Hill with a view of the harbor - what changes and what remains

港の見える丘 ー 変わりゆくもの、そして残るもの

While attending Yokohama International School (YIS) from elementary school to high school, it takes about 20 minutes from Ishikawacho Station on the Keihin Tohoku / Negishi Line to "Harbor View Park" with a heavy American-made cello case. I still remember clearly that I climbed many times. (Maybe it was a good muscle training to look back on now!) Passing through Motomachi, climb the stairs on the road next to the foreigner's graveyard (there are some inclined steps, so be careful when it rains) and take a breath. Arrive at the summit while letting you hahaha. There is no convenient Minatomirai line that goes directly to the Toyoko line or Fukutoshin line, and the place called "America Yama Park" is also surrounded by a fence in a wasteland-like place, and entering that area is among friends. It was treated as a test of courage. When I walk in America Yama Park now, I'm a little happy to know the old "wasteland". I feel that I am in the transition of history in the same area.

In this column, I would like to talk about the Yokohama area where I grew up since I was in elementary school and my musical activities. Now, as a cellist, he mainly plays classical music, but he has the opportunity to play a wide range of genres of music such as tango, jazz, popular songs, and popular music. In particular, Shanti Dragon 3 (trio), who is still active in the trio, was the catalyst for playing genres other than classical music. Although the group name at that time was different, the trio Akemi Hayashi (piano, composition and arrangement) and Mr. Kongo (saxophone) had the opportunity to play together from junior high school and high school, and even on the CD "Yume Futaya". I co-starred when I was in high school. It is a great honor to be able to perform in this way with the two of us who have been calling us for many years.

The Yokohama International School campus moved to Honmoku from January 2022, and my father, who loved the Motomachi area, passed away in 2017, so my attachment to the Motomachi area has become stronger in recent years. It's coming. His father, Morgan Gibson, was a poet and a longtime professor of literature in Japan and the United States. After his death, he translated some of his father's poems into Japanese with his mother, who is a professor at a university of literature, and read aloud with improvisation at the live performance of Shanti Dragon 3. I remember my father, who loved the Motomachi area, chatting over a huge latte at Starbucks.

(Harbor View Park) Provided by: JapanTravel.com

Originally born in Michigan, USA, I started learning cello at Suzuki Method at the age of 4, moved to Japan at the age of 6, and attended a public elementary school in Mihama Ward, Chiba City for about two years. In the area surrounded by the housing complex, there were almost no foreigners, and I remember that my father and I were extremely prominent. After that, I wanted to improve my English, so I decided to move to Yokohama and attend YIS. For me, Yokohama (especially around Bluff) at that time was like New York. There are students from different countries in the class, and you can hear a wide variety of English. Scotland, Australia, New Zealand, Denmark, Norway, United Kingdom, China, South Korea, Japan and so on. It was a blessed environment where I could come into contact with various English. And the English spoken by teachers and students had their own individuality. (For example, when a teacher from New Zealand pronounced "disc", it took me some time to understand that it was a so-called "desk.") Now that I think about it, I learned not only from the curriculum but also from such experiences. There were many things. In terms of music as well, I gradually began to study reading music from the Suzuki Method, which emphasizes playing from the ears, and gradually became able to perform ensembles, etc., despite repeated confusion.

When I was in the upper grades of elementary school, I became fond of pop music such as GLAY and Spitz, so I decided to learn bass guitar in my neighborhood, so I called the classroom I found on the town page and visited it. (At that time, internet search wasn't a major game yet.) Unfortunately, my bass guitar didn't improve and I ended up with a fever for a while, but I decided to learn solfege and piano in the same classroom, and I met Dr. Akemi Hayashi for the first time there. It was. As a piano student, I think that even Bayer was very poor, but I was invited to play jazz with Mr. Kongo and play original songs, and I played at a jazz shop in the Kannai area. As a culmination, I co-starred in a concert with readings in the hall of the Yokohama Museum of Art. For me, who knew almost nothing but classical music when playing the cello, improvising while listening to the chords was a shock to change the language, but even though I didn't understand the theory at all, my ears grew up in the Suzuki method. May have helped me. I was fortunate to have an early opportunity to perform at a jazz cafe or hall, as well as at the set-up recital.

The performers make music with the audience, but all the events such as live performances at jazz stores where personal interaction is possible with the corona whirlpool and salon concerts with food and drink have been canceled or the scale has been reduced. I am very sorry for that. Humans are creatures of habits, and habits create culture. I would like to continue my efforts as a performer (while paying attention to infection control) so that such customs, culture, and art will continue in the future.

Shanti Dragon 3 is mainly active in the Yokohama area, but the theme is "songs" that transcend genres. I think there are some songs in every culture in the world, but I think songs grow up in culture and hum without knowing it. The flow in which the song was born and raised is connected to the song that is newly born in each performance. I think that the performers and the audience will inherit what is contained in the song, such as singing that cannot be explained by the score alone, a little timing, or a scene that comes to mind when singing. The "Variations" format, which is often used in jazz, is often used in the performance of shanti dragons. Through improvisation, the songs are unwound and bundled, thoughtful, the instruments are entwined, and then the song returns to the first simple song. The audience claps their hands, tells us what they remembered through the song, and each other influences each other, and the music continues to the next.

