Odyssey concert season is programmed 1-2 years in advance, and it may not have been a coincidence that I was inspired by a trip back to my native country this summer - for the first time in 15 years. It had been a conscious, decision if not superfluous reason to avoid the visit for so long: The only time I am free is in the summer, and I absolutely despise its hot, humid, tropical conditions. This summer, even the people of Japan were complaining what blazing heat that haunted them this season, so you can just imagine...
After Peter's concert in Tokyo, we had the privilege of visiting numerous temples and the ancient Imperial Palace. Despite cicadas' intolerably noisy cries (Japanese summer is famous for them) and the thick, unbearable heat, an extensive walk amidst the famed, beautiful gardens in the temples and palaces strangely seem to cleanse one's soul and spirit in peace. It was the calmness - similar to pure relief - quite different from any other.
I am delighted that we will be opening Odyssey's new season with "A Taste of Asia," where I will have a chance to share with you transcriptions of some familiar Japanese folk songs. There will be plenty of Asian-inspired sounds to enjoy throughout the concert, in addition to erhu, a popular Chinese instrument however unfamiliar in Western art music, in a new medium coupled with a modern piano. This concert is generously co-sponsored by the MU Asian Affairs Center.
Please be sure to join us for the Asian food fest after the concert and greet the musicians!
See you soon-