Program Notes for the New Horizons I Concert (8. Sep.)

Nana Kamiyama : Mirage over the ancient forest under the sea
(HEMMI Yasutaka/violin, MATSUMURA Takayo/harp)

About 90 kilometers from my workplace in Kanazawa, I drove towards the Sea of Japan. It’s said that in the bay where I arrived lies a primeval forest from two thousand years ago, deep beneath the sea floor. The twisted tree roots remain, perhaps now serving as beds for deep-sea fish. Separated by the surface of the sea, it’s said that one can see a mirage, with the elongated shapes of a city towering high. Alone, I stood on the bright sandy beach, reminiscing about stories of firefly squids washing ashore. On moonless nights, the dark beach is said to glow pale blue. I’ve always wanted to witness such a scene, but I didn’t have much time left. As I was about to leave the beach, a gleaming fragment containing luminous minerals caught my eye. “Ah, a shard of jade,” I intuitively thought. Drawing close and picking it up, I held it up to the sun to examine the crystals and noticed a mirage appearing in my line of sight. A beautiful scene, it was an illusion. The once vast beech forest; echoes of life. At the ends of those tree branches, birds were singing. Wait, was I once such a bird? Do you still remember such distant memories, I wonder? (Nana Kamiyama)

Isamu Kanai : FIELD
(YAMAMOTO Junko/piano)

The title is borrowed from the trend in abstract painting known as “Color Field Painting,” which involves creating a “field” of colors on a large canvas. I feel that the piano is a “Gigantic Resonator”. In my imagination, the depth of sound emitted by piano intersects with the expansiveness expressed through colors. These shared elements inspired me to explore the emergence of a new “FIELD” of sound. (Isamu Kanai)

Hristina Šušak : Affectus I
(UEDA Nozomi/clarinet, HEMMI Yasutaka/violin)

In Affectus I as well as in other Affectus pieces (Affectus I, II, III and IV) I use very reduced spectrum of music material; in fact, only two kind of sound: downward glissando and percussive element. These two I combine in an unpredictable way, using contrasts in dynamics and length, like an affectus. I also try to gain some kind of homogeneity (as well as in my music in general) for example, using the same kind of sound in both instruments simultaneously, adjusting their playing techniques, but with complementary rhythm – what creates some form of what I call sound mass in the end effect. (Hristina Šušak)

Naoki Sakata : Candela
(UEDA Nozomi/clarinet)

The title “Candela” is a unit of luminous intensity. As the title suggests, the work is colored with various images of light, from a flashing sound in high register to a obscure effect by delicate multiphonics. The word “candela” is derived from the word “candle,” and the music also projects figures related to fire. For example, the piece makes extensive use of sound materials with “continuous and rapid sound fluctuations,” such as trills and frequency beat by multiphonics, which evoke the flickering of fire. The work is composed of three parts: fast, slow, and fast. In the first part, a variety of movements are derived from a fire-tip-like sound pattern that repeatedly rises, and irregular textures are woven together. Second part is based on delicate sounds such as the weak mulciphonics. Third part is composed with dynamic texture. Here, double trills with special fingerings create a sound image like a glowing flame. (Naoki Sakata)

Hinako Takagi : Reflection of Heaven
(SUZUKI Tosiya/recorder, TAJIMA Tadashi/shakuhachi)

The term “heaven’s reflection” is used by Yoshikawa to express the connection between the order of the world and one’s own existence in the collection of conversations between philosopher Keiji Nishitani and Chinese literary scholar Kojiro Yoshikawa, “This Eternal Thing.” It is something. Even in the midst of modern science and the rapidly changing order of things, we feel a deep connection with heaven. Or, there are quite a few situations where you want it. What kind of reflection does the modern order have on us today? I composed this piece while thinking about the relationship between heaven and humans that has continued since ancient times, and its changes. (Hinako Takagi)