In my performance activities, I would be very happy if I could listen to "songs" across genres, play while valuing their inspiration, and deliver something that touches my heart to those who listen to it. As a place where I grew up from elementary school to high school, the history of Yokohama has had a tangible and intangible influence on me. There is a moment when I suddenly remember the old days while taking a walk while gazing at the changing cityscape. I hope I can play that kind of performance. I want to cherish the things that change and the things that remain.


Shanti Dragon Trio
Shanti is a Sanskrit word meaning "inner peace." The dragon is not a dragon captured in Europe and the United States, but a dragon that symbolizes the powerful and auspicious power in Asia, and is the god of water.
The shanti dragon was originally a duo of Akemi Hayashi and saxophone Kongo, but when the cellist Christopher Satoshi Gibson, who was also a student of Hayashi's piano and solfege, participated, it was written as shanti dragon 3.
The beginning of this trio will be the Yokohama Museum of Art Hall concert at Yokohama Art Live 2003, a CD / dream lid night composed by Akemi Hayashi of the same year, and a recording. In addition, we have actively performed volunteer performances at facilities for the disabled.
Christopher Satoshi Gibson left Japan and went to an American university to suspend trio activities, but after returning to Japan, he joined Shanti Dragon again in 2019 while playing an active part in various scenes. Resumed activities as Shanti Dragon 3.

Akemi Hayashi (piano, composition and arrangement)

Pianist, composer, arranger. Born and resident in Yokohama.
From an early age, he studied piano, electronic organ, and piano under his relatives, Minoru Matsuya and Midori Matsuya. Under the guidance of both of them, he was exposed to a wide range of music from classical to contemporary music, popular, pop, and jazz, and started playing while attending music college.
After graduating from the University of Music, he established the Maple Piano School (Isogo-ku, Yokohama) after working as a lecturer at the Yokohama Contemporary Conservatory, a music class instructor, and a solfege instruction at the Yokohama Municipal High School Wind Music Club. Taking advantage of his career as a piano teacher and his experience as a player, he strives to teach younger generations from infants to adults.
Concerts sponsored by Yokohama City, Yamate Seiyoukan (British House, Berrick Hall, Bluff No. 18 Building) Sankeien "Moon Moon Party Concert", Yokohama Jazz Promenade, etc. There is. There are more than 100 original songs, including songs recorded on CD, which have been announced to play many original songs. So far, 5 CDs have been released.
Volunteer performances are also actively participating.

Christopher Satoshi Gibson (cello)

Born in Michigan, USA. Started cello at the age of four. Participated in the summer program of Tanglewood, Indiana University, Interlochen while in high school. After graduating from Yokohama International School, he entered Yale University in 2005 and majored in philosophy and politics.
While attending school, he passed an audition with cellist Aldo Parisot and studied cello under Pierre Fournier's youngest disciple, Janos Starker's assistant, Ole Akahoshi of the János Conservatory. He also studied chamber music under Wendy Sharp of the Conservatory. In 2009, won a prize at the same university FOM competition. In the winter of 2012, when he won a prize at the Newcomer Audition of the International Performers Association, he received a compliment from one of the judges, violinist Narimichi Kawabata, as "a performance that can enter the world of music."
In 2017, under the auspices of NPO Emotion in Motion, the "BACH Solo" unaccompanied cello recital series was held at Minatomirai Small Hall, Tiara Koto, Tokorozawa Muse, and Suntory Hall "Blue Rose". Co-starred with violinist Ikuko Kawai on TV Tokyo's "100 Years of Music" program recording and concerts, BLUE NOTE TOKYO (2020), Cerulean Tower Noh Theater (2019), Mitsukoshi Theater (2018), etc. Active mainly in Tokyo, Kamakura, Nagano, etc.

Kongo (saxophone)

Started saxophone at the age of 12 and studied under Mr. Hisashi Muta (Chairman of the Japanese Band Directors Association, former Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department music team leader) and Mr. Minoru Suda (Professor of Musashino Academia Musicae). Joined Yanagisawa Wind Instruments Co., Ltd., one of the world's three major saxophone makers.
After working in musical instrument manufacturing, research, instructor, and managerial positions, he became independent. 1995 Established Congo Saxophone Studio to start saxophone repair, lessons and performance services. Jazz Life magazine's best newcomer award at CD / OUR TRIBAL MUSIC released in 1997. Following the resignation of the Yokohama City Board of Education, he has been a lecturer at Yokohama City Minato Commercial High School for four years. In addition to concerts and recordings at Yokohama Museum of Art Hall, Minato Mirai Hall, Kanagawa Prefectural Music Hall, Sankeien, Yamate Seiyoukan, etc., Yokohama City University Hospital and facilities for the disabled and welfare facilities in Tokyo, Kanagawa, Kyushu, and Hokuriku We are also actively engaged in volunteer performance activities.
Co-starring with top Japanese musicians, musicians from England, Italy, Switzerland and France, calligrapher Midori Nakatani, butoh dancer Kazuo Ohno, actor Stiart Burnham Atkin, reading Kodamaro, important Mr. Park Kiyoshi Mochizuki, an intangible cultural property holder, and others. There are many collaborations that transcend genres. He also teaches a civic saxophone ensemble that plays mainly in Bach's chorale.
Several CDs and DVDs have been released so far.

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