A university orchestra concert

Last night, I have been to a concert of the university orchestra I used to belong in the med school days. It was held in Kawasaki in Kaganawa Pref. The same hall as I went to listen to them in Nov 2013. It took me 2.5 hours to go there door to door.

It has been a joint orchestra of two universities since its beginning. Everything has, of course, changed since the days I was in it. Only the same bassoonist still remains as a trainer. There have been a number of different conductors taking the baton of the orchestra since our days. Yoshitomo Kawachi, the conductor, used to be a young and hopeful one in our days. The only thing unchanged is the ardent enthusiasm of the young people as players in the orchestra.

The seats behind the orchestra were not used. The front seats were all full. I had got the hall 10 minutes before the concert started. But I had to go up to the 4th floor for a seat.

The program was as follows;
Dvorak Carnival Ouverture Op92
Dvorak Cello Concerto B minor Op104
Sibelius Symphony Nr1 Eminor Op39

I was overwhelmed at the gorgeous dynamic sounds of the orchestra again. The contrabass and the brass have roared as if from the base of the ground. The woodwind instruments were all lovely and beautiful. The other string instruments were well trained and accurate. The step wise floor of the performers might be of help for them to see the conductor. The Einsatz was excellent. There were a few mistakes such as imperfect attacks of some wind instruments. Overall performance was really impressive for a universities' orchestra.

I was interested in the cello soloist, Y. Kigoshi. Honestly speaking, this concerto seemed overburdened to him at his age, I am afraid. He used to be a promising young cellist when I started cello. I have ever listened to a master class he played the very same piece. I can't remember who has taught him then. He has long taken the seat of top cellist at NHK Symphony Orchestra, one of the most famous orchestras in Japan. Having retired that position, he seems to teach cello to students at a music university. Even for such a performer, this concerto seems a tough one. He played Saraband of Nr2 Unaccompanied Suite by Bach as an encore. It was really excellent. His Stradivarius has spun a tune of deep emotion in a very natural way. It was worth attending to this concert only to listen to this piece. The program said he had loved the Unaccompanied Suites so much that he had been performing them as his life work.

Considering of the nature of university orchestra, I must admit almost all members are exchanged in 2 or 3 years. The concert master/mistress or the part leaders may take their part only for a year or two. They are devoted to this performance as if they were inflaming themselves at that moment. 

As we used to over 40 years ago. 


Petite Suite by Debussy

This season in early summer reminds me of this piece by Debussy. Petite Suite. It is often played by 4 hands duo of piano. But I prefer the orchestral version. Wood wind instruments sing beautiful songs. 

It is a kind of primitive program music and maybe not satisfactory to those loving his later works in impressionism. But it is still a fantastic and charming piece.

I have played this piece at the university orchestra over 40 years ago. We started practicing it in this season of a year. Crisp breeze was blowing among trees. Sun was gently shining. Whenever I listen to flute solo in the beginning of En Bateau, the fond memory is coming back in my mind.

Crapping Prime Minister

The G7 Summit held in Ise Shima of Japan has been over.

Our Prime Minister has emphasized the recession of the world economy in his address of the chairman. According to his view, the economy is at the risk of depression comparable to the Lehman Brothers' shock in 2008. He wanted the other countries to make monetary easing to deal with the situation. What a crap! Lehman Brothers' problem was due to the credit crunch caused by the bubble of financial capitalism starting in '90s. Abe should have analyzed the mechanism of Lehman Brothers' shock to deal with it.

All he announced there was to carry out the monetary easing all over the world. Even in the credit crunch, that easing might be of help only transiently as well as superficially. The effect won't last long and would leave deep side effects of unstable economy in the world, as it does right now.

Proposing a bubble economy world wide, he intended to mask his failure of his economical policy in our country. It was another intention in this statement to deffer consumption tax hike in our country. It was for the upcoming national election in our country in July. The Summit was to discuss what was going on in the world and how they should deal with it. Abe has tried to take advantage of the meeting for his egoistic purpose.

Abe should have picked up the problem of tax haven for the agenda. Tax haven has the asset of ten trillions USD all over the world. It is a result as well as a cause for the economical disparity all around the world as well as in a country. Tax haven is an unfair system. It is used for laundering money from crime or for a route of bribe around the world. It also reduces the tax revenue, which imposes us more tax.

Abe has been telling lies at the Congress. He seems to have believed the same tactics could do at such as g7 Summit.


Opening to the Western Eu at midnight to dawn

Getting up early in the morning, around 3 AM, today, I have cooked the 2nd lot of strawberry jam. Too much strawberry has been harvested now and I decided to store it as jam. Since I was too awake to get back to bed, I switched on the radio. Twenty meters seemed to be wide open to Europe. "Wide open" means that there is a good path to the Western Europe".

