and then eat it. This part tasted just like Chestnuts! The servant told us that Costa Rican people loves this fruit!


I was completely satisfied and inspired by the cuisine! Everything has own taste, even the butter for bread. I could feel the milk in it!

Well, today's entry turns to be a "restaurant report..." :))

After the meal, we played for customers who were having dinner then.

It things allow, we hope to practice here from time to time.

Entry: Midori

Innovation for International Development Conference: 6th November

A conference on "Innovation for International Development" took place in San Jose on the 6th November. The programme was consisted of 6 parts:
****************************************************************************
1. Opening Remarks by Jan Pronk, Professor of Theory and Practice of International Development at the Institute of Social Studies (ISS) in the Netherlands and President of the Society for International Development (The Netherlands)

2. Renata Villers, Executive Director of Amigos del Aprendizaje (ADA) and Fellow of CALI (Central American Leadership Initiative, of the Aspen Institute and INCAE) (Costa Rica)

3. Panel Discussion: Making Innovations Happen

Facilitated by Professor Nika Silvetti, Coordinator of Responsible Management and Sustainable Economic Development program at UPEACE (Italy)


Panelists:
Eduardo Mata, National Coordinator of the GEF-UNDP Small Grants Program in Costa Rica (Costa Rica)

Dr. Juergen Carls, Government Advisor to the Ministry of Agriculture in Lisbon, Portugal; Freelance consultant to the FAO; and Professor for UPEACE (Germany)

Andrés Castro Ruiz, Director of Architec, SA (Costa Rica)


4. Break Out Presentation 1
I participated in Appro-Eco Scouting: Looking for Ideas that Really Work.
• Gail Swithenbank, Principal, Green Design Strategies (USA)

Antarqui participated in Innovative Model for Hands-On, Experiential Learning in Higher
Education
• Dr. Pedro Bidegaray, Director of International Academic Programs, EARTH University (Peru)

5. Break Out Presentation 2
Both Antarqui and I participated in Social Entrepreneurship—Innovating from Within.
• Mohit Mukherjee, Director, UPEACE Centre for Executive Education, (India)

(Can you guess who it is?)

6. Exposition
We presented the project using video clips and pictures that we took before in Niigata. We could get to talk to a lot of people!


***********************************************************************
It was indeed a rich event in which we learnt a lot about "innovation". This is what we really needed!

We started Azur Indian Music Project over 2 years ago, in fact, we first begun to play music at some parties and gigs, soon after we gradually formed this as a project (not just playing randomly) on International Understanding for Japanese citizens using the means of music appreciation combining our skills. Coincidentally our educational background and work experience were very similar; music and development.

But, we faced difficulties, it was mostly about finance. Our project depended on the budget of respective entities which asked us to perform, but not many entities had enough budget; particularly, for spending for work of art. So, it endangered our lives, too, lol!!

Another issue was promoting. We mainly targeted schools (both private and public, from nursery school to high school), posting our advertisement to each schools. However, we only received some responses. I analyzed it had something to do with school schedule. Since schools in Japan starts in April, they plan educational design by sometime in February at latest. In this sense, if advertisement and their interest doesn't meet by then, it would  be definitely hard to change their mind to have us out of their initial plan in the middle of school year.

Other issues can be our own time constraint. Since I could not predict until when I could stay in Niigata depending on my other work which enables and sustains myself to continue music project. Indeed, I could not have continued this project without having other job because it was financially tight without, as I mentioned above!

After all; everything was put into a negative circulation, financial tightness leads to be passive towards active promotion, and this circulates to financial problem.

As we proceed this project in Costa Rica, we really need to get these problems solved.
1. Fund
2. Promotion

Honestly, this conference gave us fresh and innovative ideas not only from the talks by the lecturers, but also from participants through some of the activities that we took part in. Furthermore, we could meet many people who belong to various organizations, NGOs students from many countries. Hopefully we sum up every essence we gained and this enables us to move forward! 

(Plus, I was personally feeling comfortable to participate in the conference because "development" is much more familiar to me than Peace making and Media :)) )

(Tonight's dinner; Pescado y Mariscos con salsa de tomate @ Club Union :)) )

Entry: Midori

Thursday, 21 October 2010

Costa Rica コスタリカ

Do you know where Costa Rica is?

