Métamorphoses 2002 (2 × CD) ParaDice

ParaDice

Sachiyo Takahashi

  • Year of composition: 2001
  • Duration: 10:09
  • Instrumentation: fixed medium

The main material of this piece is Nô-kan, the flute used in Nô theatre. The most remarkable feature of the sound of Nô-kan is in the mixture of sound/breath — strong attack with breath sound, a certain “run-away” of breath with special finger technique and high intensity in the sound texture itself, which is caused by sustained high breath pressure between the instrument and the mouth. This characteristic of Nô-kan works on various levels to enrich the actual performance of Nô.

Nô-kan acts in the manner of “percussion,” to articulate time and space (the pitch of the instrument is sometimes less important than the articulation).
— microscopically, the colour, texture and intensity of the short moment of sound/breath is important to communicate with the body of the Nô player/physicality of Nô drama.
— macroscopically, it sometimes creates “landscape” for the setting of the Nô drama.

In a sense, Nô-kan is not just an instrument to play “music”, but an instrument to articulate space, cut into the micro moment of time, express the passion of drama, illustrate landscape poetically, and communicate with the rhythm of the dancing body…, flexibly shifting through different levels from moment to moment, from microscopic to macroscopic, from abstraction of sound/noise to music.

This project is a study of this particular kind of “instrument”, in other words, an attempt to explore this “space of Nô-kan”, not in a traditional way but with the help of new technology. Here, several pairs of poles become ambiguous because of the perpetual shifts between the following parameters: sound and breath, sound(noise) and music, abstract and concrete, micro-image and macro-image, oriental and western.

The title means “paradise” and “para-dice”, a pair of dice.

They say that the sound of Nô-kan can communicate with the other side of the world — maybe paradic(s)e exists in sound/as sound/with sound.


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