28
Nov
11

Concert Agenda 2011/2012

Agenda 2011-2012

  • SONG RECITAL

Kanako Inoue, piano

26 November 2011  20:15

Paaskerk, Baarn, The Netherlands

http://www.baarnsemuziekkring.nl/

  • BELCANTO EVENING

Students of Henny Diemer

9 December 2011 19:00

Fentener van Vlissingenzaal – Conservatorium Utrecht, The Netherlands

Free Entrance

  • IVC ‘S-HERTOGENBOSCH PRESENTATION CONCERT

Quarter finalists of 49th IVC in 2012

11 December 2011 15:00

Theater aan de parade, Den Bosch, The Netherlands

http://www.theateraandeparade.nl/voorstelling/2514//ivc_presentatieconcert/

  • CHRISTMAS CONCERT

Vocal Studio32 Utrecht

16 December 2011 19:00

Utrecht University, The Netherlands

www.uu.nl

  • SONG RECITAL “VERBORGEN JUWELEN”

Internationaal Kamermuziek Festival, Music & Artistic Director: Janine Jansen

Kanako Inoue, piano

30 December 2011 12:00 and 15:00

Fundatie van Rendswoude, Utrecht, The Netherlands

http://www.kamermuziekfestival.nl/

  • SONG RECITAL – HET DEBUUT CONCERT TOUR 2012

Kanako Inoue, piano

8 January 2012 11:30

Theater aan het Vrijthof – Maastricht

http://www.maastrichtnet.nl/

  • SONG RECITAL – HET DEBUUT CONCERT TOUR 2012

Kanako Inoue, piano

11 January 2012 20:15

Muziekgebouw Fritz Philips, Eindhoven, The Netherlands

http://www.muziekgebouweindhoven.nl/home

  • SONG RECITAL – HET DEBUUT CONCERT TOUR 2012

Kanako Inoue, piano

13 January 2012 20:30

De Harmonie Stadsschouwburg, Leeuwarden, The Netherlands

http://www.harmonie.nl/Harmonie/ListShows.do

  • SONG RECITAL – HET DEBUUT CONCERT TOUR 2012

Kanako Inoue, piano

17 January 2012 20:15

De Vereniging, Nijmegen, The Netherlands

http://www.nijmegenmuziekstad.nl/concertagenda.html#A

  • SONG RECITAL – HET DEBUUT CONCERT TOUR 2012

Lunch Concert Recital (30 minutes)

Kanako Inoue, piano

25 January 2012 12:30

Het Kleinezaal, Concertgebouw Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Free Entrance

