Dai Fujikura’s newest recording is named after his daughter Mina, who was born just before he began composing the title piece on the recording, written for five soloists from the International Contemporary Ensemble. Fujikura brings his sense of wonder at the birth of his child to his compositional process in several of these pieces, exploring previously unexamined territory while continuing to rely on his interest in natural phenomenon for inspiration.
|International Contemporary Ensemble, Claire Chase [flute, bass flute], Nick Masterson [oboe, bells], Joshua Rubin [clarinet, bass clarinet, bells], Rebekah Heller [bassoon, bells], Nathan Davis [hammered dulcimer], Nagoya Philharmonic Orchestra, conductor: Martyn Brabbins
|Miranda Cuckson (viola), David Adamcyk (electronics)
|Rebekah Heller, bassoon
|The Spirit of beings
The Spirit of beings
|Matthew Barley, cello
|Ensemble Resonanz, Jeremias Schwarzer, recorders, conducted by Peter Rundel
|Lucerne Festival Ensemble, conducted by Chin-Chao Lin
Dai Fujikura’s newest Minabel Records release is named after his daughter Mina, who was born just before he began composing the title piece on the recording, written for five soloists from the International Contemporary Ensemble. Fujikura brings his sense of wonder at the birth of his child to his compositional process in several of these pieces, exploring previously unexamined territory while continuing to rely on his interest in natural phenomenon for inspiration. “Mina” begins as if in the middle of the piece, and the quick character shifts in the music reflect the rapid change of mood one finds in a newborn’s behavior. Midway through the piece, a bass flute and prepared dulcimer duo evokes a dreamlike state, inspired by Fujikura observing his daughter sleeping and wondering what she might dream about at such an early age. “Prism Spectra” for viola and electronics is designed for the violist to control a virtual orchestra, though like a small child, this orchestra does not always obey, and occasionally has a mind of its own. The solo bassoon piece “Following”, a follow up to “Calling” also written for Rebekah Heller, is inspired by the image of viewing a river from above, constantly flowing forward despite vacillations in current and terrain. At the suggestion of the dedicatee Matthew Barley, “The Spirit of Beings” for cello and electronics is inspired by “pre-life”, or the period just before birth. The movements are meant to be re-ordered in different performances, giving the piece a modular structure that suggests many permutations and creates multiple transitions between reorganized movements. Not unlike “Prism Spectra”, where the viola generates material for a virtual orchestra, in the “Recorder Concerto” the real orchestra is meant to be an augmentation of the haunting articulations of the solo instrument. “Wondrous Steps” is also directly inspired by Fujikura’s daughter, as he observes her openness to risk in the process of learning to walk and exploring new activities. The music shifts character and expression quickly, as a child would, but also contains accelerating passages evoking the build up to a new triumph, and a dream sequence that miraculously produces a more skilled child than the one who fell asleep. Fujikura describes his daughter as a “risk management expert” in how she manages new experience; luckily we can enjoy her father’s observations from a safe distance and let Mina take the chances and explore.
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