portrait 003 : Eriko : Play loud, pray transparent



< prelude >


I play piano.


I do a lot of improvisations.  Sometimes I play private, inviting only a few guests in my studio.  It’s really an intimate time, so I have to be careful not to be too close to their mind.


I feel the air, the space, the people, and I absorb everything around.  I completely get into the place where I am.  It’s like I am possessed by something else.


Then the music comes out, that flows and blends in there transparently.




< heart >


Apart from improvisations, I also enjoy making musics, to leave as my classics.   I play and record, and listen to it again and again, and write it down to preserve.  The process is totally opposite to my studio live.  When I leave my music as a piece of work, I want to keep it as it is and take it out of the box gently in exactly the same shape as I recorded, whenever I want.


Probably I have two opposing forces in myself.  I often get off the track, but I am quite staid, basically.




< Rêverie >


Last spring, I started to post my playing on YouTube, and wrote my thoughts every week.  It was just a few words a day at first, and got longer as the passage of time.


As it was the time of so many changes and uncertainties, my mood and feelings moved and changed every week. I wanted to add some words to my music, hoping that I could share the feelings I was having in my improvisation with the audiences.


Probably I also like expressing my thoughts by words, as much as through music.




< .i >


I think, what I play is a sort of punk, by nature.
It’s free, and I play outside the box.


I even play in unison with thunderclaps.




< Hibi >


Incense plays an important role in my place.  I burn it often when I play piano.

I think it helps me to relax, rather than to concentrate.


This is what I bought in Kyoto.  It’s sandalwood today.





< Unclouded >


Have I got my color …    No, I don’t think I have.


When playing piano, I do not play like showing off.  I just play the music to fit in the place where I am.

So I am a mirror to gather the light and shadow, the air and breath, and everything around me.

I am a reflection of yourself.


Simply I want to play the notes to make the audiences feeling good.

That’s all I want.




< Question from another artist : portrait 001 Shinji >


What is time for you ? 




Every single moment is valuable.

I want to represent the beauty in life, through my music.

Life is short, and ephemeral.





< Questions to the future contributors >


* How do you maintain motivation for your creation ?

* Is there any connection between your current career and how you spent your childhood ?





About Eriko :


She plays in the studio with a little garden, feeling the sunshine coming in, or hearing the rain pouring on the trees, with a scent of flowers blooming.  Sometimes, even a thunderclap joins her session.
Her piano is so magnetic like herself, and draws us into the deep silent forest. Listening to her piano is a very intimate and dramatic experience.



Interview with Eriko Uegaki / pianist


Photographer : Masa Hamanoi


May 2021 at studio gris, Tokyo