http://www.concertgebouw.nl/

  • SONG RECITAL – HET DEBUUT CONCERT TOUR 2012

Kanako Inoue, piano

26 January 2012 20:00

Wilminktheater Muziekcentrum, Enschede, The Netherlands

http://www.wilminktheater.nl/

  • SONG RECITAL – HET DEBUUT CONCERT TOUR 2012

Kanako Inoue, piano

31 January 2012 20:15

Stadsschouwburg & Philharmonie, Haarlem, The Netherlands

http://www.theater-haarlem.nl/

  • SONG RECITAL – HET DEBUUT CONCERT TOUR 2012

Kanako Inoue, piano

1 February 2012 20:00

Vredenburg Leeuwenbergh, Utrech, The Netherlands

http://www.vredenburg.nl/

  • SONG RECITAL – HET DEBUUT CONCERT TOUR 2012

Kanako Inoue, piano

2 February 2012 20:00

Orpheus, Appeldoorn, The Netherlands

http://www.orpheus.nl/

  • SONG RECITAL – BERNADETA ASTARI EN DUO SAX & STIX

Duo Sax & Stix, saxophone & percussion

Kanako Inoue, piano

11 March 2012 20:15

Het Kleinezaal, Concertgebouw Amsterdam, The Netherlands

www.concertgebouw.nl

  • OPERA LE NOZZE DI FIGARO

Het Resident Artists Programme – Nationale Reisopera, Role: Susanna

13th April 2012 20:30 Première: Concordia Theater, Enschede

15th April 2012 20:00 Compagnietheater, Amsterdam

http://www.nationalereisopera.nl/resident_artists/#/resident_artists/

  • SONG RECITAL

Kamermuziek in Huis Voorstonden

Kanako Inoue, piano

22 April 2012

Oude of Pancratiuskerk, Brummen, The Netherlands

http://brummencultuur.nl/calendar/5/2012/04/22

  • SONG RECITAL

Kanako Inoue, piano

13 May 2012 10:00

Maarn, The Netherlands

  • FINALE VRIENDENKRANS CONCOURS/ HET DEBUUT 2012

Kanako Inoue, piano

Other finalists of VKHD 2012

3 June 2012 14:00

Het Kleinezaal, Concertgebouw Amsterdam, The Netherlands

http://www.concertgebouw.nl/

Bernadeta Astari, soprano; Kanako Inoue, piano; Photo by Marco Borggreve

05
Aug
11

Northern Sky

I dedicated today’s blog for one of the most accomplished british singer/songwriter, Nick Drake (RIP). On the spur of the moment, I decided to watch his life documentary ‘A Skin too few’ online. I fell in love right away when I first heard his music in the European music and history class at my school, Utrecht Conservatory of music. I remember, my teacher, Frank de Munnik was explaining about the history of British music. Like for instance they had Elgar, Holst, Britten in the ‘classical’ field. But they also had hug British ‘pop’ music culture which increase in the 60’s, like The Beatles of course, and also towards the simpler-folky one like Nick Drake.

He was born in Birma in 1948 from a quite wealthy rich family. His mom was a born-poet and singer. She composed some songs during her life, mainly for her children. Many people believe that actually Nick was heavily influenced by his mom’s style of harmonizing and also lyric writing. It wasn’t known that his mother might have wielded an abundant influence upon his music, as that film included a couple of recordings of Molly Drake that exhibited resemblance to her son. A couple of recordings of her playing piano and singing her own compositions, “Try to Remember” and “Poor Mum,” appear on the 2007 Nick Drake compilation Family Tree.

Nick Drake caught the attention of Joe Boyd, the producer of Pink Floyd, Fairport Convention, and The Incredible String Band. Boyd mentioned that he always had 2 baskets of audition tape in his office. One for those which are great to listen to, the other one is for those which are bad. And guess what, Nick Drake’s never went to any of those. He directly went to Joe Boyd’s contact list and right away asked him to record an album!

The first recording of his first album ‘five leaves left’ (1969) went very well, with help from his fellow musician, Robert Kirkby, it result to great original fresh folky tunes, with a very tasteful-clever touch of orchestration which succeeded to enrich Drake’s music. Though some people thought that his songs were actually sounded much better without the string ensemble. One of his famous number ‘River Man’ has touched me deeply with its wonderful lyrics:

Betty came by on her way
Said she had a word to say
About things today
And fallen leaves.

Said she hadn’t heard the news
Hadn’t had the time to choose
A way to lose
But she believes.

Going to see the river man
Going to tell him all I can
About the plan
For lilac time.

If he tells me all he knows
About the way his river flows
And all night shows
In summertime.

Betty said she prayed today
For the sky to blow away
Or maybe stay
She wasn’t sure.

For when she thought of summer rain
Calling for her mind again
She lost the pain
And stayed for more.

Going to see the river man
Going to tell him all I can
About the ban
On feeling free.

If he tells me all he knows
About the way his river flows
I don’t suppose
It’s meant for me.

Oh, how they come and go
Oh, how they come and go

—————————————————

That night, I reckon, “This is it. I found another one. A true poet”.

I was looking on almost of his lyrics. They are so fresh, exquisite, refine, simple, but deep. If you compare his music with nowadays music, his music/style was already much ahead than the others at that time. His music reminds me to the folky style mostly of The Cure and Kings of Convenience that has been quite popular these days. Even the famous jazz pianist, Brad Mehldau translates his music into piano and make covers of his songs. Guess Drake’s genuine music has stolen so many attention of many musicians from diverse historical and style backgrounds. I don’t know how to describe it properly about my obsession to Nick Drake’s masterpieces. But indeed I’ve found new inspiration for my music, my poem, and my life.

