I received a request for a column on the theme of "Kanagawa and art", and I would like to write mainly about the Yamate district of Yokohama City, which is my favorite walking course and has many opportunities to perform.
Before that, let me briefly introduce our music unit.
It is a rather unique trio consisting of piano, cello and saxophone which I play. The unit name is Shanti Dragon Trio, and the members live in Yokohama and Kamakura respectively. Each member is doing various music activities besides this trio.
Shanti Dragon Trio Shanti Dragon 3
Piano composed and arranged by Akemi Hayashi
Cello Christopher Satoshi Gibson
Sax King Kongo
The performances are diverse, from world songs and Japanese songs to nursery rhymes, folk songs, popular songs, movie music, classics, originals, and others.
Now, back to the topic, there are many historic Western-style buildings left along Yamate Hondori, the main street of the Yamate district. Bluff No. 18, Diplomat's House, Berrick Hall, Ehrismann House, Yamate No. 234, Yokohama British Pavilion / Yamate No. 111, etc. Each Western-style house has its own unique structure and atmosphere, and many Western-style houses have pianos in them, so our unit has many opportunities to perform.
Bluff 18 has organized several summer concerts so far. The piano on display is a 100-year-old piano (Matsumoto piano made in Japan), which was built with fewer keys to match the dimensions of Japanese houses at the time. Thank you.
At Berrick Hall, we collaborated with performances and French cuisine. A French cooking class instructor in Motomachi, Yokohama, prepared small dishes for about 80 people, including guests, staff, and performers. Tasting with customers after the performance. Of course, we and the staff also had it, but the food in the aura of the Western-style building was very delicious.
The Western-style Ehrismann House next door is built in Motomachi Park. The basement is a hall, and the performance will be performed while looking at the greenery of the park that spreads through the window. Last year, due to this corona disaster, we held a concert commemorating the 90th anniversary of the opening of Motomachi Park with the audience reduced to one-third.
Beyond the Ehrismann Residence, the Western-style building next to Minato-no-Mieruoka Park beyond the foreigner's cemetery is Yokohama City British House. I have performed here many times. The garden that can be seen from the window of the hall is very beautiful, and the rose concert at the adjacent rose garden "English Rose Garden" is a pleasant memory. The sweet scent of roses drifting during the performance was wonderful.
Yokohama International School is located in front of the British House in Yokohama City, and Sun Maur International School is located near Ehrismann's residence. By the way, Shanti Dragon Trio member Christopher graduated from Yokohama International School and then went on to college in the United States.
I mainly play the saxophone, but I have a student who plays the trumpet. After six years of lessons, I went to study abroad and after returning to Japan, I am working as a respectable member of society. I'm not a brass instrument expert, but by the time my students graduated, I was able to play Haydn's Trumpet Concerto. It is the result of the hard work of the students.
The history of wind instruments in Japan, such as trumpets and saxophones, actually began in the Yamate district. The British and French armies were stationed in this area as the Meiji era and the times changed, but the army had a band. It's called a military band.
The military band performed at Yamate Park, and at Myoko-ji Temple on the way down from Yamate to Honmoku, the "Western music trainees" of the Satsuma clan received instruction at the temple from the British Army Military Band Commander stationed in Honmoku, Yokohama. It is said to be the beginning of Japanese brass band.
My previous occupation was wind instrument manufacturing and research, so this Yamate area has a special meaning for me besides performing. Now that Yokohama is changing at a dizzying pace, Yamate Hondori is one of the few places that still retains the essence of old Yokohama. And after all, the Yokohama Yamate area gives our performances a special tension.
From here in Yokohama, Shanti Dragon 3 intends to send out even more attractive performances.
Shanti Dragon 3 / Shanti Dragon Trio
Shanti means "inner peace" in Sanskrit. The Dragon is not the dragon that is seen in the West, but in Asia it is a dragon that symbolizes powerful and auspicious power, and is the god of water.
Shanti Dragon was originally a duo of Akemi Hayashi on piano and Soukon Kongo on saxophone, but when cellist Christopher Satoshi Gibson, who was also a student of Hayashi's piano and solfege, joins, it is written as Shanti Dragon 3.
