Percussion Works for Echo
Chatori Shimizu Portrait Concert vol.2
June 28, 2015 (Sun)
open 13:30 start 14:00
Kioi Hall (Tokyo, Japan)
Opening Bell (2014) for tape
Shiki tō Unkai III (2014) for shō and percussions
Philosophy of the Impossible (2014) for two percussionists (World Premier)
Shiki tō Unkai IV (2015) for contrabass and percussions (Japan Premier)
Shinkaigyo (2012) for tape
Cover Your Ears! (2015) for metal percussions (World Premier)
Percussion Duo Echo
(Ai Hashimura & Yuna Yanagawa)
About Percussion Works for Echo
In 1917, Marcel Duchamp (1887-1968) submitted a ready-made porcelain urinal signed “R.Mutt” and titled Fountain as his artwork for the exhibition of the Society of Independent Artists, New York. Fountain was rejected by the committee, but demonstrated a whole new era of aesthetics in significance, meaning, and beauty in an artwork. Thirty-five years later in 1952, John Cage (1912-1992) premiered his famous composition 4’33” in Woodstock, New York. As known to many, this work, as the title suggests, lasts for four minutes and thirty-three seconds, and all of its three movements has nothing other than silence. I believe these works of Duchamp and Cage successfully provoke the existing order of the arts and force us the audiences to explore the definition of art and music, but simultaneously has set the standard for art as an idea; alluring young artists and composers of our age into creating and being content with conceptual, yet meaningless and beauty-less (although I understand there will be counter- arguments about the terminology of beauty) works. I speculate that one of the reasons many “contemporary music” is unable to break out of the realm of academia in universities and institutions is because these works are sheltered in meaninglessness, and the means of communication and distribution to the public is severed by obscurity.
A strong concept is indispensable in contemporary music (having no concept is, paradoxically, a concept too). But we cannot avert our eyes from the fact that many people are unable to truly enjoy “contemporary music” due to the fact that the works are hedged about in theory and concept; which I believe is not enough to move a listener’s heart. The composers, on the other hand, are abandoning their opportunities to communicate and appeal their works with audience unaccustomed to the experimental abstraction.
Being a contemporary music composer and sound artist myself, I have constantly composed music as ideas, bundles of sound no more or less than conceptual logic, which I have earlier expressed my concerns about. To overcome this contradiction, I have introduced a new, beginner-friendly concert last June in my first Portrait Concert Spatiotemporal Composition Works. Not only publishing the program notes in Japanese and English for wide, diverse audiences, I have included a glossary of musical terms on the back of the program, and exhibited three installations in the hall for visual and aural experience – a small step forward for the “reconciliation” of contemporary music and the public. This year, I am honored to host my second Portrait Concert Percussion Works for Echo, which I would like to make another step forward to reach out to potential new music fans by presenting an “open” space and time to experience and enjoy music as an idea.
Shiki to Unkai IV (2015), performed by Ai Hashimura (mar.) and Shun Hironaga (D.B.)
Philosophy of the Impossible (2014), commissioned and performed by Percussion Duo Echo
Cover Your Ears! (2015), performed by Percussion Duo Echo and guest performers