‘A Doomed Romantic’. That was what people entitled him as. Throughout his life, he suffered from Insomnia and abundant depression which often captured in most of his lyrics. He was a loner and a timid person. He spent most of his time with his guitar. He went to Cambridge to study English Literature. But after a while, he withdrew himself from the university. He refused to have concert tour or any commercial events to promote himself. So, it brought Joe Boyd to massive difficulties and bankrupt.

Drake started seeing psychiatrist after some time and kept taking anti-depressant pills, which later became an addiction. However, he achieved recorded his third album, ‘Pink Moon’. This time, he recorded the album with merely his voice and his fantastic guitar playing. After that, he decided to retire from music and went back to his parents house. Few years later in 1972, he suffered a nervous breakdown and hospitalised for quite sometime.

Somewhere in late November 1974, he died from an overdose of amitriptyline, a kind of anti-depressant. He left no trace. Some thoughts that he committed suicide, because of his asocial and great reluctance of meeting people. His death was a shocked for plenty British musicians at that time. They were in a huge loss, they claimed. His album remained unknown, until in 1999, his ‘Pink Moon’ was used in “Milky Way”, a Volkswagen Cabriolet commercial. Then in 2004, the single ‘River Man’ was in the UK top chart.

Once, Drake said to his mother: I wish I could help people with my songs. I will be very  glad.

Well, if you could hear this up there, YOU HAVE CERTAINLY HELPED ME IN MANY WAYS. Your lyrics inspired me so much. You may gone now, but I’m sure, you are still alive in many people’s hearts. Thank you so much, Nick Drake! Salute!

Northern Sky

I never felt magic crazy as this
I never saw moons knew the meaning of the sea
I never held emotion in the palm of my hand
Or felt sweet breezes in the top of a tree
But now you’re here
Bright in my northern sky.

It’s been a long time that I’m waiting
Been a long time that I’m blown
been a long time that I’ve wandered
Through the people I have known
Oh, if you would and you could
Straighten my new mind’s eye.

Would you love me for my money
Would you love me for my head
Would you love me through the winter
Would you love me ’til I’m dead
Oh, if you would and you could
Come blow your horn on high.

I never felt magic crazy as this
I never saw moons knew the meaning of the sea
I never held emotion in the palm of my hand
Or felt sweet breezes in the top of a tree
But now you’re here
Bright in my northern sky.

18
Jul
11

Hey Tuan!

Liriknya menangis kesakitan

Mintanya memeluk adinda

Silaunya tak karuan

Menusuk jantung kelana

 

 

Oh, apa salah dinda

mengagumi elok rupamu

yang tangguh dan merona

hingga duduk tersimpuh

 

 

Tak tahu harus sujud

Sila di depanmu, berkaca-kaca

Sambil bergumam:

Hey Tuan, bolehkah kita berteman sedikit saja?

*Dedicated to somebody untouchable

14
Jul
11

Opera ‘ATTIMA’, a Javanese Love Tragedy

          Not many people noticed that the Dutch colonization benefitted the Indonesian music culture by introducing indonesian music into the world of classical music. The opera, ATTIMA, ‘een Javaanse Liefdestragedie’ (A Javanese Love Tragedy) is a brilliant opera full of acculturation between eastern and western cultures. The music and libretto are created by Constant van de Wall, a Dutch composer who is very much inspired by the sound of gamelan and Indonesian typical pentatonic harmonization.

This opera is set in Java, where Attima, a Javanese dancer, is in love with Armand, a young french military officer. However, Kartono, one of the dancers in Attima’s gamelan group, also has feelings for her. He tries hard to ingratiate Attima in many ways. Eventually, she decides to leave the group for the sake of her beloved Armand. Kartono’s broken heart turns into a grudge. Another dancer from the group, Aissa, who loves Kartono, persuades him to kill Armand with a Keris (a dagger) she offered to him. He succeeds, and the desperate Attima suddenly stabs herself with the Keris, ending the opera with the tragic deaths of the two lovers.