It's in central America, bordering to Panama and Nicaragua. San Jose is the capital. As other central American countries, Costa Rica used be a Spanish colony and became independent in 1821. Its population is slightly above 4,000,000. It's famous for a rich nature, rain forest and a country which eliminate armed force in '50s. The currency is "Colon" which originates from Spanish explorer "Christopher Columbus". People are formally called "Costa Rican" but its nickname is "Tico". Isn't it cute??







Explaining Costa Rica from Wikipedia might sound a bit boring....:)) so I will present it from what I have observed for past 2 months!

People
Ticos are latinos! They love music, dance and very relaxed people I should say. They love and are proud of their country. I love when people say "Tranquilo (be calm/be quiet)" for me when I am rush into something or out of control :)). Maybe this is something we don't have in Japan....?

People like music and it is always filled with music. Why I can say it is that my area where I live (it's down town of Ciudad Colon) is so! It's always with music with speakers....indeed....like right now.

Language
Spanish, but Costa Rican Spanish! They say "con mucho gusto" for almost anything which I heard that other Spanish speakers rarely say.

They rarely use "Tu" but always use "Usted". I have never heard of my host mother calling her husband "Tu" but "always Usted". "Tu" is "you" in English but informal "you". "Usted" is formal "you". ummm I don't think English has this notion....? In German, it's like "Du" and "Sie". In Japanese......??? maybe "Kimi" and "Anata"!???

They sometimes pronounce "R" like English "R" which is interesting to me because I thought Spanish "R" is always "rrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr" when it comes to double "R"!

They also put "-imo"(ummm was it "-ito"? now I am confused! Correct me if I am wrong) at the end of the word which is close to what Spain Spanish people say "Midorita" (close to "small Midori"...)!

And most importantly, (this affects me the most) they speak super allegro!

Food
They eat a lot of......
-Rice (a bit harder than the Japanese one)
-Furijoles=Beans (beans themselves in the rice or mashed beans with/out bean skin. I love this bean paste without the skin)
-Meat (Beef, Chicken, Pork...)

I was a bit terrified of eating meat everyday(!?!?) but no need to worry, this country faces both Pacific and Caribbean, we still can get sea food :))

Weather
It is still rainy season right now, they say that dry season starts sometime in December. When I arrived in CR in August, we had rain almost everyday at almost same time like 1-2pm. It's like "A LOT", so-called "squall". It sometimes gets cold, and I regretted that I didn't bring warm clothes with me....Well, the rain is decreasing a little by little. Now we sometimes have full-sunny-day :)) Can't wait for the Dry season swimming in Caribbean!

Nature
As I said above that this country has rich nature, the government preserves them, as well. It has rich natural forests, volcano and beautiful sea....

Here is my favourite bird "Tucan". It's the symbol bird of the country.....



I will update as I found more interesting things :)


Entry: Midori

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

The latest Azur Indian 最近のアズールインディアン

We would like to appreciate again here for the cooperation and attention people gave us in Niigata in order to operate this music project smoothly.

Niigata city hall, Niigata city International Association, Ishiyama san from Yu's music, Kawamura san from, Dr. Kani, Ryutopia, The Local, Kantae san......and many many friends!!

We both are very thankful not only for the music project, but also pure friendship we received from people. We are missing Niigata so much!

Since Antarqui came back to Costa Rica from Niigata, we are now working on starting out the new phase of our Music Project in Costa Rica! We are busy making name cards and promoting ourselves...

Let's see what will happen, don't miss it!

So far, I received two emails asking if we could play music at a party, but it was all in Spanish! My short term target became now to learn Spanish as soon as possible obviously...!!

Con suerte para mi!



まずは、お久しぶりです。新潟では本当にお世話になりました。きちんとみなさんにお礼ができないままこちらにきてしまった気がします・・・・失礼お許しください!

