Above, Ami Roge plays Hana 花 by Ichiro Nagahara (b. 1958). The theme ‘Hana’ (flower) that the music is based on is from a famous Japanese folksong written by a composer called Rentaro Taki (1879-1903).
In her own words…
My turning point was in 2011, when I had a breast cancer (Stage 3). I was in midst of chemotherapy treatment, feeling very weak and often sick. One day, when I was home recuperating, I sat down at the piano and played the last movement of the Schumann Fantaisie. When I finished the last C Major chord, tears came to my eyes. I was filled with an overwhelming feeling of love and gratitude. I was convinced that I had given myself a kind of ‘music therapy’, and that I was healing myself from the music. One year later, after I finished all my treatment and was well again, I was back to my normal routine of concerts and the busy everyday activities, but I had not forgotten that feeling I had when I was in my home playing the piano during the cancer treatment.
A few years later, I went to Bali and came across what they called Sound Baths. I have always been curious to experience this, and took all the different sessions they were offering at the yoga center there. They had the gong session, the Tibetan bowl session, etc. They were all wonderful, but it was the crystal singing bowls that attracted me. Something about the beautiful crystalline sound quality and the amazing overtone (harmonics) that they produce resonated in me. That was the beginning.
And as others may also experience, once one starts to think about something, things just naturally come your way. In the same year, I came across a book by Mitchell Gaynor, a medical doctor (an oncologist!) who talks about the healing power of the crystal bowls (he used them during his patients’ chemotherapy), and I also met a woman right here in Japan who plays piano and crystal bowls simultaneously. I met this woman in Yokohoma, Japan, and came home that very same evening with four beautiful alchemy bowls.
That was then. Today, I play concerts with the bowls and piano, and each time I am gratified, and lifted.
Born in Tokyo to an Indonesian father and a Japanese mother and educated primarily in the United States, Ami Rogé is a classically trained concert pianist with a Masters in Music from Mannes College and Bachelor of Music from The Juilliard School. Ami has travelled around the world as a concert pianist since 2005. She has appeared in prestigious concert halls and festivals across four continents, including New York’s Carnegie Hall, Hong Kong Joy of Music Festival, Australian Festival of Chamber Music, Beijing International Piano Festival and the Salisbury International Festival, among others. In 2011, she played with Pascal Rogé in Sydney Opera House, for a premiere of Matthew Hindson’s Concerto for Two Pianos, with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Vladimir Ashkenazy. Ami has a strong belief that music and pure sounds can have enormous healing power, and she is now on a mission, not only to play music for pleasure, but also as a healing agent for the body, emotion, soul and spirit.