[留学生の藝大体験記11] Marty Hicks(音楽研究科・音楽文化学専攻)[My Experience at GEIDAI 11]Marty Hicks(Graduate school of music)

July 15, 2016


Name, Department, Home country and city, Duration

My name is Marty Hicks, and I am a Masters student in the Creativity of Music and Sound department, one of the graduate school portions of the Musical Creativity and the Environment faculty. I am from Melbourne, Australia and I have been in Japan since April 2015. I am here as a recipient of the MEXT Research Scholarship.


Why did you choose Geidai as your study abroad destination?

I chose Geidai primarily because of its reputation as one of the premier art universities in Japan, and its long list of illustrious alumnus, such as Sakamoto Ryuichi, Mayuzumi Toshiro, and Teshigahara Hiroshi. I was also inspired by the work that students in the Musical Creativity and the Environment faculty were creating when I went to see their exhibitions.


What did you do to prepare yourself for studying abroad in Japan?

I had experience studying abroad in Japan before I came to Tokyo – I undertook a semester of Japanese language and traditional arts classes at Ritsumeikan University in Kyoto in the second half of 2013 – and so I mostly knew what to expect in terms of finding accommodation, and how different daily routines would be from my life back in Melbourne. I spent a lot of time looking for apartments in places that would be convenient for me to live, and of course studied Japanese very hard.

東京へ来る前に日本での留学生活を経験しました。2013年秋学期に京都の立命館大学で日本語と伝統文化の講習を受けました。 これにより、日本で住まいを探す際に起こり得ることや、地元メルボルンとは異なる日常生活について、大方理解しました。自分にとって生活しやすい場所でアパートを探すのに時間をかけましたし、もちろん、日本語も一生懸命勉強しました。

What do you study at Geidai?

My research theme concerns film music from a certain period in Japanese film history, and so I spend a lot of time reading essays and documents written by and about prominent composers and filmmakers of that period. Outside of my research I’m also studying computer music, specifically how to make sound works using computer programs and so on, as well as taking some general sound engineering classes.



What do you like about Geidai?

The professor I’m conducting my research under at Geidai has a seemingly unlimited wealth of knowledge related to my research topic, as well as having had close contact with many of the composers of the period I’m researching, and so I’m very glad to have had the opportunity to work with him. Geidai has over a hundred years of rich history, and simply being on campus, interacting with staff and students and exploring its vast library complexes makes one feel a part of that legacy.

In the Musical Creativity and the Environment in particular, it’s very inspiring to constantly be around other students who are working hard honing their individual skills – everybody is different and is deep into doing something different, and so it’s a relatively nurturing environment for creativity.



What are the things that impressed you or surprised you in Japan?

I suppose there’s quite a long list, but the soundscapes of Japan are what continue to leave impressions on me – whether it’s the bustle of a metropolis like Shinjuku or the quietude of Mt. Takao in the summer, Japan’s sound environments continue to inspire me with their beauty and uniqueness.


What are your future goals?

I hope to keep continuing to improve as a composer, and write for some original ensembles either (or both) at home in Melbourne and in Japan. One of my dreams is to have a record of my own music released by a minor label in Japan, and participate in their live events.


Please write a message for students wishing to study in Japan.

When you come to this country you don’t get on a plane and fly to Japan, you get on a spaceship and fly to another planet. That’s not to say that everything is entirely different, but just living a normal life here is an adventure within itself, and an adventure worth having at that – so if you’re thinking about coming to Japan, come on over and see what all the fuss is about.