Liam Michael Picker was a gifted pianist and accomplished tennis-player.

His love for the Japanese culture was evident at an early age. He was a beloved son and brother and deeply loved by family and friends. His kindness to the least of us and his search for peace was perhaps his greatest gift.  At the age of eighteen while just beginning his musical writing journey, depression tragically took his young, promising life.  He will be forever loved.  Tonight, thanks to the graciousness of Harmony For Peace, his music lives on and will no doubt bring a large, loving smile to his gentle face.

With much gratitude, Mike and Lisa Picker

December 19, 2016

In Memoriam of Liam Picker

Sharing another beautiful “Rebirth” for Harmony For Peace …
This is a story of a young man whose life was cut short. His people loving spirit and natural curiosity about other cultures resonate through his music.
The Story of Liam Picker

The Story of Liam…

I’d like to tell the story of Liam. It is just like a fresh breeze of wind that blows and takes you to another space where you see the soft ray of lights when at the same time you hear the music that starts slowly and gradually grows stronger. Sometimes it’s like a touch of light toccata yet transcending to a bigger stronger sound, serious, gentle, just as he is smiling with the twinkle in his eyes. Yet there is sometimes a strong sense of urge wanting to be there. Liam, you are always in the hearts of everyone you loved and touched.

 

One day in August 2016 with a few calls prior and emails exchanges, Lisa, Liam's mother stated that there is Liam’s last composition titled “Winter” and the family wanted Harmony For Peace to have the piece. Lisa explained how much Liam loved the arts and culture of Japan and followed us and loved us.  I was so taken back with this special gift. After a momentary loss of words to express my joy and gratitude my forever busy mind producing ideas, I told Lisa that we would love to play his piece at one of our upcoming concerts to make the piece a debut.

 

A short period of time passed and I thought of a special way to present "Winter" by Harmony For Peace, to be performed by many but the first would be the world premiere of this piece.  So it is decided that it should be made debut at the Carnegie Hall in New York.  This piece will be played and performed by many artists in the future in many places and countries but that the first debut was very important for all of us.  Gohei Nishikawa, a Japanese pianist who knows and understands the pain of inability to play the way one wishes due to illnesses and circumstances and who has himself overcome these difficulties victoriously knows the pain and also would know the sensitivity of the piece Liam so preciously created. I asked Gohei to see whether he would like to perform the piece and also to make an arrangement the way he feels best for the piece but at the same time how Liam would have liked. This, Gohei agreed graciously and performed its debut at Stern Auditorium of Carnegie Hall in New York on December 19th 2016, at the Peace Concert presented by Harmony For Peace.  And that is how the rebirth of “Winter,” a special gift to Harmony For Peace was unveiled.

We have a dream as Liam would have had one.  A dream of his music to spread throughout many places, cities, countries and local communities and more. As an artistic license was bestowed to Harmony For Peace, we are a guardian of this piece not only has responsibility but the joy of seeking and building the opportunities for "Winter" to be played by many pianists, musicians, orchestras and young people who love music. It will be introduced to many occasions with many different ways to express Liam's music based on his wishes for Love, Peace and Humanity.

Forever with love and gratitude,

Tomoko Torii,

Founder, Harmony For Peace

 

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