The reasons why N-Orch. (Niibori Guitar Philharmonic Orchestra) is able to cause all standing ovation.

Kiyomi Niibori (a member of NE & Ladies' Quartet, Master of Arts in Music)

As already reported before, N-Orch. brought big success at public performances in Europe, last November. Especially the success with all standing ovation at traditional Musikvereinsaal, Vienna, became big topic and it was already reported. This time, in this issue, N-method classes in Japan are introduced, and Dr. Niibori's interview on the public performances in Europe was held with Mr. Masayuki Kato (Director of N-Orch.'s public performances in Europe, 2007). The primary factors for the success of public performances of this time were talked in the interview. The summary is introduced here. How do you, readers think about?

Extracts from the interview of Dr. Hiroki Niibori and Mr. Masayuki Kato
--- Many praises such as N-Orch. is "a match for Wien Philharmonic Orchestra" and "it has a superior aspect than world's orchestra, in a certain sense". What are the primary factors?

N-Orch. supersedes Wien Phil.!?
HN: This time, it was unquestionable for every one that supreme praises were given for "ability to memorize pieces of music". All of members of N-Orch. including conductors faced the public performances with memorizing all pieces of music, also for this time in overseas. It means, actions, having no relation to music itself, to turn pages of scores are not necessary, music stand is not necessary and there are no shields for sound in front of performers making possible to bring delicate sound directly to audience. All of the hall, the ability to memorize pieces of music, delicate sound, motif of music, breathing, and usual training resulted best effect and splendid performances was realized, I think.

MK: Doing unique things (memorizing all pieces of music by all of members), not done by Wien Phil., the abilities were fully demonstrated. I tried to make many helpers and supporters, showing live video and CDs to so many peoples, for this time of public performances in Europe. Many peoples, hearing sound of N-Orch. for the first time, also knowing existence of N-Orch., moved and surprised saying "I did not know such an orchestra with guitars!" Furthermore, actually, looking live stages, it caused big difference as "1 to 10" even to "100"! Actual stages were supreme!

HN: Thank you. We are paying attention mostly to prepare colorful program and direction to avoid audience to be tired of. Costumes, organization, musical scores and expressions are all colorful.
Furthermore, we have many original items only for N-Orch. Big organized N-Orch. with 130 members, of course, ensembles such as NE (organized with 20 members), ensemble with cembalo guitars (9) of each sound range fully utilizing their individuality (= performing J. S. Bach's pieces of music for lute and cembalo), men's sextet (= performing mainly sharp and rhythmical contemporary pieces of music. Bellinati's classical guitar solo pieces and hard rock pieces are also performed.), ladies' quartet (+ guitarron) (= ladies centered quintet with guitars of each sound range. Featuring beautiful, romantic sound only by ladies), all is original, repertoires spread very colorfully, costumes utilizing Japanese folk costumes = FURISODE (long sleeved kimono for girl), HAORI HAKAMA (men's kimono with long pleated skirt) ("Variation SAKURA" (concert edition) composed by Miyagi Michio, maestro of KOTO, 4 soloists wearing Japanese folk costumes with KOTO-nails on their fingers, performed with alto guitars). And all of them were members of N-Orch. It is possible only by N-method. Each performer in general orchestra will play his only special instrument and it will be impossible to play such colorful contents. (For example, violin performer will not perform viola or cello, but guitarist in N-Orch. can perform all of guitars of each sound range and guitars of each sound range in N-method make it possible.)
Also, I announced NRM (Niibori Rhythm Method) in 1988. This is a field of utilizing guitar as excellent percussion. It is possible to form the world's most high leveled Guitar Percussion Orchestra with guitar orchestra of N-method, utilizing tens kinds of big~medium~small guitars with fully using 10 fingers, easily changing the sound quality instantly. It is possible to get various expressions, and pieces of music based upon structure of Occidental music adding Japanese traditional music are highly praised also especially in overseas. These performances are desirable to be seen in live. DVDs show performer centered images, but the dramas are made with including other peoples' actions.
Thus, including visual aspects, I am always thinking how we can appeal to contemporary audience.
It will be tough job for performers to respond to needs of audience seeking always stimuli.

MK: I realized keenly that N-Orch. had more power to move audience from stage than the power of Wien Phil.! Audience of Munich and Vienna said the power to move audience was outstanding among world's professional orchestras.
"Even among the first-class orchestras, although the performance itself is good, pleasure of expression in performance does not straightly come from some orchestra with deadpan face, but N-Orch. has live expression" and "N-Orch. performed all pieces of music memorizing scores, and we have not seen such way for other first-class orchestras" were heard from many peoples.
Usually, peoples in overseas-Germany strongly appeal contents of what they are talking and their will.
It is a national character or a kind of culture that saying 8~10 for about 5 with exaggerated gestures to be understood. Therefore, I think the primary factor for bringing such standing ovation will be synthetic power of musical expression on stage by N-Orch. firmly grasped the heart of audience in Germany and Austria.

HN: I was very glad seeing the frank response of audience. This impressive news is impossible to be understood by letters, record of sound and images, without touching actual, live atmosphere of the hall.

MK: The difference between image and live will be 1 and 100. After the concerts, passing 1 week and 2weeks, voices and messages of praises, not empty compliments nor diplomatic saying, come continuously and I actually felt they are pleased enthusiastically.
All of programs and performers' vivid faces are splendid in N-Orch. Did you train expression of faces of performers?

HN: Frankly, yes. Smiles have tens of kinds, for example, "gently smile for this piece of music" and "smile of full of delight for this piece of music" and so on----on the contrary, do not show your teeth for a piece of music respecting Japanese spirit, and suddenly change expression after a breath and so on----it is the same as actors on stage. I am always saying to play PLERA (player's opera = synthetic visual art with performers themselves play drama performing instruments and opera like background, costumes and illuminations, to enjoy).

MK: Music is expressed also with expression of faces, isn't it? Audience in Munich and Vienna immediately understood and felt as "this is no ordinary orchestra", I think.

~The rest is omitted. To the next theme

--- Praises from European peoples were reported in last issue and there are praises for some items N-Orch. do not notice. During rehearsal, N-Orch. is doing usually as natural manner---a way of greetings among conductors and members---they said to be keenly moved by such a thing.

N-Orch. and N-method were praised by educators
MK: Manner, solidarity and process of rehearsal were freshly felt by European peoples and educators were also moved. Some peoples usually giving bitter criticism came to public performance by N-Orch. of this time. They praised highly for N-Orch! Peoples in Munich and Vienna will clearly judge good for good and bad for bad. There is no duty like hand claps, curiosity nor sympathy for coming from far away. A high school teacher known as straitlaced person came, he usually begin to say "good" for maestro's performance but continues to say "but". Long story will begin after "but". (laughter) That man said "Good! Good!!" enthusiastically with tears welled up in his eyes.

HN: I am really grad to hear that~!! I am also very grad as musical director & conductor of N-Orch. and president of vocational college. My dream will expand largely hearing from Mr. Kato!!

A part of interview is introduced above. Furthermore,
1.How Musikverein Golden Hall is best fit to guitar orchestra wonderfully,
2.Praises from other many peoples,
3.Activities and dreams of Dr. Niibori & N-Orch. in overseas from now on,
4.Vocational college of N-method and foreign students were also talked in the interview.

For questions, advice & requests about Monthly Harmony,

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251-0052 Japan
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