ManachayanaDai Fujikura & Shin Sasakubo


The polystylistic recording, "Manayachana", was co-composed by Dai Fujikura and guitarist Shin Sasakubo with an ocean dividing them. 


# Audio Title/Composer(s) Time
Total Time 45:52
01Manayachana (the mystery of things)
Manayachana (the mystery of things)
02Tuta Wayra (evening wind)
Tuta Wayra (evening wind)
03Rumi (stone)
Rumi (stone)
04Puyu (cloud)
Puyu (cloud)
05Tinkay (offering (to god)
Tinkay (offering (to god)
06Anqas (blue)
Anqas (blue)
07Paseo Alpaca (passage to alpaca)
Paseo Alpaca (passage to alpaca)
08Wawa (daughter)
Wawa (daughter)
09Wayta (flower)
Wayta (flower)

"Manayachana" was co-composed by Dai Fujikura and the guitarist, Shin Sasakubo. Fujikura has offered this background on the music: "As I write this, Shin and I have still not met face to face. One day Shin contacted me through a social networking site, asking if I had any guitar pieces which he could perform in a concert. I told him I do, but I have taken a look at his musical activities, and thought it would be great if we can find a way to co-compose a piece. I proposed this to him and he was over the moon. He was very busy working on his own albums at that time, so I knew he would be in and out of the recording studio. I asked him if he could play some fragments while the engineer was on a break, then send them to me. He played some improvisations and sent me the files. I extracted one note at a time from these samples and started creating the electronic sounds. I then reconstructed the improvisations in electronic form and composed a backing track. I sent the track back to him, he said "It's finished, it's great!" But I had intended that this was merely the backing track. So I asked him to add a layer (again his own improvisation) on top of the track next time he had a coffee break from his own album recording.

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He played, recorded and sent it back to me. As usual, his recording was full of material. This was a bit too much for one track, so I started by eliminating a lot of material. Then I reconstructed it again and mixed it. This became the 1st track, which is the title piece, "Manayachana". We both had so much fun making this track, we decided to make another one, then more and more.... Towards the end of the album you can hear a strong south american sound, which reflects Shin's roots, as he was born in Peru and studied Guitar in Peru. I had a suspicion that Shin was a bit afraid to give me this "south american" element. (Maybe he thought, as I am a "contemporary classical composer," I might not like it.) On the contrary, that was why I was initially attracted to working with him. So I decided to make a rhythm track, combining fragments which were taken from whatever he sent to me as a sample, then I looped it. Eventually I sent back the rhythm track, which shocked him, he told me later. He thought I had hired another guitarist to make that rhythm track, which was obviously derived from all the materials taken from his guitar samples. Then he improvised on top of the rhythm track, so effortlessly it was like watching a duck take to water! It was so clear this sound world is "his thing". I am glad I prompted him to produce this, pushing via the music, not verbally. I knew his wife was a traditional Peruvian singer. I asked him if she wouldn't mind contributing to the creation of the album, so she did. Shin sent me what was pretty much the finished song, though once again, I decided to de-construct it. I don't know why, but I combined her voice with the guitar samples, which had nothing to do with the song which Shin had recorded, in order to make a new track. The tempo was different (obviously), and I'm not sure harmonically it made sense. but I worked on it to turn it into one sound world. All the sounds on this album (except the voice - contributed by Shin's Peruvian wife) were originally generated by Shin's guitar. In the end we came up with this album which defies categorisation. I leave it to you to decide if this is electronica, guitar, drone, world music, contemporary classical music, meditative music..... We are happy to release this album from Minabel." Dai Fujikura (edited by Miranda Jackson)

Produced by Shin Sasakubo & Dai Fujikura
Directed by Motoichi Sugita
Engineered by Dai Fujikura & Noritaka Yamaguchi
Recorded: May 2014 @ Minabel Studio, London & STUDIO JOY, Chichibu

Dai Fujikura

Although Dai Fujikura was born in Osaka, he has now spent more than 20 years in the UK where he studied composition with Edwin Roxburgh, Daryl Runswick and George Benjamin. During the last decade he has been the recipient of numerous prizes, including Kazimierz Serocki International Composers’ Competition 1998 and a Royal Philharmonic Society Award in UK, Internationaler Wiener Composition Prize, the Paul Hindemith Prize in Austria and Germany respectively and both the OTAKA and Akutagawa awards in 2009.

A quick glance at his list of commissions and performances reveals he is fast becoming a truly international composer. His music is not only performed in the country of his birth or his adopted home, but is now performed in venues as geographically diverse as Caracas and Oslo, Venice and Schleswig-Holstein, Lucerne and Paris.

In his native Japan he has been accorded the special honour of a portrait concert in Suntory Hall in October 2012. In London where he chooses to live with his wife and family, he has now received two BBC Proms commissions, his Double Bass Concerto was recently premiered by the London Sinfonietta and in 2013 the BBC Symphony Orchestra gave the UK premiere of ‘Atom’ as part of the Total Immersion: Sounds from Japan.

The French music world too has taken him to its hearts with numerous commissions, culminating in his first opera – an artistic collaboration with Saburo Teshigawara, which will be co-produced by Theatre des Champs Elysées, Lausanne and Lille. In Germany the European premiere of ‘Tocar y Luchar,’ the world premiere of which was given in Venezuela by Gustavo Dudamel and the Simón Bolívar Youth Orchestra, was given at the Ultraschall Festival in Berlin. His next German commission is ‘Grasping’ for the Munich Chamber Orchestra which was premiered in Korea before being brought back to Munich. Switzerland has featured his music at the Lucerne Festival, Austria at the Salzburg Festival and Norway at the Punkt Festival and a commission in 2013 from the Oslo Sinfonietta.

Conductors with whom he has worked include Pierre Boulez, Peter Eötvös, Jonathan Nott, Gustavo Dudamel, the newly-appointed conductor of the Suisse Romande, Kazuki Yamada and Alexander Liebreich. His compositions are increasingly the product of international co-commissions. In 2012/13 the Seattle and Bamberg Symphony will each give continental premieres of ‘Mina’ for wind a percussion soloists and orchestra and the Asian premiere will be given by Nagoya Philharmonic Orchestra. In 2011/12 the Arditti Quartet performed ‘flare’ in collaborating venues in London, Edinburgh and Tokyo. His opera, which is based on Stanislaw Lem’s novel, Solaris, will be co-produced in both France and Switzerland.

In 2012 NMC released "secret forest", the first disc devoted exclusively to his music, and in 2013 Commmons released "Mirrors", an album including four of his orchestral works. KAIROS has released "ice" an album including his chamber and electronics music. He also runs his own record label Minabel. Minabel has released six of his portrait albums, two of which are collaboration with SONY Japan.

He has also collaborated in the experimental pop/jazz/improvisation world. A co-composition with Ryuichi Sakamoto was premiered in Hakuju Hall in Japan, collaborative works with David Sylvian are on Sylvian's "died in the wool" album and also Dai's co-compositions with Jan Bang and Sidsel Endresen feature on Jan Bang's album, released from Jazzland records.

Dai Fujikura is published by Ricordi Berlin.

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