Once calling CQ, I have had a small pile up from Europe. Among endless calls of big signals from the Eastern Europe, there were modest signals from DL or G land calling me. I tried to pick them up first. I have had nice QSOs with them in chain for a while.

I asked good friends of mine, Knut DK5AD and Rupert G3SQD, how the ragchewers' activity was there. I thought the desperately low activity of conversational CW could have been a regional problem. We are far away from the areas with dense population of those operators in North America or Western Europe. Both of them, however, answered of pretty low activities there. Rupert was optimistically telling me they had gone for some other activities in summer. Knut was a bit more serious. He has mentioned of the high activities of contest on the contrary to declined ragchewing. I wondered if there had been more ragchewing going on in the Western Europe, which we could hardly listen to due to the hard path over the north pole.   

In response to Knut, I told my rather pessimistic view on the relationship between contests and conversational CW. Recent surprising increase of contests in number must be based on the recognition of those organizing their events that there is a sharp drop of overall activity in ham radio. They must be intending to activate it with contests or with other competitive events. Ironically enough, it seems to have suppressed or decreased the overall activities other than those events. That reverse relationship might be explained in a few different ways. Basically, ragchewing and contesting are heading quite different ways. The old timers used to enjoy both. But, nowadays, contesters are doing their activity as if it were a game. No human relationship in it. I haven't told Knut up to this depth. It is still what I think of this problem.

Anyway, it is not good to make any conflict with those enjoying contests. We should do what we believe right and enjoyable. If young new comers enter this hobby, they might judge which is more enjoyable and ever lasting. Thinking of such a thing, I have enjoyed very nice chats with them and a few others. I would get up early and try to catch them again soon.       


67th Birthday

It is my 67th birth day today. Not a deep emotion at all but I feel I have reached this point of my life now. I still feel as young as my 20s of age. But the physical condition or the environment makes me convinced I have come this far now.

It is one of the most beautiful and comfortable seasons here in a year now. Crystaline blue sky with tender breeze. Crisp and dry air. I am still grateful to my parents who have given life to me at this time in a year and have cared for me with mush affection. I know I owe not only to them but also to many people around me, dead or alive. For example, I used to ask a constructor who was a patient's father to build the fence all around the property. At that time, I was very critical to those constructors since I had experienced bitter things with them in the construction of my clinic. I was critical to that person as well or have not believed in him. Now I know he has done a great job with the fence. I should have thanked more to him. Other than this, I still remember many people whom I should thank for their kindness and faith in me. It is the time when I often recall of them and thank to them in mind now.

This photo was taken at a sanatorium for tuberculosis patients my aunt had managed around WWII. Me as a toddler between my father's knees. My sister on the left of me. Aunt back left of my father. I was born there and had spent a few years until my parents decided to make Exodus to Tokyo. It was a small society based on Christianity. We were all very poor but have had hope and love as the name of this sanatorium expressed, the Sanatorium of Faith and Love. I have written about this place in the past post. I should appreciate all the love my parents have given to me there. My aunt had also taken care of me even after I grew up. I often remember of them and ask myself if I haven't had anything I could do for them.     

I feel I am getting free from the desires I have had. No need for a good car nor good clothes. I should get ready for the further elderly days. But anything more is unnecessary to me. This might reflect the change as a living being getting into the elderly age. But being free from these things is a real blessing.

Two things I would pursue from now on. One is to study more about history, politics and the other knowledges the old people have left us. I am feeling dizzy when I find so many things to study. But not time limit is imposed on me. I would go on reading and thinking of those things.

The other hope is that I would play cello a bit more. Since I have had the cataract surgery, I have almost perfect vision, so that I could read score of music almost freely. It was another blessing to me. I know it is quite difficult for me to progress with it for now. But I still do with it and have fun in music.

It is a reality my memory is getting worse and physical capability is getting lessened day by day. It is the time to lose things more than to obtain at this time in my life. But I still believe that the good thing is left ahead in my life and, with appreciation and gratitude to the people and the circumstance around me, I would go on this year of 67th from today.


Strawberry jam

Strawberry is getting ripe at the same time. I have harvested over 1 Kg of the fruits. Strawberry is difficult to preserve. 

A friend of mine suggested to freeze them. When eaten, they should be broken to pieces and be sprinkled with some sweet. I have frozen some of them and enjoy them in that manner in mid summer.

The rest was used for jam. Much sugar and lemon were added to the fruits and cooked until they became liquefied. It was stored in boiled glass wares. 

I remembered my father used to make the same kind of jam by himself. Some bottled blueberry jam is still somewhere in the kitchen. It won't be edible any longer. But it tells us how he has lived.

I wish there were some friends or kids close to us. I could have given them some of the jam products. 


