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Расщелина, время и слова

Performance duration


August 10, 2022, Tokyo, KM Art Hall
Maiko Inamura, Soprano; Shino Saito, Flute & Bass Flute

Year of composition


Soprano and Flute (doubling Bass Flute)

Commentary (English version)

Fissure in time, in words. Fissure can be paraphrased as crevasse. I feel that this 'fissure' was always present in my mind during the composition (more on this in a later text).

Now, the 'time' and 'words' in the title of the piece are still relevant to this piece. In side of 'time', the tempo is constant, but short motifs and fragments are separated by rests of varying length. On the 'words' side, the text is 'recited', 'sung' and 'whispered'. The 'recitation' uses the entire text, while the 'song' uses the first six lines and the 'whisper' the remaining eight lines. Only the 'whisper' comes from the middle of the music, but eventually catches up with the 'song'. Also, in 'recitation' of the poems are read line by line, whereas in 'song' the words are sung, divided into each syllables, and in 'whisper' they are whispered, divided into each words.


By the way, this piece borrows the poem "Willow" from Anna Akhmatova's collection "Reed", which was conceived but never published as a collection of poems. Akhmatova was born in Odessa and lived as a poet from the end of Imperial Russia to the Soviet Union (beginning of the Brezhnev regime). She is known as the poet of Akhmetism during the 'Silver Age' (late 19th century - 1920). In composing the piece, I not only analysed "Willow" in depth, but also researched and studied the collection "Reed" itself, Akhmatova's life, especially her circumstances during the period when the poems in "Reed" were written and the social situation in the USSR at that time. This is essential when borrowing from the work of others and incorporating it into your own work (this is my attitude). From the analysis, research and study, I got the material, ideas and concept of this piece. But, the singing, recitation and whispering of the text of the poem in this musical piece does not necessarily coincide with the above materials. In some cases, the text is sung first, and the material associated with the text appears after some time has elapsed, and vice versa.

"Reed" was conceived during the period of silence that followed the publication of Anno Domini MCMXXI, her fifth collection of poems in 1922, which lasted 17 years (1924-1940). This period of silence was a harsh time for her. The shooting of her ex-husband Gumilev, the death of Blok, the suicides of Esenin and Mayakovsky, the exile and death of her best friend Mandelstam, who was a good friend, the death of her mother and sister, the sending of her son Lev to Siberia, divorce from her second husband, living with art historian Nikolay Punin, but due to housing difficulties, Punin's former wife Censorship from 1922 and an unofficial ban at a party congress in 1925 closed off avenues of income. He scraped by by translating Tagore and Leopardi, and researching and critiquing Pushkin and Dostoyevsky." The poems in "Reed" seem to exude this painful reality. In "Willow", which I chose as the text for my piece, there is also a contrast between his reminiscences of the past and the present when he wrote the poem.

However, from analysis, research and study, my thoughts about Akhmatova's poetry and her, moreover any feelings I may have about her, are only what comes from my brain and heart through objective data and my thoughts and experiences. They are born from within me, and no matter how hard I try to get closer to Akhmatova, I will never reach her own feelings. There is a deep 'gap', i.e. 'fissure' between me and Akhmatova, as we are different personalities, not to mention from different times and different countries. Therefore, it can be said that I used her work to create my own work, and that there is a structure in which I exploited her and her work. Nonetheless, I would still like to believe that analysing, researching and studying Akhmatova's work and creating my own work with an awareness of these structures, which may be minimum manners after all, but which are a sincere and respectful approach to her and her poetry. And, I was constantly aware of this while composing.


Commentary (Japanese version)




 "葦"は1922年に出版された5番目の詩集であるAnno Domini MCMXXI以降の17年間(1924~1940年)の沈黙の時期に構想されました。この沈黙の時期は彼女にとって過酷な時期でした。元夫グミリョーフの銃殺、ブロークの死、エセーニンとマヤコフスキーの自殺、よき理解者であった親友マンデリシュタームの流刑と死、母と姉の死、息子のレフのシベリア送り、二番目の夫と離婚、美術史家のニコライ・プーニンの同棲することになったものの住宅難故にプーニンの前妻一家との同居を強いられました。1922年から検閲され、1925年に党大会で非公式に発禁されたことで収入の道が閉ざされました。タゴールやレオパルディの翻訳、プーシキンやドストエフスキーの研究・評論で糊口をしのいでいました。"葦"に収められている詩からはこのような苦しい現実が滲み出ているかのような印象を受けます。私が作品のテキストとして選んだ"柳"も過去の追想と詩を書いた現在との対比があります。



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