Saturday, May 26, 2018

Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra: Music from Anime

I was totally couldn't wait for yesterday night πŸ˜ƒπŸ˜ƒπŸ˜ƒ

The Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra (MPO) is presenting a concert; Music from Anime, that features the wonderful music from the most popular works from three iconic Japanese anime composers; Takashi Miki, Joe Hisaishi and Hiroshi Miyagawa; that span from 25 May to 27 May 2018, for 3 timing shows.

Source: MPO Facebook Page

Joe Hisaishi is no stranger to Studio Ghibli fans worldwide. Known for his musical versatility that fuses Japanese classical, Western classical, experimental electronic and minimalist, Joe Hisaishi has composed many of the Studio Ghibli animation soundtracks, including those from "Princess Mononoke", "My Neighbor Totoro", and the Oscar-winning "Spirited Away".

Having grown up with masterpiece films from Studio Ghibli and also been listening to the "Studio Ghibli 25 years Concert" conducted by Joe Hisaishi for countless of times on DVD and YouTube (omg you should totally listen to this concert! It is the most amazing and wonderful concert that I can listen to over and over again), I just couldn't let go the opportunity to listen to live orchestra music from Studio Ghibli! 🎢🎷🎹🎺🎻

Source: MPO Facebook Page

The fact that I only knew about this concert 3 days ago despite the tickets have been selling since last year has kind of made me feel upset and aggrieved. It was almost sold out for all sessions and left only some 'Premium' seats and limited number of 'A Reserve' seats. Luckily though, I was able to get an 'A Reserve' seat for the 25 May show, at concession rate for being a MAS Enrich member (15% discount!) πŸ˜…


Then, yesterday night came. It was so beautiful, so magical. 😍

Source: MPO Instagram Page

You can download the concert notes here:

The show began with the cheerful 'Anpanman Medley', then moved on to the melodious 'Symphonic Variation Merry-Go-Round' (from "Howl's Moving Castle"). 🎢🎷🎹🎺🎻

Right when the first note of the 'Symphonic Variation Merry-Go-Round' started, it moved my heart straight away...I almost cried. All sorts of nostalgic memories, not only with Studio Ghibli, but also with my beloved Sister, came flushing me. It was her who introduced Totoro to me, when I was still a small kid. tear built up but I controlled it not to let it drop.

The magic then continued with 'Kimi Wo Nosete' (from "Laputa"), 'Gake No Ue No Ponyo' (from "Ponyo on the Cliff"), where both were accompanied by the children's chorus, etc. I even sang along (silently) the song 'Kimi Wo Nosete'; it was a very touching song with a melancholy melody. The concert finally ended with the 'My Neighbor TOTORO: Orchestra Stories 2002', which is an eight-part series of compositions, namely 'Stroll', 'The Village In May', 'Travelling Soot — Mother', 'It Was TOTORO!', 'The Path Of The Wind', 'A Lost Child', 'Catbus' and finally, 'My Neighbour TOTORO'.

Source: MPO Instagram Page

The finale of course - 'My Neighbour TOTORO' - received the loudest applause and cheers from the audiences. Couldn't control the tear anymore; I think I dropped two or three, or maybe more. 😒 Seriously no words can describe how I felt then; the very much agony and grief I felt since losing my Sister.

Just when I thought it has ended, Maestro Naohisa Furusawa came back with an encore; not a music from anime, but a touching music of the song 'Hana Wa Saku' (means, 'Flowers Will Bloom'). This song was to support NHK's reconstruction efforts in the areas hardest hit by the 2011 Great Eastern Japan Earthquake. Maestro revealed that, it was one of his favourite song.

Maestro Naohisa Furusawa in TOTORO costume
Source: MPO Instagram Page

And finally, really finally, another encore on 'My Neighbour TOTORO'; this time Maestro Naohisa Furusawa entered the hall in TOTORO costume! LOL! And he conducted throughout the finale in the cute costume. It was so sporting of him; to create the scene as if Totoro was conducting the show. πŸ˜ƒ

Promotional poster for the concert in year 2016

Kudos to the conductor, Maestro Naohisa Furusawa; the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra players; and also the children's chorus from the Japanese School of Kuala Lumpur. πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘ I really enjoyed it so much; it's as if I have achieved one of the best thing in life! My Friday night was well spent with happy! 😊 And I am sure Sis was with me, also listening to the concert from heaven...

Although this concert was not 100% Studio Ghibli or not conducted by Maestro Joe Hisaishi (it seems like Joe Hisaishi is in California this week for the concert "Music from the Studio Ghibli films of Hayao Miyazaki" at Symphony Silicon Valley), it was the best I could get in Malaysia at the moment lol πŸ˜‚πŸ˜… But seriously, Maestro Naohisa Furusawa and the MPO team did a tremendously good job in bringing up the atmosphere that I was so mesmerized and fantasized by the music.

I also just came to know that, MPO has organised similar concert in 2016, just before Sis gone to heaven. If I had knew about the concert then, I would have attended it with Sis; because she's the first reason for me loving Studio Ghibli! ❤

The little doggy which was owned by has since adopted by us...

I hope that MPO would organise similar concert for the next season, and hopefully it would be 100% Studio Ghibli? Gosh I really need to always check their calendar so that I am able to buy a ticket for myself earlier! day, hopefully I would have the opportunity to attend the Studio Ghibli concert conducted by the Maestro Joe Hisaishi himself πŸ˜ƒ


One thing I wish to share; I was very happy with my seat lol...I was able to see clearly who was playing what from my seat, which addressed my curiosity on what instrument; violin, harp, cello, piano, flute, drum etc., was playing πŸ˜†

This picture was taken while I was sitting on my seat: Perfect view of the entire stage.

You see, I was so desperate to get a ticket then, that I searched online for people selling off their tickets. Found a few but all of them were selling tickets from the Stall (i.e. ground level), Row D. It was of course the cheapest category ('C Reserve') but after much consideration, I decided to purchase directly from the MPO Box Office, which of course only left a few of the 'Premium' and 'A Reserve' seats.

MPO Seating Plan
Source: MPO Website

Thinking that I was only there to appreciate the music by ears, I decided to buy the 'A Reserve' seat from Circle, which is actually at 1st floor (not ground level); and boy how glad I was!!! The hall is actually not that big; thus it is really not far to sit at the Circle fact, it is next to VVVVIP seats lol and according to the counter girl, it's the second best seats at the hall πŸ˜… And because I purposely picked my seat at the middle of the row, I was able to cover the whole stage; not blocked by any wall or box (which may happen if the seat is at the corner).

Source of original image:

Well, if you prefer to take a close-up picture of the stage (which is allowed before or after showtime, and during interval break), then the front rows of Stall is more suitable for you. But if you are the same species like me, prefer to enjoy the music knowing which instruments are used, then the Circle is totally the best choice!

If only my seat was at the first row of the Circle, then it would be perfect. Now I know which seat to buy the next time should I plan to attend a MPO concert again. πŸ˜ƒ


A snippet during the rehearsal
Source: MPO Facebook Page

* Note * 
Photography or video recording is strictly not allowed during the concert at MPO. Please have respect on the musicians and other patrons.
All photos and videos taken by me was done before or after concert, or during the concert interval. 

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