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Dia- / Iso- / Syn-

Commissioned by keikoushiryou

Performance duration


"蛍光資料のデュオ公演 »対話と時間«"
December 7, 2022, Tokyo, Gotanda Cultural Center Music Hall
Kazuhiro Kajihara, Flute; Ryuta Iwase, Clarinet

Ko Sahara, Sound Designer

Year of composition


Flute and Clarinet (both amplified)

Commentary (English version)

As the title of the concert in which the piece is to be premiered is 'Dialogue and Time', I was naturally thinking about these two words as I worked on the composition.


The title of the work, Dia- / Iso- / Syn-, as you can see, is a list of three English prefixes. These three initial letters are deliberately highlighted in bold to punningly and playfully imply that it also encompasses the English prefix "Dis-", which appears when these three are combined. The words "Dialogue and Time", the title of the concert in which this work was premiered, their meanings, the above prefixes, and the words associated with all of them combination, might find the character and essence of this work.

In the Clarinet Trio, premiered a week before the premiere of this piece, there were many sections where the three instruments played on different tuplets, as if they were playing at discorded tempos -as if the ensemble had been disassembled. On the other hand, there were sections where it was obvious that they shared the same tempo (e.g. repetitions that could be described as isochronism, two instruments synchronising and so on), and then there were sections in between. However, it was common material and elements that made up many of these various sections. The intention was to continue these characteristics and methods of composition in the current work, but to create a different work in terms of temporal experience. The different ways of composing common materials and elements may be likened to isomers in chemistry.

This piece is a small piece of about 12 minutes. The actual length of time of a musical work often disagree with the length of time perceived by the listener. How, then, we compose a piece that has an objective length of 12 minutes, yet feels like a 3-5 minute piece to the listener's subjectivity? At the moment, I hypothesise that it can be controlled by the density of the sound as the amount of information (this is not just the density of the music as a whole, but also the density of each section and, in addition, the density within shorter units). I also consider that the volume, the length and proportion of rests, and so on, will also be relevant. This hypothesis has been kept in mind in my other recent compositions.

The amplification of the instrument's sound is controlled on and off by a third party, the operator, in the audience (I, as the composer, myself did this at the premiere), not by the performer. This amplification was not something that I had fully predicted the outcome of until the stage rehearsal on the day of the premiere, and the best option was actually taken after a trial and error process in the venue. The amplification helps to discover very soft sounds. On the other hand, it bring occasionally discouraging the volume balance. However, when looking at the resulting whole of the music, although it brings discord to the volume balance, it does not very disturb the duo's ensemble, but only increases the source of the output of the sound. In other words, the totality of the sound was not disunited by the amplification, but the articulations that make up the totality of the sound were increased. In this way, this piece could be described as a trio rather than a duo. The concept of dialogue as face-to-face talking is changing, as the instant messengers such as LINE, WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger and Telegram, which are now actively used, are also called dialogue apps. Not only in this piece, but also in other musical pieces that use electronic devices such as live electronics, the operator may operate software or machines during the performance (either on stage, in the audience or both), just like a performer. When the operator participates in the performance in the audience, as in this piece, the ensemble of performers on stage is 'dialoguing' in the conventional sense, while the operator seems to be 'dialoguing' via instant messenger.

-Additional text-

From the time of composition to the time of the premiere, I was unsure of myself, but after listening to the recording of the premiere, I thought I might say that this piece is Music in which the attainment of objective was discontinued or Music with no intention of attaining objective, i.e. closer to non-teleological temporal music (but this may only be my subjective judgement). We may think right after listening to this piece that we only felt a feeling that the materials would be developed in future, or that it were gradually developing but never got to that point after all. However, the possibility that we could think this may be the reason why this piece came close to being non-teleological temporal music.

Commentary (Japanese version)


 作品タイトルであるDia- / Iso- / Syn-は、見ての通り、英語の接頭辞を三つ並べたものです。わざわざ頭文字を太字で強調しているのは、これら三つを繋げると浮かび上がる、同じ英語の接頭辞である”Dis-”も包含しているということを、暗に示したいだけの遊び心からです。この作品が初演された演奏会のタイトルである»対話と時間«、その言葉そのものやそれらの持つ意味と上記の接頭辞(との組み合わせ)から連想される言葉によって、この作品の持つ特徴や本質が見出せるかもしれません。




 楽器の音の増幅は演奏者ではなく客席にいる第三者であるオペレーターによってオンオフがコントロールされます(初演時は作曲者である私自身がこれを行いました)。この増幅は、当日の舞台リハーサルまで私自身も結果を完全に予測していたものではなく、実際に会場での試行錯誤を経て、ベストな選択肢を取るものでありました。増幅は微弱な音の発見に役立ちます。一方で、それには音量バランスの破壊を時折もたらします。しかし、結果としての全体を眺めると、音量バランスに不和をもたらすものの、デュオのアンサンブルを非常に掻き乱すものではなく、音の出所を増やした程度のものです。つまり、響きの総体が増幅によって断絶されることはなく、響きの総体を構成するアーティキュレーションが増えたのです。こうして見ると、この作品はデュオではなくトリオとも言えるかもしれません。現在、盛んに用いられているLINEやWhatsApp、Facebook Messenger、Telegramといったインスタントメッセンジャーは対話アプリとも呼ばれるように、対面で話すという対話の概念は変わってきていると言えます。この作品に限らず、ライブエレクトロニクスといった電子機器を用いる音楽作品にはオペレーターが演奏者のように演奏中にソフトウェアやマシンを操作することがあります(舞台上、客席、両方の場合があります)。今回の作品のように客席でオペレーターが演奏に参加する場合、舞台上での演奏者のアンサンブルは従来の意味での「対話」をしており、オペレーターはインスタントメッセンジャーによる「対話」をしているかのようです。





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Photo by Isaiah Bekkers on Unsplash

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