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Emergence from autumn darkness to spring : for jiari-shakuhachi and jinashi-shakuhachi

by Bruce Crossman (2015)

Work Overview

Emergence from Autumn Darkness to Spring is emotionally about an emergence from a long darkness into an ecstatic heavenly release, as if autumn had been transfigured into spring. The changing seasons are a metaphor of the burden of a friend's death and coming to terms with it through music. The music draws on traditional Japanese Noh play's jo-ha-kyū, using its five-part dan structure to create an intensification of instrumental colour from breath, to ecstatic pitch flourishes, and a quick return to air sounds. Symbolic sounds interlace and emerge in the structure of the music; Christian glossolalia (speaking in tongues) chanting frame the work, whilst Japanese Gagaku court music emerges in tangled, overlapping lines as type of heart cry at the most intense part of the structure-the third dan. The spiritual symbols of heaven and higher dimensions within an arch shaped musical intensification design are about loss and transcendence of the individual, who moves to perhaps a heavenly dimension.

Work Details

Year: 2015

Instrumentation: 1 Jiari-Shakuhachi (lacquered), [1.8 shaku length]; plus voice ; 1 Jinashi-Shakuhachi (un-lacquered), or soft-toned wooden or unlacquered bamboo shakuhachi [1.8 shaku length]; plus voice and crotales [1 pitch D; sounding an octave higher than written] with brass mallets, rubber mallets and percussion bow (or double bass bow).

Duration: 10 min.

Difficulty: Advanced — Advanced - Complex rhythmic detail and changing colour nuances

Dedication note: Dedicated to Jack Body. Dedicated to my friend and encourager Jack Body

Commission note: Commissioned by Miyoshi Izumi.. Commissioned for performance at the Japan Federation of Composers concert in Tokyo on the 24th February 2016

First performance: 24 Feb 16. Japan Federation of Composers concert, Tokyo, Japan

The composer notes the following styles, genres, influences, etc associated with this work:
Japanese Gagaku court music, Noh theatre and Honkyoku; Christian medieval plainchant; Martin, Medeski and Wood free form improvisation.

Performances of this work

29 Mar 2017: at Asian Tradition/Asian Contemporary 2017 (Millennium Hall (Tokyo)). Featuring Rene Takano.

24 Feb 16: Japan Federation of Composers concert, Tokyo, Japan

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