for piano and calligraphy
Commissioned by 音と言葉の間/Oto-to-Kotoba-no-Aida (Japan)
ca. 7 min.
(Prior to Performance)
Living in a bear society is grueling. Differences in political, religious, cultural, and ideological stances annihilate individual relationships. Bears form small tribes accordingly with their ethical views of the world and condemn, look down on, and alienate those who spill out of the group.
For one bear, it was too painful to see so much antipathy between fellow bears. He loathed observing encounters of two or more parties acting hostile to each other due to differences, until one day, he noticed that he was the same as the other bears, despising those who did not align with his peaceful longing.
The character “猿 (saru)”, or monkey, is used in the calligraphy. The conventional stroke order of this character is to start from the left, however, the performance of Self-Portrait begins with the top-right part of the character, “𠮷 (tsuchiyoshi)”, which includes the meaning of a “moral high ground”. This work was composed as a self-portrait of the composer.