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-shikaku- (2013)


for Chamber Orchestra constructed of four ensembles and electronics

ca. 10 min.


4 Flutes

3 Clarinets in B-flat

1 Bass Clarinet in B-flat

1 Horn in F

1 Trumpet

1 Trombone

1 Tuba

1 Timpani (28")

1 Vibraphone

1 Bass Drum

2 Guillo

1 Wind Chime

1 Sleighbell

1 Thunder Sheet

1 Marimba (4.3 oct.)

1 Drum Set

1 Lione (Lion's Roar)

1 Temple Blocks

2 Snare Drums

4 Suspended Cymbals of different sizes

1 Tubular Bells

1 Prepared Piano


2 Violins

1 Viola

1 Cello

Additional sound engineer required

Score and Electronics

Request score and Max patch files HERE

Awards and Honors

Arima Prize 2014 (Japan)

Columbia University School of the Arts Dean's Grant Spring 2016 (USA)

Program Note

Consciously or unconsciously, composers have composed their music on the assumption that the audiences will experience their works in the best location possible. Concert halls for classical music are built so that the audiences face the stage – it would be a pity to listen to W.A.Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto from the backstage, just because Mozart did not compose his music for audiences listening behind the orchestra. On the other hand, composers like Karlheinz Stockhausen and Iannis Xenakis consciously determine the location of the audiences in their respective works “Gruppen” and “Nomos Gamma”.The concept of –shikaku- comes from its Japanese homophones "四角 (square)", "視覚 (visual)", and "死角 (blind spot)", which all are pronounced as "Shikaku". The setting of this work is designed so that the music, with deliberate blind spot, is delivered to all audiences surrounding the chamber orchestra. Audiences on each of the four sides and angles of the chamber orchestra will, with the blind spot, have a diverse aural experience. This reflects the story of “Blind Men and An Elephant”, where a group of blind men touch an elephant, each feeling a different part of the animal, and discussing it. Argument breaks down when the men starts to claim that an elephant was a thin, floppy, fan-like creature, as another states that it was a smooth, solid being. Not one man’s statement is untrue, as those are the precise features of an elephant. –shikaku- submerges the audiences into diverse acoustical pockets where each listener will have their own story at the end of the performance.Each of the chamber orchestra stations consists of one brass player, a string player, a woodwind player, and two percussionists. Instrumentalists facing the exterior of the –shikaku- will play according to the conductor who appears in real-time on the analog television monitors located in every station. Two Sennheiser MD441U microphones are installed above the soundboard of the prepared piano, located in the center of the chamber orchestra, and dispatch the accumulated sound of the piano and other instruments to Max/MSP, where the data is processed real-time and re-exposed from a 4.1ch speaker system.-shikaku- was first installed and premiered in Kunitachi College of Music on January 24, 2014.

Performance Note

Stage Setting:

The orchestra consists of four ensembles each facing the exterior of the center. The audience are seated around the orchestra. In the center is the prepared piano with two Senheiser MD441U microphones installed above the soundboard. The conductor stands at the far end of the piano, and is filmed by an analog video camera, which sends the video recording to four analog television monitors located in each station. Make sure each ensemble is at least 2-meters apart, as the percussionists must walk through to the prepared piano during the performance. Click image to enlarge.

Piano Preparation:

The materials needed for the prepared piano are one rubber, three screws, one big screw, three bolt, one large bolt, two cloths, and six violin bow strings (1m each). Insert each material between the appropriate piano strings in the right position accordingly. Use tools such as a minus screw driver, if necessary. Remove the lid, lid prop, and music rack from the instrument. Click image to enlarge.


The two Sennheiser MD441U microphones, installed above the soundboard of the prepared piano, dispatch the accumulated sound of the piano and other surrounding instruments to Max/MSP, where the data is processed real-time and re-exposed from a 4.1ch speaker system. Once opening the Max patch, click ON [; 4ch-pan_vol 0, 1 3000;] for performance. 

Past Performances

January 24, 2014 (World Premiere)


[Video Archive]

Kunitachi College of Music, Tokyo, Japan

Students of Kunitachi College of Music

Past Exhibitions

Oct. 10-12, 2014

Audio Visual Synthesis Workshop at Dartmouth

Curated by Andy Sarroff (Dartmouth College)

Dartmouth College Music Department, Hannover, NH

Exhibition of scores and video of shikaku (2013)

Dec. 6, 2014

Brad Garton Memory Book App Release

Curated by Douglas Repetto

Computer Music Center at Columbia, New York, NY

Exhibition of video of shikaku (2013)

April 16, 2015

Interdisciplinary Arts Council Spring 2015 Exhibition

Curated by IAC

Columbia University, New York, NY

Exhibition of video of shikaku (2013)

Aug. 6-28, 2016

Finished Goods Warehouse: Columbia MFA Summer Show

Curated by Natalie Bell (The New Museum)

Former Pfizer Factory, New York, NY

Exhibition of scores of Shiki to Unkai (2013), shikaku (2013), and Cover Your Ears! (2015)

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