Kees Wieringa in Hirado (Japan)

September 8, 2006

We started our trip in Amsterdam. Almost we missed our plain in London because of a big delay of our plain from Amsterdam. The first thing i have bought at the tax-free shop in Amsterdam was a roll-piano, a very funny thing: a rubber roll with piano keys and as small electronic part with a synthesizer in it. I thought it would be maybe a problem in Hirado to practice on a piano.
Arriving in Hirado my apartment (more a house) looks great. It is very big with two sleeping rooms and a big kitchen.

September 9, 2006

First thing I saw in my apartment was a kind of 'bird spider' so big as my hand. I am not afraid of Dutch spiders but this size frightened me very much. I asked one of the committee members Mashida to look to the spider. He came and said: 'Give him a name and he will be your friend'. I asked him if the spider was dangerous, he said it is not dangerous but he was also frightened to catch him. Later at the evening, after the welcome party I asked Alex to look to the spider. He catches the spider after a wild run and now, the spider is sitting under a pan.
I leave him there. I have slept only for one our that night.

September 10, 2006

We had an opening of the studio of Alex. I have performed some short pieces on an electric piano. The sound was not good but for the moment it was okay.
Same public as at the welcome party. We had dinner in a very special restaurant, it is called ‘Hana’. The cook is very active and you can see how he prepare the dishes.
Very good cooking, not expensive. So it will be not the last time to visit him.

September 11, 2006

Meeting with the commitee to discuss all the workshops and concerts. Also meeting with the major of Hirado. Nice person. After the meeting I went to some temples, it was already dark, and made extremely nice recordings of crockes, all kind of sounds.
Now I am editing these sounds for my composition about Japan. When I look left i see some ‘kakkerlakken’ on the ground of my appartment. I will kill them with my shoe.
Good night, i say to my self.

September 12, 2006

I had a meeting with the elemetary school in Hirado about the coming of my two children to Hirado. They will go to school from september 25, every day! Without translation. Maybe it is cruel but it is an experiment. After the visit I have practice on the grand-piano of the culturel centre. It was great to feel a real piano after one week, it is like a woman. After practising we went with my translater Ymke to an elementary school, 93 children! It was a workshop and concert. Very nice children, not poisened with computer, games and terrible toys like in the west but very pure people. I liked it very much. Already I have a painfull neck because of the bad weather so i went to a massageplace, not far from my house. They make my neck back to normal. After a pizza and a short walk i am now back in my great house and give all the greatings to my bird-spider in the kitchen who is still alive!

September 13, 2006

We went with Ymke to elementary school in Tsuyoshi. It went well but the children looks very shy. We had lunch with them, it was big fun, the children are very serious with their food. So funny to see. My pain in my neck became worser and I asked the commitee if there was a massage possible. The proposed one of the best in Hirado. When I came there it was not nessecary to take off my t-shirt. He did the massage with my t-shirt on! In Japan, they don’t like physical contact!

September 14, 2006

We had a meeting with pianiste Youriko and a friend of her. After the meeting they asked us for lunch in a very luxuous restaurant. Alex and I couldn’t denie and it was big fun. At the end they asked us to pay for our selves!
Still I don’t understand the Japonnees people.
In the afternoon there was a jamsession planned. There was a saxophoneplayer asked me to play a song of the Carpenters. I said that I am a classical pianist but he couldn’t understand. After a short misunderstanding I gave a short presentation and in the evening we had a birthdayparty of a fisherman. We stay in his house in Nambu for sleeping. It was great, to be in such a place, far from everything.

September 15, 2006

In the morning the fisherman asked us to join him on a trip on sea. This was a great experience!. High waves and a small boat. I saw for the first timde the coast of Hirado very clear. It is so beautiful!
After this trip we went back to Hirado for a rest and in the evening i gave a concert in the Sake factory. The concert went very well. Also i did quatremains with a local pianiste. She was very talented. After some sakes we went back to Hirado.

September 16, 2006

today i gave a serious piano lesson to the daughter of Yamaguchi. She is 16 years old and very talented. The only thing is that she has not enough influenses from Europe and from the classical way of playing. I have told her. In the evening it was for me the most exciting evening of my stay here. We start for the second time the rehearsal for the Music Ensemble with musicians from very different backgrounds. It was not only fun but very serious way of making music with the combination of holy temple music, choir, various Japanese instruments, wind instruments, percussion. We tried to make soundscapes with only one or two notes. It was in my perception magic!
Tomorrow a free day, I will go to Nagasaki!

September 17, 2006 typhoon

Early in the morning I depart from Hirado with Alex to Sasebo. We had heard about the typhoon but we took the risc and take the bus. When we arrived our friends from Hirado called us to come back to Hirado because the bridge would out of order in the afternoon. Alex went back, I wanted to visit a percussiongroup in Sasebo. They gave a wunderful concert in the Cultural Centre of Sasebo.
When i wanted to go back, indeed the bridge was closed to Hirado so I decided to take a hotel and stayed in Sasebo for one night during the typhoon.
It was a lot of rain, more than wind, the streets where full of water but nothing dangerous happened.



September 19, 2006 Oshima

We went to the island Oshima by boat. After a short tour around the beatiful island i joined a class at the junior highschool. The music teacher start to sing the school song with the children. After a short rest I start to practice in the huge sporthall anex converthall. I saw on the stage a taikodruk and ask the school if there was a musician who could play on the drum. The music teacher came to the hall and we tried to perform the Solodevildance of Simeon ten Holt for piano and druk! It was great and in the evening we gave the performance together for 250 listeners. In the night we went back to Hirado on a special boat, chartered by the commitee. A great day!