At the Koto night, us the 7th graders performed a song called ‘OKOTO’ written by Sawai Hikaru. We have practiced for few months and now I want to reflect on the work I did for this piece.
When I first started to practice the piece, I thought it was a very easy piece to remember, since the first movement was pretty slow and had some simple patterns that repeated along the piece. Then when I tried playing with the koto 2, I thought it was very hard piece to play, since you have to match and synchronize with koto 2 to play the piece. What really helped me when I was practicing alone, was the recording of Sawai Hikaru playing OKOTO. That recording gave me the whole melody of the song with koto 1 and koto 2 combined, and helped me out to synchronize with the koto 2 when practicing together. Thanks to the recording, I was able to play well together with koto 2. Some parts that I can improve is the speed and the tempo I play. Because I listen to the recording a lot, I started to practice play faster than we were supposed to. This I believe caused to speed up the tempo of the whole piece, since I played it fast and the people behind me tried to follow, since I was up at the front. For next time to improve, I will use metronome to keep my pace steady, and when I play, I will always count in my head and not just go with the flow.
Memorizing was for me pretty easy, since ‘OKOTO’ had a lot of repetitive patterns. The patterns were very unique and I was able to memorize all the patterns quickly. One problem I had with memorizing was that it took me a while to know what pattern comes after one. Even if I knew all the patterns, If I don’t know where I need to play them, that does not mean I memorized it. After memorizing the piece, I still made some mistakes since I sometimes forgot what pattern is going to come up next.
In the actual performance, I think we played it confidently and clearly. Some parts we didn’t come into together which made it sound bit unorganized, but when both koto parts were playing, we were very organized and synchronized well and able to play the piece confidently and clearly. I thought everyone playing confidently was a great success, since some parts I made some mistakes by playing the wrong note, but the other students in koto 1 was able to cover up the sound since they were loud and clear. We could’ve worked more on the dynamics, since some parts we forgot about them. I think I should always take notes of the crescendo and decrescendo, so I won’t forget. In the end I forgot to come in, which I thought it was the biggest mistake for me. Since all the koto 1 players were looking at me, they didn’t come in either. I reconsidered that being in the front is a great responsibility and If don’t come in right, no one will, since they are all waiting for me to play. But even though I made that mistake, I was able to go back in quickly without panicking and we smoothly went back together. Overall I think we did a good job of playing the piece, organizing, and our cooperation to play the piece beautifully.