Sheet Music: Score
Toyokawa (East River) : Piano sonata / Ralph Middenway.
Also known as: East River
by Ralph Middenway (1994)
Toyokawa Inari-jinja is, uniquely, a Sōtō Zen temple and a Shintō shrine to Inari, the 'Happy God'. This piano piece is derived from an unforgettable event in 1990 when I was solemnly blessed in the shrine by a company of about 40 performers, and its structure is derived from the Sōtō Zen æsthetic principles of jo-ha-kyū (introduction, scattering rushing) and wabi-sabi (which values balanced asymmetry, simplicity and economy). And the initial strong rhythm which underlies the first movement was played on ōdaiko, that day in Toyokawa.
The piece doesn't sound Japanese. The aim was a virtuosic piece that conformed to those two Zen æsthetic principles-a kind of 'thank you'.
Published by: Australian Music Centre — 1 facsimile score (42p. -- A4 (portrait))
Difficulty: Advanced — Advanced technique and a high level of musicality required.
Duration: 19 mins, 31 sec.
Commissioned with funds provided by Australia Council.
Includes programme notes.
The composer notes:
This piece may have some affinity with my three song cycles based on Japanese poetry: 'Ishikawa' (Stone River), 'Songs of Poverty', and 'The Stream of Time'.
Totally rewritten as part of a UTas composition PhD project in 2013. The new version supercedes the original.
This edition produced 2013.
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