Sheng! L'orgue à bouche - 18th seminar
Les langages musicaux inspirés du shō chez Tōru Takemitsu et Toshio Hosokawa
with Wataru Miyakawa (Meiji University)
This seminar aims to investigate the relationship between the shō mouth organ and the musical languages of Tōru Takemitsu and Toshio Hosokawa.
The shō is an instrument that has fascinated many Japanese composers, including Takemitsu and Hosokawa. Both composers composed for shō, but they also developed musical languages based on the sound of this instrument. More specifically, aitake (harmonies played by the shō in classical gagaku) is an important element in the development of their harmonic languages. From this point of view, Landscape (1960) for string quartet and The Dorian Horizon (1966) for seventeen strings are Takemitsu's two most important works, as one of the fundamental ideas of these works lies in the simulation of the shō by the string instruments. Hosokawa's use of the shō-influenced harmonic language is more systematized, as in most of his works he uses the 'mother chord' that he devised based on both the sound of the aitake and the work of Anton Webern.
Inspiration and practice brought about to my compositions for traditional 37-reed soprano Sheng by the multi-cultural society of Asia and modern music of the West
with Chong Kee Yong 鍾啟榮 (composer)
After years of exposing myself to both Eastern and Western cultures, I have gradually found the music world of my own. My experience of studying in Europe for years offered me a different perspective to look into the eastern culture that is familiar yet negligible at times.
A large number of master pieces from East and West inspired me to respect and learn from traditional art and cultures so that I could compose music in my own way which covers new interpretation but nevertheless, still carries my own traditional elements. Many of my works emphasizes on the melodic and narrative natures of Asian music. So in my lecture, I will be talking about several of my works which I composed for 37-reed Sheng through many years of the close collaboration and specially composed for Sheng maestro Mr. Wu Wei. In these works which is show the originality, various Asia traditional multi-cultural elements, and how I carry forward the drama, philosophy, etiquette and spirit of the traditional music.