One week later

Even at a time like this, people need music. Perhaps, at a time like this,  they need it more than ever.

On Tuesday I received this email from Robert Ryker, Music Director of the Tokyo Sinfonia. It was about a concert that some time ago we’d arranged I’d photograph – I was surprised to hear that the concert was still going ahead:

To a few musical friends,

Japan is facing serious upheavals in the lives of the people. Even in Tokyo, we are enduring disruptions to transportation, rolling blackouts in electric power, shortages of foodstuffs for daily consumption, and the eerie feeling that possible meltdowns in Japan’s nuclear powerplants may further exacerbate the national disaster.

Of course I have considered carefully what we should do. The Tokyo Sinfonia members and I are professional musicians — what we do is make music. So Monday, as best we could, that’s what we did, rehearsing for Friday’s concert, a Tchaikovsky Serenade.

Five of our players could not get there because their trains were not running. I rehearsed with those who came. We had to stop at three as the electric power was then about to be cut off. We skipped lunch and played straight through without a break. No one complained. We just did what we do.

We plan to perform this Friday, of course. Our concert is not a social event; it is an evening of solace. People need to keep balance in their lives. So, God willing, we’ll be there to perform for those who are there.

We’ll dedicate the concert to the victims of the disaster. We’ll put a donation box in the lobby. We’ll add the income from CD sales to the donations. And, most appropriately, the third movement of Tchaikovsky’s Mozartiana is the awesomely beautiful Preghiera (prayer).

It’s our way of helping. Please be with us, if you can, Friday evening at Oji Hall.

Robert Ryker

I’m grateful to have been able to attend a truly special and moving event, the only concert to take place in the venue this week. It was seven days and just a few hours after the earthquake.

Most of these photos are from the rehearsal immediately beforehand. The shots from above were taken during the performance from the balcony of the hall. Up there I could feel small aftershocks throughout.

Japan Red Cross
Google’s crisis response page

(Tokyo Photojournalist on Facebook)

4 Responses to “One week later”

  1. Rachael Botley says:

    Beautiful and poignant photos, Tony. I hope that you and the family are doing well.

    • tony says:

      Hi Rachael. We are fine, thanks – everyone back together since yesterday. Just constantly aware of the terrible suffering in the north.

  2. Perfect antidote to distress and a very warm and moving set of images, especially with the back story. In their own small way part of the good that comes from these times. Damon

  3. Keith says:

    Hi Tony,

    Great shots … on the technical front – how did you shoot? ..lens, speed?


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