Tokyo Bunkakaikan Journal: February 14, 2006 -- Rehearsal 3
5/27/2017 2:14:26 AM - I actually had a call from Fujino-san of the Tokyo Bunkakaikan a couple days before checking in and coordinating times of our sound check and pick up from the rehearsal. It's coming down to the wire!

Took the Long Island Railroad again into the city -- it's so much easier to travel this way to beat the gridlock on the highways and also with the snowstorm a couple days ago, I don't have to worry about trying to find parking on the streets, which is ridiculous; most cars are trapped in heaping mountains of snow. It also allows me to think of the tunes we're doing, practice the fingering on some of the pieces I'm doing on flute, and write lyrics. I'm still struggling with the lyrics for "Long Yellow Road." It's almost finished, but I feel like it's a little light considering it's my mother's theme. It's hard to figure out how to write words that will fit over the melody, the mood of the song itself, and also if I should write from a 1st person perspective or sing about her or what. Below is a sample of what I've got right now.

As it was Valentine's Day, I picked up 2 dozen roses in a beautiful cream color, which Mama was very pleased with. It's always good to get a smile out of her. She in turn gave me a beautiful torquoise necklace made by American Indians she'd picked up for me while traveling, as she knows I love Indian jewelry.

We began with "I Ain't Gonna Ask No More." She had thought up of a little interlude that we could do after her solo, which we practiced for a bit. I'm a good sight reader when it comes to the flute, but not on voice as I sing by ear. We also went through "Round About Midnight" -- I'd learned the Ella Fitzgerald version, but I'm now comfortable with the tune that I can expand on the melody in my own way and feel it more. I love the voicings Mama plays on this.

Next was the "One Note Samba" -- I hate to say it, but Mama has a tendency to play REALLY fast, and sometimes speeds things up in the middle, so I was struggling with the bridge as the words and notes come real fast, but it's a fun, light number -- hopefully I can keep all the words together during the actual performance!! Mama is aware of the tempo difficulty for this tune as well, and we tried a second time in a slower tempo. The trick is to keep it in a desired tempo during her ad lib between choruses.

We of course went through "Sumie" and "First Night" which came out pretty good, but now that I'm taking more time to play the flute, I realize how shabby I am at it, that my muscles really need to be more toned. More work on that end. Lew was in the living room where we were rehearsing reading the paper, and after we went through "Sumie," in which I play a transcribed partial solo of his, Mama asked, "So what do you think?" And he said, "Sounds good. I especially like the solo," to which Mama jokingly retorted, "Now that's what I call narcisstic."

We also went through "Warning: Success May Be Hazardous To Your Health" and I have to say, I definitely got the melody down now after that huge blooper at Mama's dinner a couple weeks back!! But I've noticed that sometimes making mistakes and the embarrassment of it traumatizes you enough to get it right the next time. Not that I'm relaxing about the situation, no. The instrumental interlude in between is VERY difficult and I'm still struggling through that, my fingers can't seem to keep up with the melody and I can't get the swing down yet. Operative word: YET.

We went through "Long Yellow Road" and I tried to do the lyrics that I'd written up to that point. The words fit and flow pretty well, but I'm still not sold on it, feel like I need to dig a little deeper. This is another tune that has tricky entries and phrases, so I need to pay attention to these areas.

We ended by going through "The Island" -- again, I don't really feel this is the strongest tune we'll be doing that night, simply because it's out of the
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