Aquatic Aura for clarinet and piano (1996)
Aquatic Aura for clarinet and piano was commissioned by Zen-On Music Co., Ltd. and first performed in Tokyo . It exploits many of the extended clarinet techniques described in E. Michael Richards' book, The Clarinet of the Twenty-First Century .
This piece is constructed from three concepts. The first is a line (surface) of sound, the second a point of sound which is led by the first, and the third a reverberation of the second. In my imagination, this music concerns a vestige of memory of the dead which is dissolved in water. Various sounds of the clarinet are symbolic of a vestige of memory, and individual points of sound by the piano symbolize the momentary light, which is emitted when a vestige dissolves in water. The light remains on the resonance wires of the piano as a reverberation, and is slightly extended prior to disappearing into silence, forming a circle like an aura of souls in water.
Meditation on the Melody of Gagagku "Kotoriso" for 2 clarinets and accordian (1996)
The piece is constructed technically by melodic and structural variations of the old Japanese gagaku melody called “Kotoriso.” “Kotoriso” is part of the Imperial Court dance music, so called Bugaku, which has more than a thousand years historical tradition. Since various technical variations are part of this piece, it is difficult to find any existence of the original music. The music flows as if a river of visionary sound which comes from beyond a time layer on a remembrance of human life, from generation to generation.
River of Karuna II for clarinet and nine instruments (1997)
Karuna is a term found in Buddhism and means ‘compassion for the troubles of life.' It refers to the emancipation of life's troubles and the soothing of trials. River of Karuna signifies the spiritual river which emancipates a person from troubles in life. This is the river that flows through a person's life and death and guides the spirit into the next life. The noisy flow of the river emerges from the silence and vanishes beyond to a region of deep stillness and radiance.
Madoromi III for clarinet and piano (2003)
This is the third work in my chamber music series Madoromi. Translated to English, madoromi means "under the spell of sleep…..a strong desire (or lack of resistance) to sleep….drift into sleep with strong power." The type of sleep, itself, is shallow, but the dreams that one experiences are often more realistic than reality. One experiences vividly and dramatically the outside layer of this psychological world. It is a world that is above a realistic and continuous time stream; but this world also has a connection with reality. One may think of the ocean as an illustration - realistic experience is above the water, and a shallow dream is just under the surface of the water. The dream from shallow sleeping is a psychological or inside world of the ocean scenery and false experience.
Against the soft acoustics of madoromi, its dream sometimes strongly shakes the psychological world. It is a fight between Eros and Tanatos in a psychological zone that is lit by the real world. One wakes up momentarily between the wave of madoromi, and again sinks between the waves - waves between reality and un-reality…..between both types of sleepiness - the spell and emancipation of drowsiness. I wanted to write music that floats between the surface wave of this inner world.
Madoromi III is commissioned by and dedicated to Kazuko Tanosaki and E. Michael Richards. The clarinet part is based on special techniques and notation from Mr. Richards' superior book, The Clarinet of the Twenty-First Century.