Monday, February 15, 2016

February 26th and March 6th, 2016: Performance of "Shadows of the Moon (2008)" in Houston and Honolulu

Composed for shamisen and shakuhachi, Shadows of the Moon (2008) will be performed in Houston and Honolulu as part of the Pro Musica Nipponia's US tour.

PRO MUSICA NIPPONIA / 日本音楽集団


Hiromu Motonaga, shakuhachi
Hiroshi Hozumi, shamisen
Keiko Hisamoto, koto

Friday, February 26, 2016, 7:30 P.M.
Asia Society Texas Center (Houston, Texas)

Sunday,  March 6, 2016, 4:00 P.M.
University of Hawaii Orvis Auditorium (Honolulu, Hawai’i)

ABOUT THE PRO MUSICA NIPPONIA


With its long history at the forefront of Hōgaku (Japanese music), and its unique ability to perform both traditional and contemporary music for Japanese instruments, Pro Musica Nipponia is the very face of Japanese music in the modern world. Consisting of more than 50 performers and composers, the group offers audiences world-class performances of music ranging from traditional masterpieces to new compositions by Japanese and non-Japanese composers that show how Japanese instruments are a vibrant medium for contemporary music in today’s global society. Since its founding in 1964, Pro Musica Nipponia has embarked on over 180 concerts abroad in an effort to globalize Japanese instruments, and remains a leading force in the Hōgaku world. In addition to being one of Japan’s most prominent and esteemed performing ensembles, Pro Musica Nipponia regularly engages in educational activities that introduce Japanese music and culture to wide-ranging audiences. Through the medium of music, they seek to promote intercultural understanding and strengthen relationships between Japan and the world.  http://www.promusica.or.jp/english/

Program notes

Among my works for traditional Japanese instruments, Shadows of the Moon may be one of the darkest. The poetic title echoes the darkness and distant character of the music. The composition begins pensively with a lyrical duet between the shamisen and shakuhachi, followed by an expressive shakuhachi solo accompanied sparsely by the shamisen. A lively moto perpetuo section follows, with the shamisen accompaniment based on material from the opening. This section winds down into an extended lyrical section, with melodic material divided evenly between the two instruments. After arriving at what seems like a final cadence, momentum slowly builds up again and erupts into a frantic, driving section. Just as a violent ending seems imminent, the piece grinds to a halt and ends with a calm reflection on the lyrical ideas spaced throughout the work. Inspiration for this piece came from imagining the rotations of the moon, as different areas are slowly plunged into darkness and re-emerge into light.

曲目解説


「月影幻想曲」は和楽器の為に作曲した曲の中で、最も暗く、渋い作品の一つである。この詩的な曲名は、音楽の暗さや遠さという特性を描写する。三味線と尺八のリリカルな二重奏で哀愁的に始まった後、表情豊かな尺八ソロに対して、三味線が所々寄り添う。次に活気のあるセクションが現れ、冒頭の曲想が三味線によって展開される。このセクションは次第にリリカルなセクションへと落ち着き、二つの楽器は、それぞれ均等に旋律を分担する。最後のカデンツァに入ったと感じられた後、曲はゆっくりと再び活気づき、狂乱的で駆り立てるようなセクションへと移行する。激しいエンディングになると思われる時、すぐに休みを挟んで、曲中に散りばめられているリリカルな曲想を映し出しながら終わりを迎える。月のある部分が、ゆっくりと闇の中へ沈み、そしてまた光の中に現れるといった、月の自転をイメージする事によりインスピレーションを得た。


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