GMG Classical Music Forum

The Music Room => Composer Discussion => Topic started by: Mandryka on June 10, 2021, 12:39:06 PM

Title: Japanese Avant Garde Composers Only.
Post by: Mandryka on June 10, 2021, 12:39:06 PM
A thread for your favourite Japanese composers. I’ll kick it off by saying how much I’m enjoying Akira Nishimura’s quartet called Pulses of Light - on this CD.


(https://e.snmc.io/i/600/s/12a78aa84270ce1a291996fb5a6cbb20/8244688)


I’m not sure I can say what it is that makes it distinctive, but it is. It somehow combines harmony which is distinctively modern with a sort of lyricism, I find this rather moving. It somehow manages to be full of content, gestures and events,  and yet peaceful, introspective.
Title: Re: Japanese Avant Garde Composers Only.
Post by: Mandryka on June 11, 2021, 04:54:57 AM
And yet this seems much less satisfying

(https://img.discogs.com/gDFep4urZ_GPOdCeQ7bcZ9bJVfY=/fit-in/600x599/filters:strip_icc():format(webp):mode_rgb():quality(90)/discogs-images/R-11846549-1523378587-9463.jpeg.jpg)

Lots of tremolo, nothing interesting harmonically, structurally, contrapuntally, melodically as far as I can see. The piano is really a challenging instrument for postmodernity . . .
Title: Re: Japanese Avant Garde Composers Only.
Post by: T. D. on June 11, 2021, 06:05:26 AM
Not an area I know much about, but I enjoy Mamoru Fujieda's 3 recordings on Tzadik: Patterns of Plants I and II, The Night Chant.
Haven't heard Sarah Cahill's recording of Patterns of Plants piano versions; the originals were microtonal and I can't envision that carrying over to piano.
Title: Re: Japanese Avant Garde Composers Only.
Post by: Artem on June 11, 2021, 11:14:13 AM
I like Jo Kondo's music. He had some association with the Feldman/Cage New York school. I only have the following CD and it is in some ways similar to Christian Wolff early piano works, but with a weightier presence.

(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/31aS2maw64L.jpg)
Title: Re: Japanese Avant Garde Composers Only.
Post by: Mandryka on June 11, 2021, 07:46:36 PM
I have Satoko Inoue’s CD and I’ll check the ones TD mentioned.

What I’m hearing often from Jap composers is Darmstadt modernism. What I’m not finding yet is a distinctively Japanese voice, and I find that a bit disappointing.  Stockhausen was more distinctively Japanese than many of the composers on the Japanese compilation CDs.

One musician who has caught my attention is Toshi Ichiyanagi, he seems to be an adventurous experimenter. But still, it’s just more Darmstadt style stuff.

People who say that there’s no core style in modern classical music, that it’s all very fragmented, are wrong. As in the 19th century, the Germans have the controlling hand on the world.
Title: Re: Japanese Avant Garde Composers Only.
Post by: T. D. on June 11, 2021, 07:53:03 PM
Fujieda got his Ph.D. from U. California San Diego, so I'm not sure about any distinctive Japanese voice. He's often said "to have studied with Morton Feldman", but I never know precisely what "studied with" means. Academic advisee? One random course?  ;)
Title: Re: Japanese Avant Garde Composers Only.
Post by: torut on June 11, 2021, 09:23:53 PM
Yoshi Wada passed away last month. I am currently listening to The Appointed Cloud (1987), an impressive grand work. Musicians plays bagpipes and percussion with sound installation of a custom pipe organ and other homemade instruments controlled by computer.
(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/51VzIv%2BlETL._SX425_.jpg)
Title: Re: Japanese Avant Garde Composers Only.
Post by: Artem on June 12, 2021, 12:45:00 AM
Prompted by this thread I listened to Misato Mochizuki's Etheric Blueprint Trilogy that is very close to electro-acoustic improvisation kind of music.

(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/61FeyOzx9yL._SX522_.jpg)
Title: Re: Japanese Avant Garde Composers Only.
Post by: mabuse on June 12, 2021, 11:27:31 AM
I like Misato Mochizuki. She is an endearing composer.
...

It is also worth discovering the work of Noriko Baba.
She is a composer who has lived in France for a long time... (For the gossip, she is married to the composer Francesco Filidei)
She has a rather singular universe, quite eccentric.
I think the theme of childhood comes up often with her.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7gU_cKdWBhQ
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ClJan3kh5ts

https://soundcloud.com/user-399565790

(https://cdn.radiofrance.fr/s3/cruiser-production/2019/01/ecb533de-2f44-4915-8cc0-04c18f612714/600x337_noriko_baba_par_d_scapolan.jpg)
Title: Re: Japanese Avant Garde Composers Only.
Post by: Mandryka on June 13, 2021, 01:17:15 AM
I like Misato Mochizuki. She is an endearing composer.
...

