(HN, March 10, 2012) From Tokyo - On the one-year anniversary of the tsunami and earthquake in northern Japan, noted Japanese soprano Tomoko Shibata will perform a Japanese translation of the American healing anthem “Towers of Light” at her memorial concert at the prestigious Yamaha Hall in Tokyo. The event on Sunday evening will commemorate the victims of last year’s Japanese tsunami and earthquake.
“Towers of Light” was composed by noted New York clinical psychologist and well-known radio and TV personality, Dr. Judy Kuriansky and international composer Russell Daisey. Inspired by the two beams of light which shine on each 9/11 anniversary at the Ground Zero site where the Twin Towers fell, the song promotes healing and commemorates the heroes of that day.
Through the unique friendship and shared vision of healing between the American and Japanese writers and performer, “Towers of Light” will now be featured by Tomoko Shibata in her ‘Songs of Hope’ concert.
The New York composing team of Kuriansky and Daisey are in Tokyo for the premiere of their song in Japanese at the concert and will make introductory remarks at the event.
Shibata produces and performs ‘Songs for Hope’ concerts at the earthquake zone in Japan and also around the world.
Says Shibata, “I passionately believe that music gives hope and lifts spirits of people in trauma.”
Fear of another quake is ever-present in Japan, she explains, and people around the world also experience trauma and need comfort.
“My heart expands and people feel like crying when I sing the ‘Towers of Light’ song,” Shibata says. “So I wanted to make a Japanese version so the Japanese people can appreciate the warm feeling and healing.”
Shibata first sang the “Towers of Light” anthem with Dr. Judy and Russell in September 2010 for the highly acclaimed series of Hiroshima Hibaku (Survivor) Piano concerts in New York City. Subsequently, she sang it for the Tenth Anniversary of 9/11 at the 'Annual 9/11 Japanese Floating Lantern Ceremony’ on the East River, NYC.
Over the past few years, Dr. Judy, Russell and Tomoko have performed the song together and through their friendship and creative collaborations the song has been translated into Japanese by Tomoko as “Souls Become Stars.” Given their shared vision, this endeavor for peace has expanded and transcended the song’s initial inspiration, to encompass a connection between the two monumental tragedies of 9/11 and 3/11, as well as fostering healing for survivors of both catastrophes.
Kuriansky and Daisey are co-founders of the Stand Up for Peace Project (SUFPP), an initiative that promotes peace, understanding and healing worldwide. They have performed the healing ballad “Towers of Light” internationally at peace festivals, United Nations conferences, Global Harmony concerts, peace seminars, and music and peace tours throughout Japan, Mexico and Haiti, as well as at the First Hiroshima International Peace Summit in Hiroshima, Japan, for Nobel Peace Laureates, the Dalai Lama, Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Betty Williams.
“Powerful, very powerful,” said the Dalai Lama when he first heard the song.
“As an international psychologist and an NGO representative at the United Nations, it is powerful to me that our song to help heal from 9/11 is now in Japanese and helping people heal from 3/11. The intensity of that cross-cultural connection brings me to tears," says Kuriansky.
The humanitarian, who represents psychological organizations at the United Nations, has provided psychological first aide after the 9/11 terrorist attacks at Ground Zero and at the Family Assistance Center, as well as after other disasters including the Asian tsunami and earthquakes in Haiti and China. She teaches psychology at Columbia University Teachers College and runs peace workshops world-wide.
SUFPP co-founder Daisey is an internationally acclaimed pianist/singer/songwriter who has played command performances for American presidents and world dignitaries, including Bill Clinton and George H.W. Bush, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Vice President Al Gore, former Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney, and the Chiniya Lama of Kathmandu, Nepal.
On Monday, the day after the concert and 3/11 anniversary, Kuriansky, Daisey and Shibata will travel to the Miyagi area, to do a workshop and music concert for several schools. They will be joined by famous Japanese pop star Shinji Harada. All have been working on recovery and global harmony projects separately and together for years in varying parts of the world.
--- Dr. Judy Kuriansky is a member of HUM's Board of Advisors