Today we had our yearly concert at the Hyogo government building as a thank you for their support of HPAC. There were some tickets available to the public, perhaps 150 or so, and apparently over 1,000 people applied to have the privilege. There is so much support here. It is a really wonderful community in which to be making music.
And it was interesting to be in a Japanese government building. I wish I could be a fly on the wall during session. About 3 minutes before the beginning of our concert, most of the politicians' seats were still empty. But predictably punctual, they all appeared. As they entered they bowed to those already in the chamber and when they reached their seats they bowed to the front of the room, or to us, I'm not sure which. Some of them, out of autopilot, raised a black column at their desk, presumably some sort of name tag used during sessions. Those that did this quickly smiled to themselves and lowered it, their eyes realizing that something in the room was not as usual today: a symphony orchestra.
It must be a wonderful thing to feel the vibrations of music in a space that seldom has reason to grace them. As musician, I always enjoy bringing music to places that rarely hear it; academic classrooms, businesses, political quarters. The politicians were deeply moved, and in an act atypical to Japanese tradition, rose to their feet in appreciation. Maybe no one told them that you don't do that in Japan. But perhaps you can do that anywhere.