Helmut Rilling

Yesterday, I happened to find a set of CDs of B minor Mass conducted by Helmut Rilling with Gaechinger Kantorei and Bach-Collegium Stuttgart. Before going to bed, I listened to it for a while. It sounded in the same way as I had listened to him conducting Stuttgart Bach Ensemble playing Matthews Passion in Tokyo in late '70s. Warm hearted Bach was there.

I was in the anatomy training at that time. The 3rd grade of medical faculty. One time, a teacher asked us if there was anyone who would like to listen to that Matthews Passion right on the day. I raised hand for that. Earlier than ususal, around sunset, I hurried to NHK Hall in Shibuya, where the concert was supposed to be held.

It was an overwhelming performance. One of the very few musical experiences that I was moved not only emotionally but also in the depth of existence. Warm heartedness in this tragic passion has kept me. I still remember Rilling conducting passionately and the bass singing the part of Jesus. That bass singer has sung the bass part of the chorus in the final piece hanging his head down. It seemed everyone has devoted to the music in that way. My anxiety. worry and difficulty in life was, even if for a while, relieved listening to that performance.

Wondering how Rilling was doing now, I have googled about him. He seemed to have retired at the age of 80 years 3 years ago. I knew that he had been working at Oregon University. It was a surprise that Bob W6CYX had told about him being invited as a conductor at Carmel Bach Ensemble years ago. I guess I have already told about it somewhere in this blog. I felt Rilling had linked me and Bob through the concerts in Tokyo and Carmel.

A video clip of a lecture concert in oregon in 2010. He must be around 77 years old at this time. Still very sharp and active. He gave a good lesson about the first 3 pieces of this enormous work. Based on his hard work on Bach, his performance still sounds warm hearted to me.



Contesters' activities

It has been a few years since I joined CWT last time. I am the least and last foundation member of CWops. I knew why they have founded this club. And I wanted to activate it by own way. But CWT has become only a contest, which I am least interested in. I won't do that again. 

My concern is that there are very few CWT participants heard in the other occasions than that event. I wonder if they are content only with that event and won't operate radio any more. Before it started, quite some of them could be heard for plain QSOs. It might not be my business but just curious to know how they are doing.

If someone takes statistics as for how the participants of CWT are spending time on the air in a week, it must be an interesting one and suggests something about the relationship in contesting and the other type of activities.

Honestly, I feel contesters won't make any conversational QSOs and could be very inactive before and after any contest. I won't blame that. It is up to them. But if the new comers are getting into this contester's way of operation, it may lead to vanishing this hobby as communication.

Seeing a friend in UK

I woke up this late and, as usual, sat before the radio. Forty meters was already dead for NA. I came up to 20m, where I found it fantastically open to Eu. G3XZG, Jeremy, has given me a call. I remembered that we had met a year or two ago even though I forgot of his name or the set up. He was running barefoot with a wire antenna. It was not difficult for me to read him with that set up tonight.

Jeremy is 63 years still working. He runs a straight key very fluently. I was impressed at his smooth keying as if perpetuating. He had come home early and started watching the band then.

I asked him how the news on Panama Papers had been handled by the mass media there. He answered it was not in the topic any longer. The issue if UK should stay in Eu or not has been on the mass media. I knew it was a really important thing for the people there. UK is, however, involved in the tax haven at various places in the world, I guess, so that the issue of Panama Papers should have been reported more.

He told me his daughter in law had been working at Toshiba Co. there. She has been worrying about its problem. Yes, the top management staff had been involved in a series of accounting fraud for years, so that the financial results were terrible for now. She knew a division of the company had been sold to make up the big deficits. The division sold was a company manufacturing medical devices, which was located some 20 miles north of my home. She knew the things were getting better. I told him the real reason why Toshiba went into such a financial crisis that the management staff had to make the accounting fraud was their failure in investment into the nuclear power plant business. Anyway, I wished her good luck for her career. The world is really small. And we are related each other in this way. I learned that from this conversation.

Unfortunately, it is often difficult for us to enjoy such meaningful conversation on CW nowadays. Nevertheless, when we could do that, it gives us much satisfaction. I  would catch Jeremy again soon and want to know if he could transit to retirement successfully as he plans in 2 or 3 years.

A trip to Tokyo

I have been to Tokyo yesterday. I was going to attend an ensemble class in a downtown named Shibuya. Though it is a famous place in Tokyo, I have never got off the station of Shibuya for decades. The outlook was quite different from what I had known of the town. There were a lot of new buildings. Construction around the station was also going on. I was totally lost by the drastic change of the town. When I told them about being lost on cell phone, a person in the class has kindly come to bring me up to the place. He might have taken me for an old fellow from countryside being lost. It was not really far from it, I must admit.

