Remembering Japan

Hans Tutschku

  • Year of composition: 2016-22
  • Duration: 60:12


ISRC CAD502210013

To Flô Menezes, Takeyoshi Mori, Jonty Harrison, Annette Vande Gorne, and Karl Lubomirski

The 5-part cycle Remembering Japan reflects my impressions of a three-month stay in Japan in 2014. I traveled to very different areas of the country, improvised with musicians, and took countless recordings of daily life, ceremonies, nature, and culture. Each of the five parts, which can also be presented individually, treats the sound material in a specific way:

  • Part 1: immersion switches quickly between sound scenes and superimposes temporally and spatially separate events in a high-contrast theater of sounds.
  • Part 2: expansion works with large spaces and distances. But the peaceful ambiance gets disturbed intermittently.
  • Part 3: abstraction transforms sounds in more extreme forms, creating rhythmic layers and textures that rapidly follow one another. The very energetic part functions as a formal climax for the cycle.
  • Part 4: suspension is the calm place of the work: as if dreaming through a veil, we navigate between musical impressions of Japanese culture.
  • Part 5: recollection condenses specific sound memories of my journey and phrases of the previous parts into a short, concluding section. The ambiguity of some moments creates new qualities and relationships which are supposed to point beyond the end of the work.

The composition clearly communicates with Japanese culture while reflecting at the same time my own compositional preoccupations: polyphony, density, space, and memory as structuring and formal principles.

The five parts are dedicated to the following friends who have accompanied and supported my work for years: Flô Menezes, Takeyoshi Mori, Jonty Harrison, Annette Vande Gorne, and Karl Lubomirski.


Remembering Japan — Part 1: immersion was realized in 2016 at the Studio PANaroma de Música Eletroacústica da Unesp (São Paulo, Brazil) and premiered on June 25, 2016 during the concert T-Son 92: Adagio agitato at the Teatro Maria de Lourdes Sekeff of the Instituto de Artes da Unesp in São Paulo (Brazil).

Remembering Japan — Part 2: expansion, Remembering Japan — Part 3: abstraction, Remembering Japan — Part 4: suspension, and Remembering Japan — Part 5: recollection were realized in February 2022 at the studio of the Institute for Computer Music and Sound Technology (ICST) of the Zürcher Hochschule der Künste (ZHdK) in Zurich (Switzerland). Remembering Japan — Part 3: abstraction premiered on July 1, 2022 during the BEAST FEaST festival in Birmingham (England, UK). The 5-part cycle Remembering Japan premiered on October 23, 2022 as part of the festival L’Espace du son at Théâtre Marni in Brussels (Belgium).