Dai Fujikura’s latest release on his Minabel label covers a remarkably wide range of instrumentation. Beginning with solo works for horn, recorder, double bass, contrabass clarinet and viola, there is also a piece for electronics and violin as well as several works for Japanese instruments: koto, shamisen and shakuhachi. The album also includes ensemble pieces, a concerto for shamisen and two orchestral works.
|Nagoya Philharmonic Orchestra, Martyn Brabbins, conductor||17:35|
|Daniel Lippel, electric guitar||17:18|
|Jeremias Schwarzer, recorders|
|Nobuaki Fukukawa, horn||2:30|
|Maya Kimura, koto & voice||6:02|
|Ensemble Nomad, Hidejiro Honjoh, shamisen, Norio Sato, conductor||22:14|
|The Shakuhachi 5||7:02|
|Mari Kimura, violin with motion sensor||10:56|
|Ensemble Nomad, Makoto Yoshida, clarinet, Hideo Kikuchi, clarinet, Norio Sato, conductor||12:08|
|Tony Arnold, soprano, Jacob Greenberg, piano||3:40|
|Eriko Daimo, marimba|
|Yoji Sato, double bass||4:46|
|Anne Leilehua Lanzilotti, viola||5:00|
|Heather Roche, contrabass clarinet||6:30|
|19||Ghost of Christmas|
Ghost of Christmas
|Chubu Philharmonic Orchestra, Yuko Tanaka, conductor||6:55|
Dai Fujikura’s latest release on his Minabel label covers a remarkably wide range of instrumentation. Beginning from solo works for horn, recorder, double bass, contrabass clarinet and viola, there is also a piece for electronics and violin as well as several works for Japanese instruments: koto, shamisen and shakuhachi. The CD also includes ensemble pieces, a concerto for shamisen and two orchestral works.
Performers who appear on this album also vary widely. They include the Nagoya Philharmonic Orchestra, Dan Lippel, The Shakuhachi 5, Mari Kimura, Jeremias Schwarzer, Chubu Philharmonic Orchestra, Nobuaki Fukukawa, Maya Kimura, Ensemble Nomad, Makoto Yoshida, Hideo Kikuchi, Jacob Greenberg, Eriko Daimo, Tony Arnold, Yoji Sato, Heather Roche, Hidejiro Honjoh, Anne Leilehua Lanzilotti with three conductors Norio Sato, Yuko Tanaka and Martyn Brabbins. All tracks are edited, mixed and mastered by the composer himself.
Glorious Clouds - Co-commissioned by Nagoya Philharmonic Orchestra, WDR for the concert series Musik der Zeit and Orchestre national d’Île-de-France; Recording engineer: Mari Yamamoto
Sparking Orbit (new version) - commissioned by the Giga Hertz Award for Electronic Music Recording: Oktaven Audio, Mount Vernon, NY, USA; Recording engineer: Ryan Streber
Yuri - Commissioned by Maya Kimura
Shamisen Concerto - Co-commissioned by Ayako Hasegawa and Hidejiro Honjoh Recording engineer: Fumihiro Itaya
Shakuhachi Five - Co-commissioned by The Shakuhachi 5, Kyo-Shin-An Arts, and International Shakuhachi Festival Prague; Recording: SoundCity Annex; Recording engineer: Tatsuhiro Yoshida
Motion Notions - Commissioned by Mari Kimura, with the funds supported by the University of California, Irvine; Mari Kimura: Max/MSP Programming and MUGICTM motion sensor www.mugicmotion.com
Gliding Wings - co-commissioned by Miller Theatre at Columbia University and International Contemporary Ensemble, with lead support from Oscar Gerardo. 録音:2020年09月26日 (土) 東京芸術劇場コンサートホール
Love Excerpt - Commissioned by Jane Manning and Jane's Minstrels with the aid of funds
from the PRS Foundation, in honour of the 70th birthday of Jane Manning; Recording: Oktaven Audio, Mount Vernon, NY, USA; Recording engineer: Ryan Streber
Repetition Recollection - Co-commissioned by Athelas Sinfonietta Copenhagen and Aioi Nissay Dowa Insurance The Phoenix hall; Recording session produced and edited by Pius Cheung
Pre - 録音:多摩美術大学美術館、録音エンジニア: 磯部英彬
Star Compass - Star Compass is the cadenza from Wayfinder - Viola Concerto -.
