Mt Shasta concert

Given by a famous Lyre harp musician, Miyuki Ikesue, who at the 80 years young of age, hailed all the way from Japan to Mt Shasta.

Here’s a postcard photo as smokey visibility blocked the view of magnificent Mt Shasta … the forest fires in the Northern California unfortunately means smokey visibility. It was such a touching gesture Miyuki sensei and her entourage from Japan offered a prayer for recovery hand restoration to the fire ravaged communities in California.

Beautiful Amazing Graze sang by a lovely vocal from Japan she invited to share the “stage”.

My plan to be part of the audience was quickly changed when I found myself serving as an interpreter.  Ms. Ikesue introduced each piece with a little story … sweet and moving.(and I get to interpret them into English for the American audience – feeling responsible to get it just right !)

🎤 microphone was made available but decided to forego it …in favor of acoustic rustic sounds. In midst of grove of trees, the woodsy town center was cozy … perfect for her selection of lullabies and another selection from her nature theme CD (sounds of frogs, water brooks … from Aso region in Kushu)  – “circle of life”.

Q&A session followed immediately after the hour long – no break – solo concert where she not once looked any any sheet music – In awe of this lady who charms the audience, not only with her music but simply being herself.  She’s an adorable 80 year young artist !  The audience, upon hearing the music box like melodies were entranced – absolutely, by the hypnotic sounds but at the Q&A session, they were further charmed by her authenticity in how she lives her life. She’s humble and … she’s full of laughter.  Some asked how long she’s planning to continue with her travels around the world to share her gift, to which she laughed joking she’s getting too old and ready to call it quits and just stay in Japan and soak in a hot spring.  To questions about her family, she was adoring her grandchildren and very proud of her sons, both in the music field – one a well known Gospel (yes, Gospel! He might have been the first one to really bring that genre to the land of the rising sun) musician in Japan.

She’s a breath of fresh air – an inspiration as we listened to her story that she only took up this instrument when she was in her late50’s and now at age 80, she shares her love for this special instrument, which has served as her “passport”, enabling her to travel and perform all over the world.  She’s been to India apparently over 6 times, Ireland too, it’s second time at Shasta … wonder where else she will visit this year?

Here we are 🎶 singing Happy Birthday as her 80th birthday cake is presented to her as a surprise – I’ve got my yoga arm !  Thank you K-san for taking these photos. A beautiful vegan cake was baked by Kiyoko Usugi of Mume Farm and presented with singing students and the audience joined in in chorus.  She’s a delight and so loved by anyone who meets her. The energy of joy just ripples out from her soul, channeled by her strumming and voice.  When she speaks, she’s less ephemeral and really truly down to earth with cute humor. Okay, so she’s 80 but she’s super cute !

This is a photo I took from my pilgrimage in spring this year to Mt Shasta – yes, this year … yesterday from the same spot, no more mountains are seen.  What should we do when the beauty is hidden from view?  Believe.  Just because we can’t see it does not mean it does not exist – Just because Mt. Shasta is shrouded in clouds and smoke does not mean that it’s not there – it’s very there there.  Have faith and a little uplifting music like that of  Teacher Ikesue ‘s will help along that path of clear vision amidst the smoke.  It’s a re-connection with the moon and the sun and the majestic mountain within.