manekineko

招き猫のblog


Maneki Neko Spring Performance Updates for May 2007

Friday, May 25th
Time: 8 pm
Place: Nifty

Hi everyone.

Are you all enjoying the vibrant green of this season as
much as we are?

The cherries have already finished, but this year they
were beautiful--we were delighted to see that they
remained in full bloom for so long.

Due to the kind support of Mrs. Nakajima, Mr. Nakamura,
and Mr. Yasumoto, our concert last month at the outdoor
tea party of the Iwakura Zuisenkyo was a great success. It
was the second time we were asked to play there, and we
enjoyed ourselves immensely.






















Thanks to everyone there for inviting us to take part in
their delightful event.

*   *   *

The cherries, which signal the start of a new cycle of the
seasons, were particularly nice this year, and that seemed
to make the sightseers turn out in higher numbers than
usual.

In Japanese, the word for "sightseeing" is written as
"light-seeing." People seem to draw great pleasure from
the light they see.

This is the same for us: When we shine ourselves, we can
light up the hearts of those around us.

I was reminded of this last month when I attended the
first solo concert one of the students of our guitar
teacher held to celebrate her 60th birthday.

Although it was raining outside, the inside of the hall
was clear and bright. The performers, hall, staff, and
audience all seemed to become one, emitting a beautiful
sense of harmony and light.

I am also reminded of this by a friend of mine who makes
her own handbags. She is happily at work now making
preparations to open a studio/shop and is looking forward
to having a place where she can spread the joy she
experiences in making her original bags.

Just meeting her and talking for a bit, I already felt my
heart lighting up.

By lighting up the world with our own inner light, we
ourselves can become a "light-seeing" spot for others.

Thanks to all the "light-seers" out there!

Our duo emits only a small light now, but we ignite it and
look forward to seeing you at our next performance.

Maneki Neko Spring Performance Updates for May 2007
Friday, May 25th
Time: 8 pm
Place: Nifty

May 4, 2007

The Maneki Neko Guitar Duo
Adam Catt
Komatsu Yujiro
<http://manekineko.in/>(2007/06/02)


Maneki Neko --- Performance Updates (April 2007)

----- Saturday, April 7th, 2007
From 1 pm
At Iwakura Farming Field
[Flier PDF download: 1.6MB (Japanese)]

----- Thursday, April 19th, 2007
From 8 pm
At Nifty

Hi everyone!

It's so nice to have the cherries starting to bloom now.

At our last concert at Nifty, Adam's parents came all the
way from America to attend, giving the whole evening an at
home atmosphere.






Group shot with Adam's folks

Adam's parents love to build homes and have built places
bigger than Nifty's large New England-style house. This
time in Japan, Adam's father was excited to find some
Japanese carpentry tools to use back home.

For musicians, it is often said that one real performance
is worth a hundred practice sessions. The problem is that
it is sometimes hard to find opportunities to perform.

However, by continuing to do what you love, and in turn
making those around you happy, it seems that opportunities
naturally pop up. It also seems that even if you offer to
do something for no payment, you can receive some money at
least once out of every three performances.

By following this way of thinking--by continuing to
perform for no fee--amazingly we have had people offer to
pay us. In every three performances, we have been able to
receive some form of payment at least once, whether it be
a tip, or some money for performing or transportation
expenses.

Next week will be the height of the cherry blossom season,
making for a beautiful setting for our performance/outdoor
tea party in Iwakura. Please come out and enjoy the
wonderful weather!

----- Saturday, April 7th, 2007
From 1 pm
At Iwakura Farming Field
[Flier PDF download: 1.6MB (Japanese)]


Our next performance at Nifty will be on Thursday, April
19th, from 8pm.

We look forward to seeing you there.

Thanks for reading,

March 28, 2007

The Maneki Neko Guitar Duo
Komatsu Yujiro
Adam Catt
<http://manekineko.in/>


(2007/05/04)


Maneki Neko Performance Updates (March 2007)

Wednesday, March 14th, 2007
From 8 pm
At Nifty






It has been a warm winter, and it already feels like we have passed into mid-spring. The warmth feels good, but I wonder what the heat will be like this summer.

Our next performance at Nifty is a special one, as my parents will be in the audience. I've played guitar for almost fourteen years, but my parents have never been to one of my public concerts. Maybe this is a good thing, because they are sometimes my greatest critics!

