What I’m about to tell you is pretty insane.
Those of you guys who have ever looked at my blog know that I am really into music composed by people my age, specifically those who have performed at the International Junior Original Concert. I’ve posted several links to the recordings of said performers, including one I later found on YouTube:
(This was Megan Chang, a Yamaha student from California performing her original composition, “Candy Clouds,” in Tokyo.)
Some pretty amazing music is performed at this event.
Now I told you in another post that I got into the National Junior Original Concert, which is an event where 12 students chosen out of hundreds in the country perform their original compositions.
Then there’s the International Junior Original Concert, where Yamaha officials in Japan review the recordings of every JOC composer aged 5-14, and a dozen students are selected out of 40,000 in the entire world to perform there. And they chose me to represent the U.S. (And not every year do they pick an American composer!)
Story time: I was playing Splatoon one day until the head of my Yamaha school texted me. I died in Splatoon and took my respawn time to glance at the notification (true story believe me k anyway), and I quickly read it. She said I was going to Japan and I got into IJOC.
And yes I got really excited, I turned off the Wii U mid-game (lol my team prob lost because I’m pretty good), and I told my dad about it. Turned out my parents were hiding it bc the administrator wanted to tell me the news.
My three-and-a-half minute composition called “Saturday Procrastination” will be featured in the International JOC in August and I’ll be performing it at Yamaha Hall in Tokyo. I also have a co-performer, whose name shall be hidden for now, on the vibraphone, for which I arranged my composition. I get to rehearse on a concert grand and be coached by certified Yamaha judges and have a professional recording and copyright label on my work, which will probably look amazing on my résumé.
I never thought I’d say so, but I’m gonna need to brush up on a little Japanese lingo. Not like weeaboo trash “hanatewakusoshiseotadashiteteriyakisuzukihondacivic” whatever but simple greetings and courtesy phrases and stuff because I’m going to be with 11 other students, most of which will be Japanese locals. Hopefully they know some English, too.
What I expect Tokyo to look like:
(Not very big compared to Bunkumura Orchard Hall, the one Megan Chang performed at. Yamaha has changed up their entire IJOC format and location since 2016, so this is it.)
It sounds pretty coincidental and all that much of my later posts on here were about the IJOC and how I loved some of the pieces from it and posted them here. Now I’m going to be a part of it!
I’ll be sure to link to a video here of my duet performance as soon as possible. The U.S. Yamaha board usually posts the videos of the National JOC performances on YouTube and, for the first time last year, the Japanese Yamaha YouTube channel posted the International JOC performances, so you’ll get to see both of them.
I’m pretty sure I’m performing at NJOC on July 16th and IJOC on August 21st, but I don’t know every single detail yet.
Thanks for reading, and I wish myself luck performing at both of these rare occasions!
– Luka Puka