Ki-e (2008)

In Program Notes on January 4, 2009 at 4:29 pm

In most Western Music, structure is “developing”.
On the other hand, in Japanese traditional music, it is circular.
Music begins in silence, then it becomes sometimes majesty, tenderly, furious, or weeps. By going through the repetition of small phrases, music creates expanded dimensional world.

I tried to imitate a particular sound of Biwa by using guitar.
I especially chose a trio formation for string instruments, as I would like each of viola and cello to be equal to the violin. The conversation of three gives tension.

Ki-e is a Japanese word of Buddhism, for “devotion”.
The pronunciation of the word coincidentally resembles another religious word of “Kyrie” (a form of prayer).
Also, it hints the tonality of this piece, E-minor; Key-E.

Shakuhachi music.png Music of e-book with complete audio file
The performance techniques present notable difficulties in a few completely novel situations: an audacious movement of ‘expansion’ of the respective traditions of the two instruments pushed as they are at times to the limits of the possible, the aim being to have the shakuhachi and the guitar playing on the same level and with virtuosity (two instruments that are culturally and acoustically so dissimilar), thus increasing the expressive range, the texture of the dialogue, the harmonic dimension and the tone-colour. The listener can either follow this music in all its minute and complex particulars, or let himself be freely transported by his own vision and dream in no specific direction.


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