Wayfinder was commissioned by Anne Leilehua Lanzilotti with the generous support of Elizabeth & Justus Schlichting; Recorded by Gahlord Dewald, Community of Sound Mobile Unit, Troy, NY
Ghost of Christmas - Commissioned by Orchestre national d’Île-de-France Recording engineer: Kazuya Nagae
All tracks composed, edited, mixed and mastered by Dai Fujikura
Directed by Motoichi Sugita (SMJI)
Artwork & design by Mihail Mihaylov
Born in 1977 in Osaka Japan, Dai Fujikura was fifteen when he moved to the UK. The recipient of many composition prizes, he has received numerous international co-commissions from the Salzburg Festival, Lucerne Festival, BBC Proms, Bamberg Symphony, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra and more. He has been Composer-in-Residence of Nagoya Philharmonic Orchestra since 2014 and held the same post at the Orchestre national d'Île-de-France in 2017/18. Dai’s first opera Solaris, co-commissioned by the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées, Opéra de Lausanne and the Opéra de Lille, had its world premiere in Paris in 2015 and has since gained a worldwide reputation. A new production of Solaris was created and performed at the Theatre Augsburg in 2018, and the opera received a subsequent staging in 2020.
In 2017, Dai received the Silver Lion Award from the Venice Biennale. In the same year, he was named the Artistic Director of the Tokyo Metropolitan Theater’s Born Creative Festival.
In 2019, his Shamisen Concerto was premiered at Mostly Mozart festival in New York Lincoln Center and there have so far been 9 performances of this work by various orchestras.
In 2020, his fourth piano concerto Akiko’s Piano is to be premiered by Martha Argerich and Dai is currently composing his third opera, which will be revealed to the public in the same year.
His works are recorded by and released mainly on his own label Minabel Records in collaboration with SONY Music and his compositions are published by Ricordi Berlin.http://www.daifujikura.com
Prolific London-based Japanese composer Dai Fujikura (b.1977) used to dream of composing music for the movies. His studies at Trinity College of Music of the scores of Pierre Boulez, Tōru Takemitsu and György Ligeti, however, propelled him decisively in another direction: toward the concert stage. Fujikura’s compositions have since been championed by musical notables including the London Sinfonietta, Ensemble Intercontemporain, Boulez and many others. In Toronto, Arraymusic, Thin Edge New Music Collective and the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Music coproduced the Dai Fujikura: Mini Marathon concert in 2020, showcasing “one of the most active composers on the international stage.”
At close to two and a half hours of music, Fujikura’s ambitious album Glorious Clouds comprises 15 substantial works for orchestra, ensembles and soloists, embracing concerti, chamber music, art song, instrumental solos and electronic genres. Sadly, I can only touch on a few samples of this rich musical horde here.
The impressive orchestral Glorious Clouds, evocatively performed by the Nagoya Philharmonic Orchestra, was inspired by the interconnected microbiomic networks found everywhere on Earth, rather than by the atmospheric phenomena suggested by the title. Recounts the composer: “I thought, Ah!!! Various small microorganisms make the survival of the whole world possible – just like processes within an orchestra.” Glorious Clouds maintains a dynamic tension between floating, swirling sonic textures and an overall harmonic structure and thematic progression. My ear was initially reminded of Debussyan orchestral sonorities and colours, yet soon enough Fujikura’s emerging strident effects, sonic shapes teetering on melody, plus novel orchestration and formal balances were reminders that we’re in another century entirely.
Sparkling Orbit for electronics and electric guitar follows, incisively performed by Daniel Lippel. Opening with atmospheric passages, it turns abrasive and edgy, the guitar repeating in the last section a rhythmically complex distorted chime-like overtone pattern over electronic craquelure. Serene, derived from Fujikura’s Recorder Concerto, is quite distinct again. Its three solo movements are given a powerfully dramatic performance by recorder virtuoso Jeremias Schwarzer on three contrasting recorders. I found the middle movement opening, scored for the sopranino, evocative of the nohkan, the characteristically bracing, high-pitched Japanese transverse bamboo flute commonly played in Noh and Kabuki theatre. While a recent work, I can see Serene being widely adopted as a standard recital piece; it’s that good.
Finally for this review, Motion Notions features Mari Kimura’s brilliant violin playing. In addition, she’s also strapped a motion sensor to her bow arm wrist. It sounds like it controls various types of synthesized sounds and perhaps also live processing. The result is an interactively polyphonic, slithery texture, an unusual, and very effective, musical dialogue between the violinist’s acoustic music and the electronic sounds directed by her motion sensor. It’s another album favourite of mine.
— Andrew Timar, 2.04.2022