Masa Ishikawa presents his original composition on Fukushima Friday pm at Shoreline CC

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Masa Ishikawa will play his original composition
at Shoreline Community College on Friday afternoon

Friday, March 9, 2018, 12:30 – 2:00pm, Shoreline Community College 16101 Greenwood Ave N, Shoreline 98133, Music Building 800, Room 818, small charge for parking. The community is welcome to attend this FREE performance. 

Shoreline Community College alumni Masa Ishikawa will present his original composition Suite for the Forgotten, a Jazz Orchestra Suite with strings.

The piece is written in commemoration of Japan's 2011 earthquake/tsunami / nuclear meltdown victims' families, to commemorate the victims, as well as to continue raising awareness of ongoing radiation issues in Fukushima prefecture.

Originally from Fukushima Japan, Masayoshi Ishikawa grew up in a city called Aizu Wakamatsu. He came to the United States in 2003 to begin his formal musical training in Seattle, where he first found his passion for piano and the art of jazz.

We are honored to have Masa return to the SCC Music Department as our special guest so he can share his journey of becoming a successful pianist, arranger, and composer with our music students.

Suite For The Forgotten is an original composition that is dedicated to people who are currently living in Fukushima and its surrounding areas. The piece is comprised of three movements (“I. Grief and Wrath,” “II. Wasururuka,” “III. A Song for Children.”) The tragic Great East Earthquake and tsunami occurred in Japan March 11, 2011. The disaster not only took thousands of people’s lives away but also caused the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant meltdown.

Due to high radioactive leakage from the plants, thousands of people had to leave their hometowns. It has been said that some of those areas that have been contaminated by radiation will not be safe for habitation for the next fifty to a hundred years.

There was also a report that the children’s thyroid tumor ratio in Fukushima has gone up much higher than normal. Since the earthquake in 2011, the total number of stress related deaths has reached 1,660 in Fukushima. This number has exceeded the total death toll of 1,607 people who were directly killed by the earthquake and tsunami in Fukushima.

Ishikawa says, "These issues are only some of the obstacles Fukushima has been facing. Even though Fukushima has been going through those ongoing issues, I feel that they have been forgotten by the world. My hope is to raise awareness of severe hardship Fukushima will continue to confront."

The first movement, Grief and Wrath, focuses on feelings of people in Fukushima who have been struggling with various problems caused by radiation leakage.

The second movement, Wasururuka, reflects my own sincere sympathy toward this incident. Wasururuka means “Have you forgotten?” in Japanese. In this piece, I have applied an old Japanese poem included in Kanginshu, a collection of Japanese songs and ballads written about five hundred years ago.

The final movement, A Song for Children, represents children in Fukushima who have been facing these extremely tough situations, yet have a fountain of energy that gives us a light of hope for the future.

Originally from Fukushima Japan, Masayoshi Ishikawa grew up in a city called Aizu Wakamatsu. Throughout his primary and secondary school years, Ishikawa actively participated in several choirs. 

Ishikawa holds two Master of Music Degrees-one in jazz composition from the University of South Florida and one in jazz piano performance from the University of Northern Colorado. He received Doctor of Musical Arts Degree in Composition from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 2015. Ishikawa currently serves as a Visiting part-time Assistant Professor at Gustavus Adolphus College in Minnesota where he teaches Aural and Keyboard Skills as well as Applied Jazz Piano.


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