Having been lost on the way, I could not take lunch before the class. And the program of the class was different from what I had heard of. The other string quartet of Haydn was practiced there. It meant I had to play it at first sight. Even pretty simple quartet by Haydn was a terrible torture for me to play at first sight. All of these made me deadly tired even though the class itself a young violinist had taught was stimulating and informative to me.   

Almost falling asleep on the train back home, I was wondering if I could go on coming to Tokyo for ensemble or orchestra from now. It reminded me of a memory that my father used to attend to a bible class held in Tokyo once a few months. He used to attend it every Sunday when he lived in Tokyo. But, owing to the distance from Tokyo and to his age, he could not go there in that way any longer. Wasn't it the same as my trip to Tokyo for music activity. He was always looking forward to going there. It seemed he had literally revived after attending to the class. Seeing old friends must be a factor why he had become vivid that way. Whatever the reason might be, he was really lively and refreshed after the trip to Tokyo. I might look a bit vivid after this trip, as my wife told some time ago, even if I felt physically very tired.

Maybe, I would return to Tokyo for another music activity. But I wonder how long I could do that.

I got fallen asleep on a couch before TV and woke up this late again.


Meeting a gardener

My wife's flute teacher has introduced us a gardener. It was difficult for us to care for trees in the garden and yard by ourselves, so that we needed to do that for us. He has visited us this morning and has looked around for an hour. He was told to have started working as a gardener recently after retiring early. Gardening must have been his hobby for years. He seemed to know of gardening and of trees/plants pretty well.

It takes him a few days to care for all trees and plants in our property. We have discussed how to do with them. Really numerous trees.

This is Katsura, that is, Japanese Judas tree. He was first fascinated by this tree. A perfect shape of outlook. he has exclaimed of that a few times. This tree must have been grown here spontaneously. It must be almost half a century of age for now. Without any competing trees around it and with futile soil, it must have grown in this way, as he commented. Fortunately, it is too high for him to cut the branches and the trunk. We should ask another gardener capable of that.

This chestnut tree is also pretty old. And it should be pruned later. This tree bears a lot of fruits every fall. It must be planted by my father about 35 years ago. There are 3 of Dogwoods on the back. They should also be pruned or would grow much higher.

I have posted the photos of this plum tree here many times. The gardener was again amazed how vivid it looked like. It was also planted by my father some 20 years or more ago. Recently, it has failed to bear many fruits. But the gardener told us to enjoy the beautiful flowers in spring. Yes, it blooms like cherry flowers every spring. 

Other than these, we could name the trees in the property as follows; Crape myrtle, Sasanqua, Camellia, Hydrangea, Fragrant olive, Maple, Ume, Meadowsweet, Holly, Rose, Magnolia and so forth. Some grown naturally while the others were planted by my father and ourselves. The gardener has realized us how we have been blessed with those plants/trees. So far as we live here, we should care for them as a kind of family members. 

In the end of interview with us, he wanted to see Katsura again and smiled at it. He seems to love deeply plants and his job for them.


PLC case has been turned down but still has been a great step

It has been 7 years since the group of Toshi JA1ELY et al brought the suit of the PLC;Power Line Communication or BPL against the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications. As well known, PLC was to work as LAN within houses and was highly suspected to cause much disturbances to such as amateur ham radio or radio astronomy since it utilized broad band HF for communication. Toshi and the group has questioned of quite probable interference to the other communications. I was one of the plaintiffs.

The group has lost the case at the High Court recently. They have very little possibility to win at the Supreme Court, so that they have given it up now. Toshi has sent an e mail to give the final report to those involved in this sue case. It attached an article by one of the two lawyers in charge of this case. It says the judge at the High Court has explained in detail why they have dismissed the claim. One reason was that the plaintiff could not show actual interference cases. The other was that the technology of PLC had been behind the age for now. Such explanation on the reason of judicial decision was exceptional as the lawyer said. The judge has acknowledged PLC could cause interference and the governmental authority did not measure the common mode current in proper way. 

At such an administrative litigation, the courts always turn it down at once. This case was really exceptional and leaves a good example the administrative office should be open to the public as for introducing such a new technology which could cause damage or interference to people.  

Toshi, an avid DXer, has suffered from lung cancer on the way. in such health condition, he still has done a great job together with his group even if the case was turned down. It is still a great step for those struggling against environmental pollution etc.  


Spring struggle

Pulling weeds, mowing the lawn, caring for vegetables and so forth. I am kept busy.

Germinated pea plants got out of the vinyl tunnel and are supported with poles.

The zelkova tree. It has been pruned but is still growing. It was like early summer today.

The rice paddy next to our home in the northern direction has been watered. My signal might be a bit louder for the coming couple of months thanks to this pond.

A plant of broccoli has bloomed. It was not intended.

There have been a lot of honey bees working at these flowers. And I could not cut and plow the land yet. So far, it is the turn for the bees. Where are they coming from?

So far, struggle in the garden will go on.