Constant van de Wall (1871-1945), was born and raised in Surabaya, Indonesia. He spent his youth in Semarang, and became a ‘world citizen’ later on, where he and his wife, Maria van Noppen, a singer, travelled between Asia and Europe. Van de Wall studied music at the Hague, and then at Berlin Conservatory. In 1906, he was listed by the media as one of the most promising Dutch composers of the era.

One newspaper also showered praise by saying that his music is very original, filled with universal force, and also with aesthetic appeal. Van de Wall wrote many works in Indonesian and Malay music styles (or so-called Indië at that time) like Herinneringen uit Java, Javaanse Rhapsodie, Een Wajang-Legende (Ardjoena Huweelijkfeest), Tropennacht, Mohammedaans Gebed, and also an opera, ATTIMA, based on Javanese culture. He also dedicated one of his composition, Maleische Liederen for one of the legendary dutch classical singer, Tilly Koenen. Because of his fascination of Eastern culture, van de Wall was given the title: “Componist tussen Oost en west” (composer between east and west).

ATTIMA (means “heart” and “gold”), was first premiered on January 8, 1917, in Theatre Royal de l’Opera Francais de La Haye (de La Haye means Den Haag in that period), and was performed again in Koninklijke Schouwburg van Den Haag several years later. There are records of this opera being performed in Batavia, Indonesia, in 1922, but it was never mentioned exactly where. In 2009, I witnessed the reprise of ATTIMA at the Royal Schouwburg van Den Haag, to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Pasar Malam Besar in Den Haag. Pasar Malam Besar has been held since 1958 for people in the Netherlands to enjoy Indonesia’s cultural attractions such as traditional dances and gamelan performances, as well as Indonesian cuisines.

The composer included some traditional Javanese dance cycles, such as Dewi Sri dance (a type of harvest dance), which was cleverly combined with western music elements. What I found unique in ATTIMA, was how van de Wall created a story within story of the opera itself. In the Javanese dance sequence, van de Wall included some theatrical dance choreography which has a similar storyline to the Attima opera, which is about a princess who was plagued by evil demons, and then rescued by a prince and his Arabic friend. But the princess chooses not to be with the prince but his friend, whom the princess abandons later for a French soldier. Unfortunately the dance suddenly stops to represent the storm which destroyed the princess wedding with the French soldier.

The music itself is similar to Puccini’s Madame Butterfly, with lyrical romantic melodies that was the typical of late romantic opera. Both works were written in early 1900s, and both works had heavy influence from Eastern music.

ATTIMA is definitely not an ordinary opera. With the combination between unique eastern and western ambience, this opera managed to get the title, “The only ‘Indische’ opera written before 1945”. With so many opera company directors who were present last time in the reprise at the Pasar Malam Besar, I hope that ATTIMA could get a chance to be performed again on a larger scale, so that its popularity can be equated with romantic Verdi or Puccini opera. It is indeed a pride to see our culture showcased on an international stage.

Utrecht, June 5th 2011

Written and edited for the European art and music history class of Utrecht Conservatory.

13
Jul
11

Singapore Sky

Just wake up a while ago, turn on my mac, and shuffling on some of Nick Drake’s romantic masterpieces. The Singaporean sky is slightly brighter than 3 days ago. Just open some fashion sites. Vanessa Bruno just got her new collection for Fall-Winter 2012. Just browsing, scrunitizing on ideas, essays, and inspirative blogs.  I need to enrich my collection of thoughts and ideas.

Last night, I was asking to God. Why do you create different people, different colours, and different mentalities? What is the actual meaning of those differences if it makes people uncomfortable?

But.. do we have to feel uncomfortable or just accept and keep going on with what you believe? In this sense, struggling might not be the most correct word to use. Struggling: To make a strenuous effort; strive. No need to strive to adapt with the surroundings. Instead, we better to enjoy the time being there and learning other culture without feeling obliged to become one of them.

We should believe to what we believe, and be grateful to what we have got here. We do not have to be one of them, but be the genuine foreigner or even a stranger whom they believed and they could smile at.

