Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Princess Haiku lost in the ghostly flute music of Toru Takemitsu

If the spirit of the poet, Basho transmitted his spirit to a composer/flutist it would surely be Toru Takemitsu.

I came across the article, "When East Meets West; Takemitsu's Itinerant For Flute Solo," in The Flutist Quarterly. This article was written in Winter 2006 by Mary Procopio and is well worth looking up. Flutist Quarterly has great archives and it's worth joining just for previously published articles.

Mary Procopio writes, "Toru Takemitsu used influences from very different cultures to create compositions that offer the performer both technical challenges and the opportunity to delve into the characteristics of Japanese music."

Takemitsu described his compositions, "My music is very influenced by the Japanese tradition, especially the Japanese garden, in color, spacing form...When I use Japanese instruments, people say, "Oh, very Japanese!" Sometimes for me it is too heavy. Then, I like to go in another direction..."

Takemitsu was born in Japan in 1928 and died in 1996. Described as a self educated and informed composer he used visual images and music drawn from composers such as Debussy and Messiaen. Eventually, in incorporating elements of both cultures he found his own voice.

I find the most poetic element of Takemitsu's compositions is his awareness of and use of As he said in his book, "Confronting Silence" which is autobiographical in nature, "music is either sound or silence. As long as I live I shall choose sound as something to confront a silence." This reminds me of the solitary existence of the poet, Basho.

Sizukasa ya What a quiet place!
Iwa ni simiiru Penetrating into the rocks,
Semi no koe The cicada's song.


AscenderRisesAbove said...

aw man - left a long message but it didnt take because my comcast is being so lame.
For the burshes i use the foam brushes. but keep the stick when you toss them because you will need it to ush the air bubbles out. another good thing are those pastel blending sticks. expensive but worth it as they have that tip on them?

Princess Haiku said...

Oh, good. I have three foam brushes but will wait to get expensive sticks as I have to see if I can do this first. I found a little guide to using mod podge in the library. However, my newest idea is to collage with photos of all those chrysanthemums. How does an artist just "do it." So many ideas so necessary to decide on one. I may just cut and glue some things tomorrow to practice cutting and gluing.

Art Rock said...

Very glad to see other people appreciate the music of Takemitsu. He is one of my favourite 20th century composers.

Princess Haiku said...

I have only heard snippets of his work so far, art rock but it sounds very intriguing. I am looking around...