前にも書きましたが、新潟のみなさんには本当に感謝しています。Yu's musicの石山さん、カストワミューズの川村さん、Dr. 可児のオーナーと奥様、りゅうとぴあ、ローカル・・・・・etc etc ・・・・新潟じゃなかったら、絶対にできなかっただろうな・・・・と思う今日この頃。感謝です。

そして音楽だけではなく、お友達&知り合いとして仲良くしてくださった方々!こちらも本当にありがとうございました。新潟にはまた遊びに行くと思うので、これからもどうぞ宜しくです。

こちらコスタリカは雨季の真っ最中です。今年はラニーニョの影響で、雨季が明けるのが遅いんだとか・・・・雨のお陰で意外に寒いのです!

アンタルキが新潟から引き上げてコスタリカに帰ってきたので、こちらでも音楽をやろうかと今動き始めているところです。新潟で作った名刺はもう売り切れてしまったので・・・・こちらは増産中。あとは、どこかで演奏できないかプロモーションをしているところです。

私の目下の目標は基礎スペイン語習得・・・・早速「演奏してくれないか」というメールが2つも届いたのですが、読めない・・・・涙。電話も受けなきゃいけないかもしれないので、話す方もですねー。


Entry: Midori

A concert in Santa Ana 14th October 2010

Midori had another concert in Santa Ana with Sergio Nunes! It was held in the Casa de la cultura Santa Ana on the 14th October.

The venue looks quite new, and is 4 stories building, seems to have about 4-5 class rooms in each floor. The concert room was on the 3rd floor, and it can accommodate about 100 people.

The room was filled with audiences including students of Casa de la cultura and musicians. I didn't really expect my school friends to come because it was in Santa Ana and it was only Thursday....but some of my friends came over to see me, that made me very happy!

There was an old Kawai fluegel piano (how do you say that in English? Is it just "Grand piano"?) and this became tonight's another partner for me.

Funnily, I didn't become nervous at all (this was the first time in my life as far as I remember!!), and I could enjoy playing music with Sergio's cello. In this sense, I really could dig into my own music world and to collaborate that with Sergio's. I look forward the video that tricky tracky took :))

This was another new quality experience.

Muchas gracias :))







10月14日(木)セルヒオ・ヌニェスさんとの第2回目のコンサートを開きました。場所は首都のサンホセから約30分くらい北にある、少々ハイソな街、サンタアナ。こちらの文化センターにて行いました。

文化センターはコンクリートむき出しの現代的な4階建ての建物です。今回のコンサートホールは3階。収容人数は100人。

お陰さまで会場は文化センターに通う学生たちや、ミュージッシャン、そのほかの方でいっぱいになりました。木曜だったし、サンタアナだったし、普通の日は 忙しい私の学校の友達はあんまりきてはくれないだろうと、そんなに期待していなかったのですが、何人かきてくれました。うちの向かいに住んでいる人にも声 をかけてたのですが、彼も仕事帰りに立ち寄ってくれ。もう一人、何人家わからないんですが、メールでお知らせした方がきてくださいました。やっぱり知り合 いに応援されているのって嬉しいですね!

会場には年季の入ったカワイのグランドピアノ。今夜の私のお供です。

不思議なことに、全然緊張せず(人生初だったかも!?)演奏でき、そのお陰でセルヒオの音楽を感じ取りながら、自分の音楽をどうやって作るのか、ということに集中できた気がします。なんか嬉しい!!トリッキートラッキー(というあだ名の青年)がビデオを取ってくれたので、見てまた研究します。

また新しい経験・勉強になりました。


Entry: Midori

Saturday, 9 October 2010

Un concierto de musica con Sergio Nunes セルヒオ・ヌニェスさんとのコンサート



On the 25th September, Midori had a concert with Costarican Cellist, Sergio Nunes at the theatre of Ciudad Colon in Costa Rica.

Ciudad Colon is about 20km north to the capital San Jose where there is an university (University for Peace) which I go.

Sergio Nunes is a prominent Cellist in Costa Rica. He studied music at a university in Brazil and continued to Master's in Berlin, Germany. Currently, he is the director of the Cultural Centre of Ciudad Colon.

We had many audiences on that night including my friends from the university and received warm compliments. Thank you very much!!!

I also learnt new perspectives and approaches on music from Sergio which, I am sure enrich my future play.

It was completely enjoyable to play before people after a half year. Also, I am very thankful for Sergio to give me such a chance, I am happy to be able to play in Costa Rica, yay! Moreover I am glad that I could get in touch with Costarican people particularly in Ciudad Colon through music.

