<Chapter 1> Activities of Amateur Orchestra and Cultural Activities (1)

“Playing instruments is not about making sounds. It is one of the ways to understand the spirit of music.”

We find beauty in classical music, playing it and listening to it. I think the effort to understand the classic deeply and the fact that it has a deep connection to establishing your own identity is buried in oblivion. In fact, I believe many people are aware that music is not only by means of reaching the sublime soul.

French painter Degas once said, “Making a sketch is not about shapes. It is about the perspective.” Likewise, we can say, “Playing instruments is not about making sounds. It is one of the ways to understand the spirit of music.”
(May 1990)

Among all different genre of groups, orchestra enables many people to participate at the same time with a common goal, and function as creating emotions and will. Therefore, unlike any sports, orchestra has a great educational aspect, as there is no fixed number nor substitute when it comes to members. I believe it is worthwhile to overcome any obstacle to make orchestra happen.

Today, amateur orchestras in Japan are seen everywhere. A determination to perform at a concert has become that of the past. However, the next hurdle awaits us. We need to face fundamental issue of our role as musical and a humanly group, as well as our significance of existence in the society.
(June 2008)

In an amateur orchestra, it is a mix of genuine musicians (this does not mean professional players) and non-genuine musicians in terms of technique and as a human being. “Genuine musicians” are proud of their group and always compassionate about other members; they know what they lack and always work hard.
(October 1991)

Frankly speaking, to be an amateur means you face and get the picture of your “karma.” I believe “to love yourself through creation” despite of immature techniques, inferior physical fitness, and inexperience, is what amateur is all about. I would say there is no other way to save and release yourself other than continuing to face your origin.
(July 1976)

The word “amateur” is about us, but somehow the word does not fit me as if it would in ordinary clothes. Is it because of a slight insult that I feel from the word “amateur”? Alternatively, is it because I feel discriminative feeling of “amateur” as an antonym to “professional”?

The origin of the word “amateur” comes from “amare” in Latin, literally meaning “a person who loves to do something.” It had no meaning of inexperienced person in the beginning. During the period when there were no occupation as professional musicians. Whether he/she was a master or ordinary player, every players was “amateur.” Soon after musician became a skilled job, starting to make living by it, the definition of “amateur” changed to define unprofessional players.

Reluctantly, the word “amateur” became where it stands today in the course of human history, but I cannot ignore the fact that we amateurs use this word as an excuse for musical immaturity or use as indulgences. Do not we get too excited when people flatter us, yet we are tough on professional players? We shall all understand how such attitudes have deteriorated our meaningful activities. This is a result of “playing music moderately as a hobby, not working too hard, operates the group democratically with a joy.” Though people might see me as a heretic, I shall fight to change “club of cronies.” I believe that who never ignore, but try to solve such problem becomes “amateur” into “citizen.” I believe the continuous effort like a prayer to feel the hem of Muse, is what righteous activity is.
(October 1989)

In this era of abundant food and clothing, what does “life” exist for, if he/she does not release oneself for something one can be satisfied without overcharging and disinterested motives? Perhaps he/she is ignoring the inner willingness to grow spiritually by evading this point in their daily life.

At any point of their life cycle, from the youth driven by proof of being alive, to the people with mature age with inspiration, we shall aim for a hometown that will firmly and gently accept all passions of its people. True lifelong education exists upon mental independence of individuals
Is it possible for us to actualize ourselves in a more “flexible” and “strong” manner in this discontinuous era? It is the number of people who do not just participate to events and projects on a commercial basis, but rather people who are “unaware of what to do but have a desire to do something and create something” that determines the cultural level of a city. Therefore, it is necessary to obtain a space where people gather and weave the intellectual history of a city.
(May 1994)

What activities should the citizen orchestra do in its hometown? It would be less enjoyable to perform as an alternative of professional orchestra. Amateur orchestra shall be high quality orchestra with members as its citizens, and not just as an audio device to bring Beethoven’s Symphony and people in the region together. The orchestra should be musically high quality, have wide range of views and adventurous spirit to embrace different genres, and make a colorful performance with various vegetables. Above all, the citizen orchestra shall aim for a significant existence recognized by the society that brings pleasant subjects to the citizens of the region. I shall keep working hard to accomplish this aim with my fellow friends in all over Japan.
(June 2006)