Aside from Google, Facebook, and other Website providers making it nearly impossible for me to monetize or even gain employment online;- due to algorithms they designed to snuff out my life as a form of cybertorture... I'm at the end of my financial and career rope from the USA.
The song project and making my own CD;-still hasn't happened. (list is at the bottom) A lot of people criticize me, that is Pro musicians- for turning down gigs of typical music. Since I had other concerns in life due to my Japanese family business relationships and expectations to build a family of our own in the USA;- I decided long ago-- in music college days that I wouldn't revisit my elementary school days and play normal classical. I sincerely believed that there are tons of players for those pieces, and I had gotten very weary of the racism and attacks from playing accessible 'white people's music as a nisei and Hapa. And, that my time was better spent on the more difficult contemporary music, writing and improvising my own music (though primarily instrumental), and avoiding the racist environment of the Professional Classical world.
I've found solace in leaving my positive childhood memories with my music. In childhood, I played Bach WTC1&2, the Suites, etc., and collections of work for the composer's musical vocabulary. And due to the ease of social criticism, novices, and intermediate players seeking monetary gain through snide, racist, and degrading comments;- I refrain from entertaining people -- as if I'm an emotionless jukebox they are entitled to verbally punch.
The parents from 2000-2005 who left my studio or who I refused to teach were racist and disrespectful of me- always claiming that 'my race' isn't a good role model for their white or African-American kids. This led me to near suicide in 2005, and an old partier friend introduced me to a 'life coach' who was/is an ON Broadway director at about $300/hr who coached me through the end of the school year so I could gracefully leave the 80person piano studio I had built up. It was a studio under the control of a Metropolitan Opera choral coach who moved to Bucks County. I took the teaching position after locals walked off with their students. But I was unaware of the situation, being fresh out of college and starved for a positive work experience after temping for 1 year in Florida after CIA/Feds dragged me there. The political scene was heavy and involved Japanese relatives calling to alert me to the US-JP security agreement breach by the Intel Community. So, the strained circumstances that left me stranded in Florida were part of a CIA false flag operation against Japan prior to 9-11.
I had over 400 parents to answer to, and they nearly killed me. Without health insurance- I paid for that out of pocket. That's what intense racism did to me after 9/11 over a 5 year period. My last remaining dream, until 9/11 happened, was to go to the Pro Piano Competition. But, it got shut down. My old studio mate who was also an international judge;- for my crushed heart to show up at Bartok-Kabelevsky in 2001. But I knew I wasn't ready since I looked at the program in December 2000 and read through it. And then after several phone calls and unrelated rehearsal times, I went back to my Alma mater to practice up for it in 4 days before driving from Upstate NY to Virginia.
If I were an Ice Skater (which I'm not- only putting on skates 1x in my life for concern of a broken wrist or arm) it would be easier to understand. Why practice triple salchows all the time?
People knew I had trickled through lessons in my childhood from one of Eleanor Sokoloff's adult performing students who were a world-renowned Organist during my grade school years till early high school. Honestly, I had a lot of artistic freedom and worked on my own a lot. Though I diverged with my own programs I learned alongside the 'prescribed' programs. And especially after I was told that they didn't like the politics of my Japanese family and my being American. So I was ASKED not to audition so the E. Nakajima could go through to Gary Graffman. She apparently wasn't an American-as I learned after many Japanese left the USA due to 9/11-- but as a kid, I didn't understand. I simply understood that these people wanted something more than a performer and my parents weren't good enough people. In adulthood, I learned the racist past of the Curtis Institute.
There are those of us who are born mixed-race, and those of us also born to 2 different nations or more. Yet those who aren't actually mixed-race, and who don't actually live through life with our perspectives- they prey on our perspectives and sell it off easily as THEIR unique progressive perspective. Most of us know, our own parents don't understand our struggles. And we need each other to feel more understood.
The intensity of international intelligence of the classical music world really was made clear to me during my lessons with Dr. Andor Kiszely, a Hungarian and former double agent during WWII. I had attracted his interest at an audition where I played my own program. That program I hid from my 'Sokoloff connected Piano-Organ teacher'. And Dr. Kiszely invited me to his studio. I was shy and awkward because I wasn't used to 'being allowed to be 'smart' around other children- in group music lessons and at school. The kids typically would but into my answers in classes or complain to their parents that I was ugly for being 'brown' or Japanese. But, Dr. Kiszely's studio was positive for me.
Almost all of the children in his studio were Asian girls. Girls who liked my brother, who was also a skateboarder and athlete, and ignored me. I still felt inferior to everyone because I wasn't 'ALL Asian'. Basically, it sucked. Being haafu, hapa in a place where I had only met one other Loving Day family that was Asian-American and Japanese-American. It's a place where I was never pretty, and girls made fun of me for not having a race. That was the GenX I grew up with. And in adulthood- men take advantage of the fact that I'm isolated yet walk away because of the embarrassment that my mom is a Japanese immigrant with broken English. There were so many days when my mom tried to help me only to be told that we are 'genetic garbage' by the Boomer generation of white piano teachers and their communities. My mom disassociated from me early on. And went so far as to gain acceptance for abusing me to prove to these white women in Bucks County and Philadelphia that I'm nothing to her. And, publically. Needless to say- my brother took his own beatings from the community. The hoity-toity USA crowd of immigrants, green card constituents, and foreigners only saw us perform - after the tidal wave of abuse that mostly I endured.