Today's repertoires
1. Bach: Arioso
2. Saint-Saens: Allegro Appasionato
3. Villa-Lobos: Bachianas Brasileiras No.5
4. Schubert: Ave Maria
5. Schubert: Serenade
6. Faure: Elegie
7. Mascagni: Intermezzo Sinfonico
8. Villa-Lobos: Bachianas Brasileiras No.2
9. Saint-Saens: Swan
10. Popper: Govotte
Ancore: Luis Castillo: Luna Liberiana

*Here is a link of a news letter of my university. In the page 4, you can see my report regarding this concert.

http://www.allianceforupeace.nl/Uploaded_files/Editor/file/Newsflash%20UPEACE%20October%202010.pdf






9月25日、コスタリカ人チェリストのセルヒオヌニェスさんとシウダット・コロンのシアターにてコンサートをしました。シウダット・コロンは首都のサンホセから約20km北に位置し、人口は約15,000人、私の大学がある街でもあります。

チェリストのセルヒオさんですが、このシウダット・コロンの文化センターの館長さん。ブラジルの大学で音楽を専攻し、その後、修士をベルリンでされています。

シウダット・コロンのシアターなのですが、結構年季が入ってて、建てられたのは1946年ってかかれてた気が・・・・すごくシンプルな収容人数200人のこじんまりしたかわいいシアターです。

土曜日だったこともあり、学校の友達が多数見にきてくれ、会場は満杯!わーい!みなさんからたくさんお暖かいお言葉をいただきました。ありがとうございます。

セルヒオさんのようなチェリストと演奏をさせていただけるのは、私にとっても本当にいい経験。ベルリンで培ってきた彼の音楽性が、練習しているだけで、吸収できる!やった!!新しい発見もたくさんありました。ピアノがもっとうまくなりたいと思った次第です・・・それから、何より音楽で地元の人と交流ができたことが一番の収穫。音楽で平和を作っていこうとしているので、その第1の足がかりになりました。

*大学のニュースレターにコンサートのレポートが掲載されましたー!4ページ目です。ご覧ください!
http://www.allianceforupeace.nl/Uploaded_files/Editor/file/Newsflash%20UPEACE%20October%202010.pdf

Entry: Midori

Thursday, 1 July 2010

Singing in Manila マニラにて歌う。

It's been almost three months since I came here. Time flies, indeed!

A new life brought me some fresh energy, and I am filled with happiness, thankful for this wonderful chance to be able to realise my long-time dream: study!

So, I have come to be given a chance to sing for the first time in the Philippines after a long time concentration on studying. This was for a party which was organised at a student residence where I live in on the 29th June.

I sang "You raise me up" which has been one of my repertoires in our activity in Niigata.
The second one was "Kanayo Kanayo(愛よ愛よ)" by Natsukawa Rimi. I felt a bit
weird to sing them without the cello, but somehow I made it!




12月から新潟→仙台→マニラと移動。マニラには4月にやってきましたが、既に3ヶ月が経とうとしています・・・・うーん、時が経つのは本当に早い・・・!

私の新しい生活=学生生活ですが、新鮮がエネルギーをもたらしてくれています。勉強できることに感謝しない日はないくらい・・・・自分でもそれにびっくりなんですが・・・・ずっと留学を目指していたからかな・・・いいことですね!

さて。私が今住んでいる学生コンドミニアムにて、パーティーが行われ、歌を歌わせていただきました。歌ったのは"You raise me up"と”愛よ愛よ”(夏川りみ)です。新潟でもよく歌ってたナンバー。当日はちゃんと電子ピアノも準備しててくれて・・・。チェロなしで歌うってのが、 とても久しぶりだったので、何かが足りない気がしたりもしましたが、無事終了。

ってあとで知ったのですが、これただのパーティーじゃなくって、若い学生さんが自分の音楽を発表するタレントショーだったらしい・・・・何だか賞品ももら えたらしく・・・・ごめーん!知らなかった・・・・ちょっとですが曲がりなりにも一応一応音楽でお金をもらっていた私がこれに参加してはいけなかったよ ね・・・・ともらった賞品を見ながら思うのでした・・・・


文責:みどり

Thursday, 1 April 2010

One of our repertoires "Swan"

This is Swan composed by Saint Saens, French composer. This has been one of our favourite pieces!