This trio began with the Yokohama Museum of Art concert at Yokohama Art Live 2003, the CD/Yume Futaya composed entirely by Akemi Hayashi in the same year, and the recording. In addition, he has actively performed volunteer performances at facilities for the disabled.
Christopher Satoshi Gibson left Japan and went to college in the United States to temporarily suspend his trio activities, but after returning to Japan, he participated in Shanti Dragon again in 2019 while he was active in various scenes. She resumed her activities as Shanti Dragon 3.
Pianist, composer, arranger. Born in Yokohama, currently living in Yokohama.
From an early age, he started playing piano and electronic organ, studying piano under Mr. Minoru Matsutani and Mr. Midori Matsutani, who are also relatives. Under the guidance of both of them, he came into contact with a wide range of music, from classical music to contemporary music, popular music, pops, and jazz, and started performing while attending music college.
After graduating from a music college, he worked as a music school instructor at the Yokohama Contemporary Conservatory, and as a solfeggio instructor at the Yokohama Municipal High School Brass Band Club before establishing the Maple Piano School (Isogo Ward, Yokohama City). Taking advantage of his career in piano instruction and experience as a player, he strives to teach younger students from infants to adults.
Concerts hosted by Yokohama City, Yamate Seiyokan (British Pavilion, Berwick Hall, Bluff 18th Pavilion) Sankeien "Moon Viewing Concert", Yokohama Jazz Promenade, etc. Performing in various places, mainly in halls and live houses in Yokohama and Tokyo. there is He often performs original songs, and has released more than 100 original songs, including those recorded on CDs. Released 5 CDs so far.
Volunteer performances are also actively participating.
Born in Michigan, USA. Started playing the cello at the age of four. Participated in summer programs at Tanglewood, Indiana University, and Interlochen while in high school. After graduating from Yokohama International School, entered Yale University in 2005, where he double majored in philosophy and political science.
While still in school, he passed an audition with cellist Aldo Parisot and studied cello under Ole Akahoshi, the youngest student of Pierre Fournier and a longtime assistant to Janos Starker, at the Yale School of Music. He also studied chamber music with Wendy Sharp of the same conservatory. In 2009, he won a prize at the university's FOM competition. In the winter of 2012, when he won the Newcomer Audition of the International Association of Musicians, he was praised by violinist Narimichi Kawabata, one of the judges, as "a performance that allows you to enter the world of music".
In 2017, under the sponsorship of the NPO Emotion in Motion, the “BACH Solo” unaccompanied cello recital series was held at Minato Mirai Small Hall, Tiara Koto, Tokorozawa Muse, and Suntory Hall “Blue Rose”. Co-starred with violinist Ikuko Kawai at TV Tokyo's "100 Years of Music" program recording and concert, BLUE NOTE TOKYO (2020), Cerulean Tower Noh Theater (2019), Mitsukoshi Theater (2018). Active mainly in Tokyo, Kamakura and Nagano.
He started playing the saxophone at the age of 12, studying under Hisahisa Muta (Chairman of the Japan Brass Band Teachers Association, former head of the Metropolitan Police Department Band) and Minoru Suda (Professor at Musashino Academia Musicae). Joined Yanagisawa Wind Instruments Co., Ltd., one of the world's three major saxophone manufacturers.
After working as an instrument manufacturer, researcher, instructor, and manager, he became independent. In 1995, he established Congo Saxophone Studio and started saxophone repair, lessons and performance services. 1997 Released CD /OUR TRIBAL MUSIC, Jazz Life Magazine Best New Artist Award. Received an appointment from the Yokohama City Board of Education and worked as a lecturer at Yokohama Municipal Minato Commercial High School for four years. In addition to concerts and recordings at Yokohama Museum of Art Hall, Minatomirai Hall, Kanagawa Prefectural Ongakudo, Sankeien, Yamate Seiyokan, etc., Yokohama City University Hospital, and facilities for the disabled and welfare facilities in Tokyo, Kanagawa, Kyushu, and Hokuriku. They are also actively involved in volunteer performance activities.
He has performed with top Japanese musicians, as well as musicians visiting Japan from England, Italy, Switzerland, and France. Bokusei Mochizuki, holder of intangible cultural properties, and others. There are also many collaborations that transcend genres. He also teaches a citizen saxophone ensemble that plays mainly Bach's chorale.
Several CDs and DVDs have been released so far.