This was my first time playing the 17th string koto, and that was a big challenge for me. It was much bigger than the 13th string koto and also I had a lot of 合わせ爪 but it was different from the 13th string koto, so I had to get used to the 17th string koto and that took me a bit of a time. It was also a pressure because I was the only one doing the 17th string and if I mistake some parts, theres no one to cover for me. I also had to come to ICJC to practice, but that made me motivate to practice. I think I practiced more than last year or the year before that. Memorizing the piece was bit hard, since I had to work more on the rhythm than memorizing it so I can play correctly. The rhythm was challenging too, because even if I got the rhythm right when practicing alone, I was confused when all of us played together since every part had different rhythms. But when I got the hang of it, it got really easy, because most parts have the same rhythm. Counting really helped me a lot with the rhythm.
When I was rehearsing, I made some mistakes on the easy parts, and I really thought had to count on that part. While I was waiting for the concert to start, I literally did nothing so I won’t get nervous.
When we were playing in front of the people, I was a bit nervous, since I was the only one playing the 17th string. Around the second page, 2nd line last measure, I forgot to play that part and I made a mistake. But at the same time, I became not nervous since because I thought ‘I already made a mistake, wouldn’t it be the same even if made another?’. Because of that, I was able to play strong and powerful. Around page 8, I thought we were going a bit too fast. To improve I think we should really look at each other when playing because I think the reason why we going fast is because people are too into the music and they’re not looking at other people and playing by themselves.
To improve next time, I will try to practice not only the hard parts, but also the easy parts, because those parts we get fast since its easy to play. Also for me, I wasn’t able to play because I didn’t practice enough on that part. Also I will try to pay attention to other people when playing the koto, so I don’t go too fast and try to keep the rhythm with everyone.