Due to my artistry, my parents;- sunk in their wallet for a Yamaha Grand. They took my brother with them to pick it up while I was in school. His words to me before I saw it when I walked in the door were to the effect of;- I feel for you, I know what's going to happen (meaning more abuse from the community and also through my parents). I was also made fun of for not having a German or NY Steinway. Looking back, things were so very tragically toxic for me. I kept a calendar for the day I graduated and wouldn't have to return to Quakertown, PA, and Pennsylvania. There was a plan that I wasn't to remain in the USA after my college graduation. And should go to Japan. But the Intel community destroyed that, so I remain here living at the brink of destruction by these horrible Americans. The good ones- they are practically non-existent in my life outside of Hawaii. They can say a prayer or something. Or maybe be there one day in my life to brighten it a bit;- but my life path was set for annihilation by the US intelligence community. (please see other APEC USA update)
And, the Bucks County and Philadelphia MTNA (Music Teachers National Association) community got more abusive all the way to the end of H.S. While they took credit for my ability to play piano, I did not exist as a human being. It was as if I was the 'trained monkey or dog' in a laboratory where they trained this mongrel of a sad thing to be human. And it hurts to this day as the remaining Silent Gen, Boomers, and GenX who participated in that convo now have grandkids to bring up on their mental fodder. I had to accompany the H.S. chorus and everyone was upset I was playing the Battle Hymn of the Republic after singing with madrigals for the Baccalaureate Ceremony of my graduating class. And I mean it upset nearly the entire high school- minus a few brave souls who weren't taunted and embarrassed out of being around me. Some of those people were two-faced white supremacists trying to drag me to a worse fate being accessible to their church-approved neo-Nazi skinhead parties. But these things are tough to see until you get a year or so into a friendship of 'play dates'.
Basically, as I attended Alateen in High School, I learned to call myself a scapegoat for my parents and take the blame for any shortcomings for the people around me. In high school, I even got detention because I was the mud who made the school bus late-- it wouldn't have been late if they didn't have to pick me up. That was the Quakertown, PA community where I grew up. And in 2021, I reported some of the more heinous acts of racism and human rights violations to the DOJ to no avail. The Anti-Asian hate crimes reporting system wasn't in place to save my brother's life as he entered adulthood. Nor was it there to save my sister's life. And essentially, they confirm and condone the hate crimes from my perspective.
Though for solo piano lessons after the group class from Dr. Kiszely and old friend of Zoltan Kodály;- I lived for those lessons. I paid for them by teaching lessons. And I only taught enough lessons to earn the money for the $110/hr I needed to pay Dr. Kiszely each week. Back then I charged about $14 for a lesson. Fairly cheap compared to adult teachers who didn't perform at all. My little old car- since my mom didn't want to drive me, it was more humiliating to drive and park in the Mainline posh district than in the early 1990s where Porsche 911s were the standard vehicle. But I took on the humiliation as a 15year old who needed to polish up music for Music school auditions.
Dr. Kisely got me to sound like Pollini playing my Ballades. My brother, he had the Polonaises. Yes- to compete we had to read through the entire book. Etudes, Preludes, Waltzed as part of practice daily. But had only 1 piece for the competition to polish.
Things to go on it-- Right now, I only have 3 completed works. 1. live performance of Circus Blues; And a random smattering of ideas. This, believe it or not, is a lot more than what I'd thought I might have at this point. In music school, Alban Berg's work was a point of fascination. His entire catalog is on 1 CD. So, as a mixed-race Japanese-American genXer and product of a Silent Generation Loving Day marriage that wasn't accepted by the shitty Americans;- I think this is a lot of music. And the bulk of it was done in Hawaii.
1. maybe 1 or 2 classical pieces from my piano competition days & my Kabalevsky.Sonata- or Piazzola Grand Tango Excerpts and Leviev's Sonata with Violin recording. Things I want to do: A piece from the 2nd Viennese School for piano and voice.
2. Photo in my Mind: my original spiritual song 'with piano accompaniment recorded properly with multiple voices- group singing. And, write out a solo score for the solo version.
3. Rainbow Heaven: anon. mixed-folk song about liberating animals - needs instrumentals with 1. jig, 2. steeldrums
4. Circus Blues: A better recording of my "Circus Blues" piano solo background with improv created for the Wonder Circus show 2011/2012. - long project is a 32 -35 page midi score I made to refine. Will take a few weeks.
5. Other songs? -- still wanting to write a CD. Though this situation I'm in doesn't lend itself to audible work. Without a workstation,
Need- voice practice. And rehearsal space to do so more than a couple times a month. That's what adult life looks like these days. And- no piano students means no income.