On the road… again

On Thursday, AEJ and I returned home after an incredible eight days in Japan. I definitely intend to write several blog entries about the trip — an entry about our arrival, the rehearsals for “Kingfishers Catch Fire,” the premiere, the crazy autographs (I signed things I never imagined signing — but nothing inappropriate, perv)… an entry about our two days in Kyoto… my first real sushi dinner in Japan… our night at Tawaraya, a 300 year-old inn in Kyoto… our last day in Tokyo… so much stuff — probably at least 5 entries worth. I want to write about the concert first, and I hoped to post that entry today, but time got away from me.

Newman picked us up at the airport on Thursday, and we spent much of the day going through mail and trying to recover. On Friday, I spent the day mastering the recording of the premiere of “Kingfishers Catch Fire.” (It sounds, I have to say, phenomenal — the most successful premiere I can remember, thanks to the performance the students gave. It usually takes a half-dozen performances before I feel like I’ve heard a piece, but it’s going to be tough to get a better performance than this premiere.) Saturday, I printed scores and such for this week’s CBDNA convention in Ann Arbor, and that night, AEJ, Newman, and I had dinner with Eric Whitacre and his lovely wife (and soprano-extraordinaire) Hila Plitman. Sunday, we accompanied Newman to the USC performance of his piece, “Chunk,” under the heavily-groovy baton of H. Robert Reynolds. (You really haven’t lived until you’ve seen H. Bob conduct dirty funk. It was funktastic. It was funking sweet.) We had dinner after the concert, and then Newman headed back to NYC.

Today I spent the day binding scores for Shattinger Music to sell at CBDNA, and ran a big ol’ list of errands to prepare for the trip. I leave first thing in the morning, and I haven’t started packing yet. So, unfortunately, no Japan entry today.

But here are a few teaser photos. Here’s the view from our hotel room the first night, in the Ginza section of Tokyo…

Here’s Ichiro Saito conducting the dress rehearsal of “Kingfishers Catch Fire“…

(I wish I could pull of orange pants, but it just wouldn’t work on me.) And here are some musicians waiting for an autograph — while mothers are taking my picture. It was kind of insane…

We took over 1400 pictures while we were there, and a ridiculous number of them turned out well. It’s kind of hard to take a bad picture of a beautiful Japanese temple. So, those will be coming soon. But for now, it’s off to Ann Arbor, where I’ll have three performances this week: “Turning” with the Texas Christian University Wind Ensemble (conducted by Bobby Francis), “Redline Tango” with the Central Michigan University Wind Ensemble (conducted by John Williamson), and “Turbine” with the Florida State University Wind Orchestra, conducted by Rick Clary.

Oh, and there will be lots of drinking.

I’ll be home Sunday, and then I’m done traveling for work until fall. So I’ll just be writing the Sax Concerto, and catching up on blog entries — I promise!


Emily Johnston says

Hello Mr. Mackey,

I'm your store artist for Kentlands. Would you consider sending me a few landscape pictures, or pictures of the temple from your trip? I don't get to travel much and most photographs are copyrighted, which creates issues if I use them for a reference for a painting. Also, if you would like something painted, please let me know.

Thank you,
Emily Johnston

or http://members.aol.com/ejmboo/emily_art.html

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