Having my parents here reminds me of when I started to play the guitar at fifteen. I played electric at first, but was mesmerised by the first classical guitar concert I attended--a concert by Charles Hammer.

After the concert, I knew for sure that I wanted to play classical, and I approached Charles to see if he would give me lessons. He agreed, and I started to take weekly lessons at the university during the summer.

Charles was a hippy and lived in a homemade hut in the Ozark Mountains. He made a modest living by teaching guitar and playing in hotels and restaurants. Charles had a playful nature that made him really fun to be around--I remember him improvising blues riffs at the end of classical pieces, and the faces he made when he played were hilarious! I practiced a lot that summer.

Every morning, my father would drop me and my friend off in the city. My friend and I would then go to our favorite spot--a creek surrounded by a wooded area. I would sit and practice there for hours while my friend practiced martial arts. We stayed there all day until the evening when my father came to pick us up.

I have fond memories of those times. Reflecting back, it has always been the simple things about playing music--the feel of the strings on your fingertips, the smell of a guitar case, the sound of a simple chord--that provide the most joy. As I advance as a musician, I still reflect on these things for inspiration.

When I visited the States a couple of years ago, I planned on meeting Charles and showing him what I had learned in Japan. Unfortunately, Charles passed away before I could meet him again and show him how much I had progressed.

We look forward to playing for you on the 14th--it should be an enjoyable program.

This month's live performance:
Wednesday, March 14, 2007
from 8 pm
at Nifty

The high point of our program will be Schubert's "Ave Maria," in a nice arrangement by Fujii Keigo.

Hope to see you there!

March 9, 2007

The Maneki Neko Guitar Duo
Komatsu Yujiro
Adam Catt(2007/03/27)


Maneki Neko Performance Schedule Updates (February 2007)

Friday, February 23, 2007
from 8 pm
at Nifty





My birthday was last week, and it was a happy day for me.

On my birthday, I decided to try something I've never done before.

My aspiration for 2007 has been to get good at expressing gratitude to others.

I've realized that this is a quality that is common in all the people I respect.

Gratitude is not something just to hold inside oneself--it should be expressed in words. If we don't express it in words, our gratitude can often go unnoticed to others.

Some people are easy to express this to, but others are more difficult.

I began to put this idea into practice and came up against one of my greatest obstacles at the beginning of this year.

Some friends of mine celebrated my birthday a few days early, and one person at the party suggested that I thank my mom for giving birth to me.

A violent struggle began inside.

I grew up as a difficult child--expressing myself in this way would be extremely trying.

I remained in this heated up state till the day of my birthday.

I had resolved to get better at expressing gratitude to others, so there was no turning back.

My birthday came and I held the phone with sweaty palms as I managed to get out the following:

"Uhh...Uhh...Mom, I wanted to thank you for bringing me into this world!"

My mom said, "I'm happy that you would say that in times like these, when there is so much negativity in the world."

She was embarrassed but seemed happy.

I had forgotten that my birthday should be celebrated also for my mother, as she risked her life to give birth to me.

After hanging up the phone, I cooled down from my excited state and was left with a warm fuzzy feeling.

For all of you reading this, I really recommend trying this with your mom on your next birthday.

If you can express your gratitude like this, especially when it is difficult, the experience can be eye-opening.

This month's live performance:
Friday, February 23, 2007
from 8 pm
at Nifty

This time we're going to play "He Who Knows the Beauty of the Rose," a lovely arrangement of a Swedish folksong by Fujii Keigo.

We look forward to seeing you there.

Thanks for reading!

February 11, 2007

Maneki Neko
Komatsu Yujiro
Adam Catt







(2007/03/11)


Maneki Neko's first performance of 2007!

Tuesday, January 30th at 8 pm.
Place: Nifty

Happy New Year from the "pretty good" guitar duo!

Thanks to all of you for your warm smiles and support during the last year.

We look forward to bringing you much more in 2007.

* * *





Can you find us among the mountain of beads?





Here we are!

We kind of feel like kids in a candy shop here.

One of our last concerts at the end of last year was at a fun shop on Kitayama Street that sells beads, buttons, and ribbons from France.





Everyone there was so nice, and this concert was one of the first times we felt really connected to the audience.





Of all the different types of guitar, the classical guitar has a particularly rich tone. This seemed to surprise everyone who expected a "normal" guitar sound.

After our performance, we could see everyone break out into smiles. That moment was like delicious nectar for the soul!

This year, we'll continue our pursuit of this sweet nectar.





