Archive for the ‘Program Notes’ Category

‘Superstring Theory’ for two pianos

In Program Notes on October 22, 2018 at 3:10 pm

This work is structured as an “inverse symmetrical series” of 35 tones arranged around Middle C. My style generally emerges from a single cell (tone row) which evolves into two contrasting motifs. These two motifs develop together, and through tension and fusion grow in energy, developing into great waves.
Superstring theory is an attempt to explain all of the particles and fundamental forces of nature in one theory by modeling them as vibrations of tiny supersymmetric strings (Wikipedia). Having been inspired by the title of the theory rather than the theory itself, and at the same time intending to allude to the rich sound produced on the two pianos, I adopted the title of the theory for this work.

‘Imprisonment’ for 13 players (2017)

In Program Notes on May 27, 2018 at 3:00 pm

This work is a revised version of two works.
The first one is “DNA” for violin solo (composed 2015). The first three minutes of this composition consist of only four pitches: the open G-string, A flat on the D-string, F sharp on the A-string and F on the E-string. These four pitches are repeated while changing their combination and rhythm patterns. In the second half, the pitches are connected by “helical” strands of sixteenth notes.
The second original piece is “Imprisonment” for String Quartet (2016), which is a revised version of “DNA” for solo violin. I also revised the title to reflect my feeling that all creatures are as though imprisoned by their DNA chain. Those who are imprisoned are restricted their liberty and their belongings, just as this work is “imprisoned” by its limited range of notes.


Piano Concerto (1988)

In Program Notes on May 30, 2013 at 4:08 pm

A novel inspired me to compose this concerto, Shūsaku Endō’s “Shiroi Hito” [White Men].
The hero of the novel, although a French man, joins the Gestapo. He tortures a former seminarian whom he had confronted in the past, driving him to suicide.
This work is a complete rewrite of a piece I wrote in 1986, originally to complete my degree at the Superior School of the University of the Arts of Tokyo. It won 1st prize in The 57th Music Competition of Japan.
This concerto was performed by pianist Sumiko Hioki with the New Japan Philharmonic, and conducted by Hikotaro Yazaki at the Tokyo Metropolitan Hibiya Public Hall on October 12, 1988.

The excerpt from the performance [14:46] mp3

Sequential melodic fragments for synthesizer (1982-1986)

In Program Notes on May 20, 2013 at 3:22 pm

I produced these pieces for a change of pace during the five years between my senior year in Shizuoka University in 1982 and the end of my stay at the Graduate School of the Tokyo University of the Arts in 1986.
The pieces are named “Sources of Avant-Garde.” They’re simple samples of sequential music that I recorded with several instruments playing simultaneously. The goal was not to compose completed pieces but, rather, to feature the raw sound of the synthesizer.
For most of the pieces, first, I created the rhythm section with the use of a rhythmbox.
Then, I played from the heart while listening to the rhythm.
I recently took the opportunity to convert the recordings into MP3 format, and reorganized the 25 audio files—including previously unpublished pieces—into seven medleys.


1) Crows Flew to Me [7:15] mp3
2) Shamisen-Marimba-Koto [6:28] mp3
3) Dropping [5:43] mp3
4) Haste-ism [3:39] mp3
5) Miaou [4:05] mp3
6) Animé-Shakuhachi [4:25] mp3
7) Möbius Strip [7:06] mp3

‘Psalm’ for alto saxophone and piano (2011)

In Program Notes on October 31, 2011 at 4:04 pm

Analyzing a picture taken by a gigantic astronomical telescope, far beyond a twinkling star, man can recognize not only the past shape, but also the original shape of the star.
The faraway light is the past light. The further it is past, the more it darkens.
The twinkling light is the evolved shape that is closer to the present.

I transposed this principle to the sound.
The simple initial motive which was exposed pianissimo complicates itself little by little increasing its quantity.

music.png Music of e-book with complete audio file

Six Canons (2010)

In Program Notes on April 1, 2011 at 2:38 am

It was during spring vacation after my first year at Shizuoka University when I discovered Sweelinck’s music. As I was working as a temporary manual laborer for about forty days in order to buy a multi-track recorder for my synthesizer, I’ve heard the music on the FM radio that I have been listening to for waking up every morning. At the beginning of those days I went out working under rigid routine rules, the music showed me out purely and warmly.

Then thirty years later last year, I gave a task to one of my pupils in composition class to make six canons and I also composed them for an example. In these works there might have been an influence of Sweelinck. After the catastrophic consequent huge earthquake, the extensive tsunami waves and the explosion at a nuclear plant have simultaneously occurred in nearby regions, these simple canons which had not been intended to give any expression seem rather suitable to express regret.

à l’octave en ut majeur
à la quarte en ut majeur
à l’unisson par mouvement contraire en ut majeur
à l’octave en la mineur
à la quinte en la mineur
par mouvement contraire en la mineur

music.png Music of e-book with complete audio file

‘Diferencias’ for violin solo (2002)

In Program Notes on February 28, 2011 at 12:29 am

In an ideal world, unaccompanied works are found soaring above the ground where no one could tread without support, it is an inimitable isolation.
Whenever listening to Bach’s for violin or cello suites, I can’t help but form such an image in my mind.
The isolation also brings an absolute freedom for there is nothing to restrain a person.

‘Diferencias’– This work begins with stillness, then oscillates between violent shakes and more stillness, developing and varying its figure as it progresses.
In conclusion, at the summit of perpetual motion, an improvisation that lasts no longer than one minute is played.

Listen to this piece (cadenza by Michiko Kobayashi) [8:55] mp3

‘Nocturne de Chopin’ pour piano à six mains (2010)

In Program Notes on December 30, 2010 at 4:33 am

I like to compose unusual instrumentations.
The other day, a colleague pianist gave me the task to arrange one of the famous nocturne of Chopin (Op.9-2 E-flat major) for piano 6 hands of professional pianists.

In the past, I have composed a piece for piano right hand, it has been one of my main works, but this time, 6 hands!
As if that was gymnastics in a crowded train.

In general, most contemporary compositions are too difficult to enjoy.
But in the case of an arrangement, I expect that I would be able to entertain the audience with contemporary composition technique, transforming musical figure by using from one hand to six hands of three pianists…like an arabesque.

music.png Music of e-book with complete audio file

‘Mirage’ for viola and piano (2002)

In Program Notes on October 11, 2010 at 5:48 pm

Novels are not dissertations. They should be structures consisting of dreams, delusions and speculations in all its aspects. If there would be remains of unsuccessful descriptions which chill readers as “How ridiculous!”, that’s that.—

This is a quotation from the late Mr. Yutaka Haniya, who was the author of unfinished spectacular Death Spirits (Shirei). And also these words coincide with my conception of composition. Composition is, all things considered, a musical trick. It must be fun with musical spirits.

What mirage could be born of veiled tones of a viola encountering with brilliant tones of a piano like a keyboard percussion?

Listen to this piece [12:24] mp3

Orchestral Offering (1999)

In Program Notes on September 2, 2010 at 1:22 am

Although I am a contemporary composer, classical music never wears out.
What are the secrets of classical music? My occupation is to search and apply them to my compositions.

One day, I found out a law of classical music.
That is, most of them have attractive parts which are not only mere parts but also portend or preview an entire work.

In my work “Orchestral Offering”, contrasting ideas encounter and evolve into larger waves, going together, antagonizing, melting, developing their energies and tensions.

The excerpts from the performance [7:23] mp3