Saturday, February 28, 2015

6. Struggling to the last minute (concert-1)

The day has came for the "SANKICHI BAND" concert !

Akiko has worked hard for this day. Preparation wasn't easy, there were many bumps and obstacles along the way.

Audience began to gather at music venue
The Sankichi Band has several members. This is the second concert they are going to perform. Seven of the members are going  to play for the audience.

One of them is Masafumi the pianist. He is a graduate from a music university and Akiko calls him "Chopin of Shonan".

Masafumi had overlapping mental and physical fatigue from his work. He was concerned that he couldn't practice much at rehearsal and said it would be difficult to participate.

Four days before the concert another band member, Takeo, came for rehearsal. But after riding several connecting trains, he didn't feel well. So, he went back home without practicing.

Akiko has been aware of such situations since the members have a variety of illnesses. Even so, she cannot help but worry about whether the concert would be successful or not.....What's a surprise!

Takeo came to the meeting just before the concert. After all, he had been trained as a professional musician. He knew the night was important for all of the members.

On top of that! Masafumi showed up!

Another drummer Yasunori joined in and the last rehearsal began! Akiko checked all the music to be played the night of the concert.

Masafumi got bored and hit Ysunori's Cajón
As the start time approached, Kazuki hadn't come yet. He hasn't even adjusted the equipment that was purchased just a few days before.

"What's he gonna do?" Akiko's apprehension grew.

Another member had to wait for Kazuki to arrive after rehearsal was finished.

The first music is "Senbonsakura"!

Thursday, February 5, 2015

5. Rehearsal Requires Patience

The second concert approached. Akiko showed up early with Rie and Takeo for rehearsal as usual. Toshiaki (bassist) and Kazuki (guitarist) came at 6 PM.


Akiko: "Tonight. We will finish it!"
She was fully motivated.

However, Kazuki was not quite ready yet.

Kazuki: "I'm fixing the strings, and tuning..."

Toshiaki rushed to him.

After a while, they finally finished what they were doing, and both stood at centerstage.

Akiko: "OK, let's begin Senbonzakura"

Kazuki didn't start. Akiko thought "Now what!?"

"You know"
"Which is better this sound or that sound?"
"I wanna use distortion a little bit more..."
"What? Volume is low. Hmm, why?"

Akiko and Rie were getting annoyed.

Akiko: "Hey, what are you doing!?"
Rie: "Workout those details later!"
Akiko: "You should have finished it before 6 o'clock!"

Meanwhile, Takeo is holding his drumsticks in both hands, pitifully on standby .

Finally rehearsal started. But suddenly, Kazuki stopped in the middle of it.

Kazuki: "The interlude, I like this tempo ♪~"

So, Takeo change the tempo.

Kazuki: "Yep, that's it"

Akiko: "Once again! Let's play from the top!"

They finished the first one despite trouble. And Kazuki started playing alone without the others.

Akiko and Rei grew more impatient.

Rie: "Kazuki, do it later!"
Akiko: "We haven't time!"

Now, Toshiaki's turn came to sing. However, Kazuki stopped again.

Kazuki: "I wanna change the tone, I'd like to buy soon" (buy what? Effects Unit?)

Toshiaki: "Buy it"

Kazuki (left) & Toshiaki (right)
Kazuki: "Terrace Mall music store didn't have it"

Toshiaki: "That store doesn't have much selection. You should go to Yokohama"

Kazuki: "Yokohama? Too far away"

Toshiaki: "Go to Machida"

Kazuki: "Too far"

Toshiaki: "If you say that! You couldn't go anywhereeee!"

Ah! Finally, Toshiaki got angry.

In spite of all the difficulties, finally they finished that night's rehearsal.

On the way home, Takeo told Akiko. "I almost snapped out"

The mental illness isn't wisdom delay. Some have outstanding abilities, work seriously, even graduate from university, and should feel some pride, However, due to a lack of communication skills, they have been rejected by others and could have been oppressed. When we are treated with respect, we are more likely to show respect. Helping mentally ill patients to communicate well with each other by complimenting their achievements. In turn, this builds confidence and helps them realize their presence is important in our society.

That is Akikso's challenge with SANKICHI BAND.