It is also worth discovering the work of Noriko Baba.
She is a composer who has lived in France for a long time... (For the gossip, she is married to the composer Francesco Filidei)
She has a rather singular universe, quite eccentric.
I think the theme of childhood comes up often with her.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7gU_cKdWBhQ
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ClJan3kh5ts

https://soundcloud.com/user-399565790

(https://cdn.radiofrance.fr/s3/cruiser-production/2019/01/ecb533de-2f44-4915-8cc0-04c18f612714/600x337_noriko_baba_par_d_scapolan.jpg)

Excellent!
Title: Re: Japanese Avant Garde Composers Only.
Post by: Artem on June 13, 2021, 10:51:40 AM
I think Toshio Hosokawa may be the second most recorded contemporary Japanese composer. This is a good recent release from Kairos. Two Japanese Folk Songs for harp are my favourite on it. It sounds like it is played on a traditional Japanese musical instrument.

(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/71a-%2BXZz1bL._SX522_.jpg)
Title: Re: Japanese Avant Garde Composers Only.
Post by: Mandryka on June 13, 2021, 12:54:16 PM
I think Hosokawa is a really good composer. You can find his latest piece for string quartet, called Weaving Song, here

https://app.idagio.com/live/event/12th-international-string-quartet-competition-premio-paolo-borciani-fourth-round-day-1-afternoon

(It's free! It starts at about 54 minutes in, though I've just noticed there are two performances!)
Title: Re: Japanese Avant Garde Composers Only.
Post by: Mirror Image on June 14, 2021, 06:24:45 AM
I think Toshio Hosokawa may be the second most recorded contemporary Japanese composer. This is a good recent release from Kairos. Two Japanese Folk Songs for harp are my favourite on it. It sounds like it is played on a traditional Japanese musical instrument.

(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/71a-%2BXZz1bL._SX522_.jpg)

I need to explore more of Hosokawa’s music. What I’ve heard so far hasn’t been too impressive unlike his older countryman Takemitsu who I consider one of the finest composers of the 20th Century.
Title: Re: Japanese Avant Garde Composers Only.
Post by: Mandryka on June 15, 2021, 08:37:20 AM
I’m slowly coming to the conclusion that the best music isn’t tainted by German values, viz:

(https://img.discogs.com/Ef6_petPepDO0D_bqaNOSHYRFxU=/fit-in/600x594/filters:strip_icc():format(webp):mode_rgb():quality(90)/discogs-images/R-14462047-1575022350-1613.jpeg.jpg)

This is truly wonderful stuff! Avant garde - well it sounds like it to me, but it clearly isn’t. Like Machaut sounds avant garde! Beyond all the gardes.
Title: Re: Japanese Avant Garde Composers Only.
Post by: steve ridgway on June 15, 2021, 09:06:47 AM
I’m slowly coming to the conclusion that the best music isn’t tainted by German values, viz:

(https://img.discogs.com/Ef6_petPepDO0D_bqaNOSHYRFxU=/fit-in/600x594/filters:strip_icc():format(webp):mode_rgb():quality(90)/discogs-images/R-14462047-1575022350-1613.jpeg.jpg)

This is truly wonderful stuff! Avant garde - well it sounds like it to me, but it clearly isn’t. Like Machaut sounds avant garde! Beyond all the gardes.

Perhaps you’re looking for something completely alien. :-\
Title: Re: Japanese Avant Garde Composers Only.
Post by: mabuse on June 15, 2021, 10:55:33 AM
I’m slowly coming to the conclusion that the best music isn’t tainted by German values...

It should also be taken into consideration that Western composers drew a lot of inspiration from Asian cultures: what you call "German values" are perhaps ultimately Japanese as well !   :D

Personally, I am thinking in particular of the case of Helmut Lachenmann who drew a lot of inspiration from Japanese tradition and philosophy ...
His closeness to pianist Yukiko Sugawara has certainly not been negligible in his work either.

But I think we can still find a lot of other examples like this ...
Title: Re: Japanese Avant Garde Composers Only.
Post by: Mandryka on June 16, 2021, 10:49:20 PM
(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/51MvqKVlKGL._AC_SX466_.jpg)


I’m enjoying this Hosokawa recording this morning, the music may not be the most experimental or boldest, but there is something pleasant about it’s immersive quality. Hosokawa worked with Klaus Huber and I think you can clearly hear the influence here. Stefan Hussong makes a large contribution to the recording, I think he’s brilliant!