New Year – Hello and Good-bye

2014 was an amazing year: in January, I started the year by accompanying Ozu with one of the best benshis alive in Tokyo; in December, I concluded it with a performance as M2duo (my duo with long-time performance partner, amazingly versatile violinist and dear friend Machiko Ozawa) in New York. In between, I had probably the most number of performance engagements ever in my life, including my Canadian debut. And all of these happened while I still managed to keep my full-time job alongside all the performing. It makes me feel very humble, blessed and just simply grateful. I am one lucky person.

And I enter 2015 with a renewed passion for silent films. I look forward to playing for more films, meeting more people, and learning more about this medium – era – history – technology – esthetics – everything. I am starting to grasp the depth of the silent film and it’s mesmerizing. I realize how much I don’t know – it excites me that there’s so much more to study and explore. I now need to start reading all those books I’ve been buying lately… :)

The first public performance of 2015 will bring me to the Packard Campus of the Library of Congress for Audio Visual Conservation in Culpeper, Virginia in February. I look forward to playing Lois Weber’s SHOES, and am honored to be making my debut there as the very first female accompanist, playing for all female-directed films. Such a nice way to be introduced to LoC! :)

Then, in March, I will go up to Syracuse one last time – to celebrate Cinefest’s grand finale. Yes, Cinefest is ending… :’( The news still makes me emotional, as it was the very first film festival I was booked for, and people at Cinefest have welcomed me so warmly and it always feels like a homecoming of a sort to arrive at Holiday Inn Express in Liverpool in March. It opened so many doors for me in the US… and it trained me so well too. :)

While it is sad to say good-bye to the wonderful people of Syracuse Cinephile Society, I look forward to the grand reunion of pianists this year: there will be 8 of us (yes, eight!) taking turns to provide live accompaniment to congratulate the finale of the wonderfully unique, beloved festival of 35 years.

And as always… we have no idea what films we are to play for, until we get there. :)

Thursday January 15th, 2015 by Makia Matsumura
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