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Aus der sich anhäufenden kalten grauen Asche

Performance duration


Intersection and Response Vol.1-2 Japan × Germany -クラリネット三重奏の諸相と未来-
November 30, 2022, Tokyo, KM Art Hall
Ryuta Iwase, Clarinet; Aki Kitajima, Violoncello; Erika Kawamura, Piano

Year of composition


Clarinet (also Bass clarinet), Violoncello and Piano

Commentary (English version)

The theme of this composition was to create music in which the relationships between sounds, between the various sections, both long and short, and the overall structure of the piece as a whole, including these relationships, are loose or ambiguous.

As a premise, the main materials in this piece are ascending/descending scales, chords (including broken chords and arpeggios), evenly spaced repetitions of single notes and chords, and pseudo evenly spaced repetitions of chords with slight variations in the constituent tones. In other cases, scale tones, single notes and chords may be placed with progressively narrower or wider intervals. Each instrument plays different tuplets, (to put it another way, different ways of divisions of a single measure, for example, if an instrument plays three quarter notes crammed into a measure of two-four time where the actual length of the measure is two quarter notes, it is playing one point five times faster in it, even though the duration of the measure is the same,) that is there are many parts where each instrument is playing as if it were at a different tempo.

Now, as a main point, I will describe what I tried to do about the themes in this composition, which I briefly mentioned at the beginning of this note.

For example, if an instrument is playing a scale (or something like it) with widening intervals between notes, the listener will feel that one instrument is playing a scale at the start, but then, when the intervals between notes become too wide, they will no longer feel that they are playing a scale, but will feel that they are playing occasional notes in silence (unless you are listening with the constant awareness that they are scales...). And if all three instruments do the same thing, it will become increasingly difficult to perceive the sound each instrument is making as a scale. In this way, when it is as if each instrument is making occasional sounds in silence, the sounds of two or three instruments may sound at close intervals or at the same time, as if by chance. The listener may then find some kind of relationship or grouping between the sounds when listening to them. For the listener who feels this way, it can be said that the sounds that made up the scale have been transformed into sounds that make up some other grouping. However, this coherence of sound also only occurred at that moment, as if by chance. Also, even if a certain sound can no longer be perceived as a sound that constitutes a scale, it can still be inferred to be a constituent sound of a scale if one has prior knowledge of it. Therefore, in this work, the relationship between sounds is not solid, but rather loose and ambiguous, as it appears in front of us.

Secondly, I will describe the long and short sections that are present in the piece. For example, if we move from one long section to the next and the atmosphere or the mood changes, but some of the material in that section is still the same as in the previous section, it may be taken to be a section that is a variation on the previous section. Furthermore, if the aforementioned section is fragmentary in length and then quickly moves on to the next section, where some of the material continues to be identical to the previous section, one may perceive that another variation-like section has appeared. And the next section may be the previous section (or something similar to it) reappearing. When sections are connected in this way, the listener may perceive that the sections have different moods but continue to use the same material, so that it sounds like a variation of a section, or as if the sections are continuing rather than switching. I thought that this inference could present the relationship between the various sections, long and short, as loose and ambiguous.

Finally, I thought that by ensuring thorough that the relationships between notes and the relationships between sections are loose and ambiguous, the whole work itself, which is made up of these, will be music that is ultimately felt to have been composed in some loose or ambiguous way.

However, this looseness and the ambiguity are only an experience felt by the listener, and the performer's performance to realise this is far from loose or ambiguous. This piece is difficult to perform, although it is not easily noticed.





Example of English translation "Nan-Guo Zi-Qi was seated, leaning forward on his stool. . . . sealing their self-selecting - who is it that stirs it all up?' "

Commentary (Japanese version)








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