Special thanks to Yamachan and Shohei-san!

Adam
Yujiro



Directions to Nifty
Take the Karasuma subway line to the last stop, Kokusaikaikan station. The four-lane street in front of the station is Takaragaike-dori. Walk about 870 feet to the west. At the second traffic light, you will see the cafe "DORF" on your left(the south side of Takaragaike-dori). Behind DORF, you will see a large New England-style house--this is Nifty. As Nifty is a cafe (with excellent food!), and as they have been so supportive, we ask that people who come to see us order a drink or so.



Nifty
tel. 075-722-2370
Kyoto, Sakyo-ku, Takaragaike-Odori (south side of DORF)
Access map
Parking facilities for up to 60 cars

(2007/02/11)


Maneki Neko --- Upcoming end-of-the-year performance (December)

Maneki Neko guitar duo
Upcoming end-of-the-year performance
Wednesday, December 27, 2006
At Nifty from 8pm

Good morning from the Maneki Neko guitar duo. We had a performance recently at the sculptor Yamazaki Ryo and the video artist Alessandro W. Mavilio's exhibition. Before playing we had a toast with wine...



We shouldn't drink before performing, but since everyone is offering a toast, we ought to have a sip...



Adam: "Yujiro, that's the wrong note..."
Yujiro: "Oops...sorry..."



Yujiro struggling to hold himself back from the wine until after the performance

* * *

And next, at our first outdoor performance at the Iwakura Zuisenkyo, the Shangri La of Iwakura...



Let's do our best...



It's cold--will be able to pull this off?



Not too bad after all



A young couple watching from the guests-of-honor seat



Pounding the mochi

Thanks to everyone for their support, it keeps us going!

* * *

With Halloween and Thanksgiving, there have been a lot of enjoyable holidays recently. Now we have Christmas and NewYear's coming up and this is a time when we can be thankful for what we have.

It is said that before Buddhism came over, there were 8,000,000 different gods in Japan. That is a ratio of eight gods to one person if we consider that Japan had a population of 1,000,000 people at that time.

War loses its meaning when we stop believing that we are right and start enjoying ourselves. This way of living can also be applied in our everyday lives.

Everyone is probably busy at this time of year, but if you get a chance come out to see us on December 27th.

There is one month left this year, and we would like to enjoy it as much as possible as we continue with the Maneki Neko project.



December 1st, 2006
Adam Catt
Komatsu Yujiro

P.S. The flowers that we received at our last concert are still lightening up our homes! The good vibe at our last concert must have imparted something special to the water. Thanks.


Directions to Nifty
Take the Karasuma subway line to the last stop, Kokusaikaikan station. The four-lane street in front of the station is Takaragaike-dori. Walk about 870 feet to the west. At the second traffic light, you will see the cafe "DORF" on your left(the south side of Takaragaike-dori). Behind DORF, you will see a large New England-style house--this is Nifty. As Nifty is a cafe (with excellent food!), and as they have been so supportive, we ask that people who come to see us order a drink or so.

Nifty
tel. 075-722-2370
Kyoto, Sakyo-ku, Takaragaike-Odori (south side of DORF)
Access map
Parking facilities for up to 60 cars

(2007/01/11)


Maneki Neko - Upcoming Performances (November)

Sunday, November 26, 2006 at 7:30pm
Place: Nifty

Greetings from the Maneki Neko Duo!

Thanks to everyone who came out to our first major
performance last Sunday. The machiya was filled with
listeners and it seems that everyone left happy.






We would like to thank everyone who came, our supportive
friends and staff, and the generous folks at the Kyoto
Nishijin Machiya Studio for letting us use their wonderful
space.

When we started planning for the concert in September, not
many people knew about us, and we were worried if
everything would go well.

However, we decided that even if no one came to listen, we
would still be happy to play in the machiya simply to
express our gratitude at being able to perform.

It seems that the charm of listening to a concert in a
machiya was attractive to many people, and the reserved
seats were soon all taken.

We had 143% more reservations than we had first planned on
having. This had to be due to the allure of the machiya!

We are planning on having another concert there in the
spring, and we are thinking about providing pasta or wine
for our guests rather than the simple gifts we gave out
this time.

It was our first major concert and we apologize if we
appeared a little nervous. We plan on having a more
laid-back concert at Nifty this month.

Take care and enjoy the autumn colors.