Hey look, the sky is getting so much prettier just now!:)

 

10
Jul
11

Forgive me, my dear vocal chord.

Not long time ago I was struck by a very terrible stress. I had many stuff to do with little ‘me’ time for myself. I sang, sang, and sang like crazy, ignoring my health, and the worst case, neglected my one and only beloved vocal chord.

At first I had a very bad cold for quite sometime and getting worst because of those flying polen in the air and brought allergic and hay fever to me. It was right before I almost perform the Bachianas Brasileiras no. 5 with the Cello Group of Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra. I must admit that i was a bit overwhelmed and nervous at the same time. I wanted to do my best, impress them, and the most ambitious wish was to bring my high notes into perfection. I was a bit obsessed with this project and thought that staying at school practicing my high notes till late in the evening will assure my success in this ‘dream comes true’ concert. I was totally wrong.

Four days before my first rehearsal with them, I felt that something wrong with my throat and my voice. I remember that I forced to stay till late the day before to practice my high range, guess I cracked it. But still I did not realize anything serious. I came to their first rehearsal with very very terrible cold. The second one was better, as well the third one. When it came to the concert, I felt a bit unconfident. But I said to myself, it just something in my mind that I have to get rid of soon. Then the concert went fine, but still with lousy high notes. I reckon it was okay, yet need a bit of that, this, here, and there.

After that I went on with sponsorship concert which was 10 days after that concert. I ran to Rudolf Jansen and took lesson with him. Again I restrained my beautiful tiny vocal chord with 3,5 hours lesson non stop. I was so sure that I could survived. And I did. It was fine, the concert in Den Bosch was fine ( fine means okay, not fantastic). I was suddenly cried in the middle of ‘Kennst du das Land’ by Wolf, which made people even more attracted to my performance. I feel calmer after that and claimed it was my best recital performance ever whereas I missed some notes which usually I could sing them easily well. Henny, my singing teacher was there, and she did not say much. Yet I still did not realize much about it.

Five days after, I was already busy singing ‘Constance’ from Dialogue des Carmelites by Poulenc, opera project which held by Utrecht Conservatory. The rehearsals were quite intense, and I hardly missed any. Again I felt that something weird in my vocal chord. I took some days to rest, I even cancelled a concert which held by studio 32. ‘Three of four days will bring back my voice!’, that was what I think. But it did not come back just like that. Finally I still decided to sing on the concert. There were three performances in two days and I did it all. My high notes were not as good as when I rehearsed before and my low register was suddenly diminished and weak. But I kept optimistic. Then after that opera project, I right away had to sing the solo part of Mendelssohn Psalm 42 and The Company of Heaven. The rehearsals were only 2 times, but on the day itself, I practiced too much with the orchestra. Psalm 42 was fine to rehearse some times, but Britten, I definitely should have say no to the third run through. I am sure at that time my tiny vocal chord was starting to scream! Yet the concert went okay, was quite satisfied. I found a new insight about my high notes (finally!). I tried to be as calm as possible, not raising any shoulders to support the high notes like I usually did, and focus on the poise of my body. And it worked. Was quite happy even though my low register suddenly did not work properly again.

Finally it came the last minute performance. Oh I forgot to mentioned, before the Mendelssohn and Britten concert, I also sung in the chamber music marathon day with clarinet and piano, the famous ‘Der hirt auf dem Felsen’ by Schubert. It went well and made us chosen to sing in Radio 4, radio program for classical music, live from Spiegelzaal in Concertgebouw Amsterdam. I almost refused to sing, but I considered the others whom definitely wanted to play there as one life chance for them. Then two days after the Britten and Mendelssohn concert, I sang with them for the radio program. And guess what, It was a DISASTER. My voice was terribly tired, the slow movement part was so edgy and heavy. Then the allegro part was almost threw my vocal chord out of my throat. My throat was suddenly so dry and itching. I almost stop singing, but with the rest of the energy that I had, I kept singing till the end. And the audience screamed “Bravo”! I was relieved. So, it was not as bad as I thought. People still considered us quite fine, I thought. Though my throat was feel as it burns at that moment.

