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Organ オルガン

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If you want to be proficient in one thing, you must keep at it for at least ten years.  Have you heard that?  I have been studying organ for almost ten years and I am still far away from that level. I am still struggling.

I did play in a concert in May the Chorale No. 3 by Franck.  This Chorale was the last piece Franck wrote.  He was himself an organist and composed many organ pieces.  This is a beautiful piece, indeed, a very cool piece.  Rehearsing on the pipe organ in the large sanctuary of St. Mary’s Kerrisdale with a full organ sound was thrilling.  I loved my solitude.  Giving a concert to myself was overwhelmingly pleasing.  However, a month before the concert I needed to drop everything and fly to my father in Japan.  He was having a kidney operation. When I came back, there was only a week left to the concert. I drove one hour every morning to the Kerrisdale church to practice and by the concert day I got to be pretty confident about my performance.

I don’t really know what happened.  Was I over-excited?  I thought my head was pretty calm….but obviously not.  The beginning of the piece which was like a storm, became uncontrollable.  I started out playing in a killingly fast tempo, and I fell.  Then, slow quiet chorale tune comes.  I breathe.  Thinking in my head, when the next storm comes, I should stay calm and play slower.  The moment later, I began in a killingly fast tempo again.   My head went spinning… uncontrollable. I fell.

I was angry.  I was disappointed at myself.  I was sad that I could not convey the beauty of this wonderful piece.  How I wished I could play it all over again…..

I found myself waking up at 2AM that night, and performing in my head the same piece all over again.  This is just not right…. I cannot stand this any more.  I should stop performing organ.  I don’t dare want to feel this way ever again. Turning right and left, lying on my back, moaning and sighing, I stayed in bed awaken.

Next morning, as I opened my eyes after a bit of dozing, I thought I heard a voice.

“Don’t forget, remember, that what matters is the process, not the result…..”

As my head starting to clear up a little, I thought, yes, that is true.  I really did have a great experience every day of the week rehearsing.  I have not had that level of thrill and passion for a long time.  Sure, if I were much younger, I would have advanced hugely every time I played in a concert.  Now it’s a different story.  However small it was, I had a step forward.   I should be content.

OMG, again, my focus was all on myself, and I had forgotten to feel how blessed I was…..

 

オルガンを始めてもうかれこれ10年になる。何事も10年は続けなければものにならないというけど、私の場合はまだまだ未だに苦闘を続けている。でも5月末にコンサートでフランクのコラールの3番を弾いた。 オルガニストであり、多くのオルガン曲を作曲したフランクの最後の作品で美しくて何よりとてもカッコイイ曲だ。特に大きな教会で大きなパイプオルガンで大きな音でたった一人で弾きまくったとき、なんとも言えないゾクゾクするようなスリルと満足感がある。何ヶ月も前から練習は続けていたもののコンサートの一ヶ月前から日本に行かなければならなくなって中断。日本から帰国して慌てて、一週間、毎日片道1時間かけてケリスデールの教会に通って練習した。かなり自信があった。絶対うまくいくと思っていた。

ところが。。。落ち着いていると思っていてもオーバーエキサイトしていたのか。。。嵐のように始まる曲の私の頭の中の嵐がすごすぎて、とてつもなく速いスピードで弾き始めてしまって転んでしまう。途中、ゆっくりの静かなコラールにきてほっとして、次また嵐がきたら今度こそゆっくりめに弾こうと頭で思いつつ、ときがきたらまたもや速く弾きすぎてしまう。転びっぱなしで散々。

なんとも悔しく情けない。素晴らしい音楽なのにそれをうまく伝えられなかった自分が悲しい。もう一度弾きなおすことができたら。。。帰宅して寝ていても朝方の2時頃ガバッと目覚め、気がついたら頭の中でガンガン演奏し直している。もうこんなことは2度とごめんだ。もう人前で演奏するのはよそう。悶々と眠れない夜を過ごした。

翌日、うたた寝から目覚めてぼーっとしていたら、私の頭の中に「声」が聞こえてきたような気がした。「結果が大事なんじゃない。そこに至るプロセスが大事なんだ」急にスキッとしたような気がした。そうだよなあ。コンサートの前一週間は楽しい体験をさせてもらったよなあ。久しぶりに体全体でゾクゾクドキドキして昂揚したよなあ。10代や20代の頃はコンサートのたびに大きく前進したものけど、もう今は小さな小さな歩み。でもおかげさまでちょこっとでも前進したではないか。よかったじゃないか。そんな風に思えて嬉しかった。

 

Author: Haruyo Abramson

I'm a musician, mom, and grandma, living in BC, Canada with my husband and three dogs.

3 thoughts on “Organ オルガン

  1. Your vivid writing made me experience your experience.

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  2. On “Organ”, I attended the concert as well. Haruyo’s was the most challenging and best performed piece of all the organists. Afterwards, the best organists in the city came to congratulate her on her performance. Reading this, I wonder if all of them feel the same way, highly self critical and discounting the praise they receive.

    It’s the same for me. No matter what others say, I am my worst critic.

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  3. In my field of business administration scientific writing, we have the saying that you must write for 10,000 hours before you’re consistently good writing for refereed journals. At 2500 working hours per year, assuming you have other work duties (teaching & service, that could easily be ten years as well.

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