Adam Catt
Yujiro Komatsu
Maneki Neko
The "pretty good" guitar duo




Directions to Nifty
Take the Karasuma subway line to the last stop, Kokusaikaikan station. The four-lane street in front of the station is Takaragaike-dori. Walk about 870 feet to the west. At the second traffic light, you will see the cafe "DORF" on your left(the south side of Takaragaike-dori). Behind DORF, you will see a large New England-style house--this is Nifty. As Nifty is a cafe (with excellent food!), and as they have been so supportive, we ask that people who come to see us order a drink or so.



Nifty
tel. 075-722-2370
Kyoto, Sakyo-ku, Takaragaike-Odori (south side of DORF)
Access map
Parking facilities for up to 60 cars

(2006/11/30)


Maneki Neko-the "pretty good" guitar duo Live performance at a Kyoto machiya!

Happy Birthday, Sheri!




From your Kyoto Seiko People
October 29, 2006

Maneki Neko-the "pretty good" guitar duo Live performance at a Kyoto machiya!

Date: Sunday, November 12, 2006
Time: 1:30 open, concert begins at 2pm
Place: Kyoto Nishijin Machiya Studio
Horikawa Nakadachiuri Street,
first street to the west of Horikawa,
just north of Nakadachiuri
Charge: We ask for a small contribution

To secure your seat ahead of time, please contact either:

Adam
080-5096-6560
acattjp@yahoo.co.jp
or Yujiro
090-3620-3689
yujiro@gol.com

Fall is approaching and the higan flowers have begun to pop up around the rice fields.

We apologize for delays on our concert updates. Our performance schedule will be decided pretty soon so stayed tuned to our homepage!

This message is to let everyone know that we will be having one of our first semi-formal concerts at the Kyoto Nishijin Machiya Studio, an NPO near Nakadachiuri Street.

For those who would like to secure a seat earlier, we are offering reserved seats. Please call or mail us and we'll give you a seat number. Reserved seats will be held for you until ten minutes before the concert. If seats are left open after that time, we'll offer them to other guests. It is not necessary to notify us of cancellations.

Also, please feel free to come even if you don't have a reservation.

We are happy to be able to play in a quieter environment and know that you'll enjoy the program, although our mistakes might be more evident!

We look forward to seeing everyone!

October 7, 2006

Maneki Neko
Adam Catt
Komatsu Yujiro

(2006/11/16)


Maneki Neko --- Upcoming Performances (May, June)




Friday, May 26, 8pm
Sunday, June 25, 7pm
--at Nifty--



It's getting much warmer and much greener now. How iseveryone at the start of this new season?


Apologies for getting behind on updating our site. We'lltry to stay on top of everything in the future! Thanks toeveryone who pointed out that we were behind.


Apologies also to those who came out to see us and wereforced to sit in a separate room because there were noempty seats. Please do come out to see us again.Also, as the seats are usually just taken by friends ofours, feel free to grab a seat wherever you can find one.To make it easier to come see us, our next twoperformances are going to be held on a weekday and on aSunday.


We look forward to seeing everyone!



Adam and Yujiro
Maneki Neko
The "Pretty Good" Guitar Duo



Directions to Nifty
Take the Karasuma subway line to the last stop, Kokusaikaikan station. The four-lane street in front of the station is Takaragaike-dori. Walk about 870 feet to the west. At the second traffic light, you will see the cafe "DORF" on your left(the south side of Takaragaike-dori). Behind DORF, you will see a large New England-style house--this is Nifty. As Nifty is a cafe (with excellent food!), and as they have been so supportive, we ask that people who come to see us order a drink or so.


Nifty
tel. 075-722-2370
Kyoto, Sakyo-ku, Takaragaike-Odori (south side of DORF)
Access map
Parking facilities for up to 60 cars




(2006/05/25)


Maneki Neko --- Upcoming Performances (March, April)

Thursday, March 30 at 8pm
Wednesday, April 26 at 8pm
--at Nifty--

Spring greetings!
It's beginning to warm up, and the buds on the cherry trees have begun to make preparations for blooming.

Thanks to all who came out to see our last performance. We hope everyone enjoyed our guest singer's beautiful voice as much as we did.

You'll see the dates for our upcoming performances above. This time of year always brings new surprises, and we invite everyone to come out and enjoy a relaxing evening of music.

We look forward to seeing all of you!

Tuesday, March 7, 2006

Adam and Yujiro
Maneki Neko
The "Pretty Good" Guitar Duo

(2006/03/13)

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