I went home and rest. The day after, I had a talk with Henny, and she was very dissapointed about my radio performance. She said that I sounded as if I never taught how to sing. I did not know how to react. Tears just came out like that automatically from my eyes. I knew it. Something has really gone wrong with my voice. However I stood there to defend my opinion about what was happening. All the last minutes performance request, all the sudden allergic which I never count on it to be happen. But true, you have to count the risk on whatever you are doing. It is part of the job in case you are getting sick. And I did not. I kept going on with my hecticness and think that I am a superwoman who could do everything and recover in only few days. No, I am totally wrong!

I have been too enthusiasthic about almost everything, every concert, helping people with exams, etc until I did not think about myself and my little vocal chord inside. I have been so mean to me, so to say.

I went to see Doctor Franken whom specialized in vocal chord and larynx problems. With a very small microscope he dived into my larynx and checked my vocal chord. He said the bottom parts were swollen. I had to take vocal rest for at least three weaks. No concerts, no singing, just quiet.Oh God, what a torture! He also recommended me to see a speech therapist in Utrecht. I right away called her. And I got an sudden enlightment.

After gone through some examinations and little bit of historical research about my singing, what food I’ve been consumed, it arrived into an interesting conclusion. I have been speaking in a wrong way for quite a long time. Less diaphragm support, too much pressure on my vocal chord. She gave me some practical exercises, which could train my abdominal muscle how to loose it properly. I have been always hold it after saying one sentence for example. That gives extra work for our vocal chord. Laughing and coughing also have to be done with proper way, so that we do not restrain our little tiny friend down there. And just for you to know, the size of our vocal chord/vocal folds is just as thin as our finger nails. Check this video out: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iYpDwhpILkQ

Here is a link about how important speech therapy is, especially for singers: http://www.thesingersresource.com/vocal_health_1.htm

Thus, because of all these things happened, I had to drop many things and do proper vocal rest for about 1 month. I just started singing yesterday, after more than one month being quiet and speaking in a correct way. I feel brand new and the most important thing, I am now mature enough to say NO to what I should not do, say NO to stuff/events that does not bring advantage to me. I would rather safe my energy for something that really worth, and focus merely on less things to get the best out of them. It is all about quality, not quantity.

“Congratulations for your WISDOM”, said Rudolf Jansen, my lied duo coach to me after I decided to withdraw myself from a very important international song competition in Europe. I do regret it, but I have learned something more. Better preparation, focus on few things, and rest enough would be on my top goals chart this year.I guess my tiny friend down there in my throat has forgiven me for my mistakes. Now, time to redeem myself with loving my own vocal chord much more. I promise to guard you with my life! Love you so much, dear tiny precious friend!

22
Feb
11

Mellow.

I just begin to realize that I haven’t been in a mellow state of mood for such a long time. Since last autumn, I’ve been so cheerful and happier than ever. All I can say, I’m so grateful to what I have experienced in the past. All the pain, anger, and agony has finally go away, and the new fresh air has come to replenish what has been taken from me.

Mellow. Yes, that is what I’m feeling tonight, here, in my room with someone I really adore, admire, and love so much. After watching this anime called Rurouni Kenshin, I’ve discovered so many things that I’ve forgotten. How much your family matters to you, loyalty in friendship, and the purity of love.

Have you ever feel being so loved before? feel like to spend the rest of your life with this one particular person? Well, I do. You’ll know it right away when you see him or her sleeping next to you. Then you’ll begin to think about all the things you have been gone through together. You’ll know what kind of truth lies between you two. Have you ever apologized to each other that badly and cried together because you don’t want to hurt each other’s feeling? That’s what love is. Is not about your own ego, but about somebody else whom you loved.

Maybe I sound too cliche. I may or may not be correct about all these feelings. But for sure, God has given me somebody to be loved. And I took it as a blessing, blessing that has to be taken care for the rest of my life. Although future will tell it’s own stories, gratitude will help me seeking the path.

Love is always there, to be embraced and believed. Goodnight, sayang.