For the first time we played it, we were running late for Open Mic in Gioia Mia and rushing into there from Niigata uni Ikarashi Campus. So(?) our play ended up with tempo allegro. Ms. Kawamura (from Castoir muse) described this as "Speedy Swan" lol! Indeed, it was way too fast. Gradually our Swan was becoming calmer and calmer ;))

This video clip is from the Jazz Street Festival which took place in January 2009. AJ is explaining in Japanese in the clip if it can be a "duck" not a "Speedy Swan".


video

Entry:Midori

Friday, 19 March 2010

Thank you everybody for your support!!

A set of pictures from the events posted here so far that includes some of the people around us who have joined our presentations and/or the after-parties!!





There are some other pictures from other events that were not included here, such as the Niigata Symphony Orchestra or with the wedding crew in Nagaoka or with a cello solo event at an Italian restaurant... and in Midori's case for her previous work as a Music Teacher in a Junior High School (Please feel free to include others that include friends you wish to aknowledge Mi)







Entry: AJ

Mitsubashi Nursery Schools !!

This time I had the chance to play at 2 Nursery Schools from the same owner.
This event was viewed by babies from a couple of months old to 6 years olds and a few parents..

On this opportunity I played cello solo, and it was quite a task since they are so tiny.
To my surprise, they were so attentive it was really hard to believe that I was playing for such a young crowd.

The main idea of this presentation was to take the kids through a world of music they know, to a classical world they can learn to understand ...or at least not fall asleep over!!
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Well, basically it worked this way;
First I played some Disney and Jibri they are familiar with (or at least the story line) and then moved into a little more dangerous waters with Prokofiev's "Peter and the Wolf" explaining the melody line for each character and then asking them to follow those themes in the main story. In the video you can hear some kids saying KOWAI! when the Wolf melody appears.. quite funny..
And at the end I played Swan (Saint Saenz) and asked them to make a story this time..
And also asked to remember the duck from Peter & Wolf's story to compare.
It worked out great!!

Next time I will try to get them a little more engaged by asking them to help me imitate the sound of the characters or for higher grades, asking them to act it out.
Well, I'm thinking out loud here, but I will consider some of this for next time.

Entry: AJ

What comes next for Azur Indian??

The sweet and sour news is that Midori San is going away from Japan. Sweet, since Midori, recieved a scholarship to study abroad at the United Nations Mandate University for Peace (clap, clap, clap..) and sour for the obvious reasons.. although, the Duo will go own with another pianist which I would like to introduce here: Hatsuki San !!
There's a video in this posting where you can see how nicely she handles the crowd.
.. I hope that the same rythm will prevail for Azur Indian.

On this note, I would like to state that AI is everybody that plays in it, and therefore, I hope that the new musicians that Midori encounters in her new postal code can be included in this blog as Azur Indian!!

Hoping to keep this blog going, I would like to present the latest event in Toyano High School, made possible thanks to a english student at the NHK cultural center where I teach.

The kids were gathered around in a 50 minute presentation that included a video in the background composed of theme pictures from Honduras in hopes to get some questions at the end of the music/speach performance. The pieces played this time included some Disney and Jibri themes but at the end mostly classical, since the level of the students is a little higher and you can present a variety that goes hand to hand with their music curriculum.

This time we are trying to stimulate all senses at the time to see what works best. The response from the kids was quite active, which is a lot to say for other presentations were it's usually not the case.
They came up with some interesting questions from the pictures and the presentation about Honduras.
I was really satisfied with this event!
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Entry: AJ

Monday, 22 February 2010

Repertoires that I want to try

1. Schumann, Fantasy Pieces 2nd movement
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rAcvpFap8Ow

2. Franck, Cello sonata A-dur 4th movement
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vj_9OvG9pj4

Both pieces are played by Jacqueline Du Pre who was an English Cellist. Her talent bloomed when she was very young, however; she has past away when she was 42 years old. Her Stradivarius was inherited by Yoyo Ma later years.

For any musical instruments, if it is a quality one, the price comes along with it....! Or is it vice versa like expensive instruments makes quality sound?? Anyhow, Stradivarius must be with so many many many zeros on its price :))

String instruments always captures my inspiration and makes me feel like playing immedietly whenever I see. Then I always start playing it when I get this feeling, but the problem is my skill.....I cannot make beautiful sound at all!!!

When I was assigned to work in Zimbabwe in 2004, I bought a violin and brought it with me, because technically taking my piano was impossible :)). It is indeed easy to take to everywhere and I really appreciated during 2 years of my stay there.

I have always loved the violin since around 8 years old if I was not wrong, I would ask my mom to take me to violin lesson. I was already learning piano at that time, so my sister was taken to violin lesson instead :(.

I finally managed to start leaning the violin when I was 12 at junior high school. We had music class focusing on strings, and at the end of the year, we presented what we learnt in the graduation ceremony. I kept learning the violin in the following years in the same school and chose it as the second instrument in the university. But I had to admit that I started it too late. It's a little sad that I still haven't obtained natural playing posture regardless to the years of learning!

Suddenly AJ gave me a new violin for my birthday, and it was such a nice one for my level! Not only the violin itself, but also changed he to good strings. This encouraged me and made my motivation at the highest level and put myself to practice the violin more! So, now all I have to become is.....just to be good! The meister from a violin atelier we visited told me some tips when playing.

To talk to the violin gently "make a beautiful sound"....... :))
My favourite Vienna from a mountain♪
***********************************************************************************

すごく挑戦してみたい曲。

1. Schumann, Fantasy Pieces 2nd movement
(シューマン作曲、ファンタジー第2楽章)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rAcvpFap8Ow
この曲、なんだか「古きよき時代」って言葉が似合う・・・・。

2. Franck, Cello sonata A-dur 4th movement
(フランク作曲、チェロソナタ ロ長調第4楽章)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vj_9OvG9pj4

ここに載せた2つの映像はJacqueline Du Preが演奏しているもの。熱がこもった演奏が印象的です。ジャックリーンは幼いころからその才能を開花させたのですが、残念ながら病気のため42歳でこの世を去っています。ジャックリーンが使っていたストラディバリウスは後にヨーヨーマが使っているんですね!(Jacqueline Du Pre)


どんな楽器もだと思いますが、いい音がでるものはいいお値段がしますね。お値段がいいものはいい音を出してくれるのか・・・ストラディバリウスって億単位かな・・・・。


弦楽器を聞くと猛烈に弾きたくなる!(ピアノでも同じか・・・)

ジンバブエで音楽を教えることになったときにバイオリンを購入して行きましたが、なかなかの安物で(笑)。私の技術と相まってのこぎりのような音を出します。で、去年の誕生日にバイオリンをいただいたのですが、これがなかなステキな音を奏でてくれます。弦もいいものを張ってもらいました。あとはうまくなるだけ・・・・!楽器屋さん曰く、バイオリンに「きれいな音を奏でて~~」と語りかけながら弾くといいとか。
(珍しく二人で弦を弾いているところ@open mic)

ということで、上記二つの楽譜を購入しますーー!あとはクリックのみ♪

Entry: Midori

Niigata international film festival 14 Feb '10 にいがた国際映画祭 

Niigata city's annual event "Niigata International Film Festival". This event brings interesting movie from all over the world, particularly from Asia region every year, and lasts for one week. And they have 20th anniversary this year! Congratulations!!

This event is organised by citizen volunteer, funded by the Niigata city. I can imagine how hard it is to organise such an event working together with all the involved people. Furthermore, it has lasted for 20 years, there must have been people's hard work, cooperation and struggling behind. However, the reason it lasts for so long is that people involved are enjoying all the process. It surely is a great event in terms of synthesising people and city.



We were honoured to be able to play in such a prominent event! The theme for this year was "Popular cinema music from 80's to 90's". Therefore our repertoires corresponded the request from the volunteer committee regarding this theme.

1、Unchained melody from Movie "Ghost".
2、Pretty Woman from Movie "Pretty Woman".
3、Shounen Jidai (=Boyhood) from Movie "Shounen jidai".
4、Manatsu no Kajitu (=Fruit in summertime) from Movie "Inamura Jane"
The event started with Shim san's (Niigata city's Korean translator from Pusan) leggiero MC, first Shim san introduced himself in Korean, Antarqui did it in Spanish, and I did it in Shona (the main language of Zimbabwe) which we surprised audiences. We could see many people from the stage including a lot of our friends! This really made me feel that our activity is supported by many many good friends.

This event was particularly important for Azur Indian as well, as it was officially going to be the last performance in Niigata. I really liked the 4th piece which was "Manatsu no Kajitsu (Fruit in summertime) because of the beautiful accompaniment line even for the piano part. As for the cello, it usually takes the role of melody line (which I envy!), but it usually does not happen to the piano when it comes to "accompaniment" not piano solo. So, I sometimes make a trick for my satisfaction when I do arrangements, I make piano part more melodic and insert a lot of accompaniment of the cello for the piano melody ;)). Did you notice?? Unfortunately I didn't do that for this event...

I came to Niigata from Sendai this time, because I already moved back to Sendai in December. This place has indeed become my second home and probably I will hold this special "LOVE" forever♪ It was very funny that my feet automatically headed to my old flat after getting off the bus or I bumped into friends on the bridge.... :)) Everything made me feel that I was home, but actually it was not anymore. Life always goes on like this, maybe it's needed when you wanna get something new in your life. It is a little melancholic, but this might be what everyone experiences more or less in order to move on.

From April on, I will move to Manila and afterwards to Costa Rica to do Master's degree in Peace Building at University for Peace (http://www.upeace.org/). My main focus will be Peace Making through Music. As for Antarqui, he remains in Niigata and continue this music project. If you have any request, please get in touch with him! The contact e-mail also does not change azur.indian@gmail.com


Entry: Midori(partially AJ)



新潟市で毎年行われている「にいがた国際映画祭」。普段映画館ではなかなか見れない映画もたくさんあります。そして今年は20周年記念!おめでとうございます。市民のみなさんの手で立ち上げて、作り上げるのは本当に大変なことだと思います。それが20回を迎えるのならなおさら。愛されている映画祭なんですね。さて、20周年記念ということで、80~90年代に流行った映画音楽を演奏させていただきました。

レパートリーは・・・・
1、アンチェインドメロディー (映画「ゴースト」より)
2、プリティーウーマン(映画「プリティーウーマン」より)
3、少年時代 (映画「少年時代」より)
4、真夏の果実 (映画「稲村ジェーン」より)

↓こちらビデオ。
Thank you for the post Mi! Sorry to cut off here but, I wanted to include the video for that event also. I hope the transitions from the excerpts included in the video are to people's liking. (stay tuned, since at the end of it there's a small interview about us)



軽快なシムさん(韓国からの国際交流員)の司会で始まったコンサート。ステージから見えるNext21ホールの客席にはたくさんの人!知っている顔もたくさん!私たちの演奏活動は周りの人に助けられているんだと改めて実感。

特に今回は私たちの活動の節目のコンサートということで、とても思い入れがありました。4曲目の真夏の果実、ピアノの伴奏はメロディックで弾き応えがありました。チェロは基本メロディーラインということもあり、美しいメロディーのものばかりでしたね。ちょっとうらやましい(笑)。今回はしませんでしたが、通常私がアレンジする場合は、ピアノにもスポットライトが当たるように編曲したりしています・・・・・。

今回、わたしは仙台からの遠征でしたが、新潟が第2の故郷になっていることを実感(笑)。バスセンターに到着して万代橋を渡り始めたところで自転車に乗った友達に出くわすわ、そのあと無意識に自分の前の住処に向かっているわ・・・・そして友達・知り合いたち。雪がまだまだ残り天気も悪かったですが(コンサート当日はなんと珍しく晴れていました!)私の心はほかほかでした。 「ありがとう、新潟!!!」

私は4月から国連平和大学修士課程に進学予定で日本を離れますが、アンタルキは新潟に残り演奏活動を続けます。演奏する機会などありましたが、ぜひお声がけ宜しくお願いします。連絡先は変わらず azur.indian@gmail.com です。



文責:みどり(と一部AJ)