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ITO Miyuki / 伊藤 美由紀


Energy Void for shakuhachi, flute, clarinet, violin, cello, harp and percussion with electronics

Birth C: JAPAN Gender: Female

First perf.: Merkin Concert Hall, New York, USA. February 12, 2006

Duration: 10:00

Perf. Country: UNITED STATES

Instruments: shakuhachi, flute, clarinet, violin, cello, harp and percussion with electronics

Prog. notes:,_flute,_clarinet,_violin,_cello,_harp,_piano_and_percussion_with_electronics.html

Energy Void (2005-06) for shakuhachi, flute, clarinet, violin, cello, harp, piano and percussion with electronics

The title ‘Energy Void’ is derived from one of the Isamu Noguchi’s sculptures, which I saw in the Whitney Museum, in New York, a few years ago. It is a six feet twisted rectangle with a hole, set in Swedish black granite. It reminds me of a formless protean object. The word ‘Energy Void’ seems to have a negative connotation, but, in fact, a powerful positive presence resides in the sculpture, which gave me a strong impulse to create the music. I could see nothing through the hole, which was created on purpose for the viewer. However, I felt a strong energy originating around the sculpture and passing through space and time. According to Noguchi, the empty center represents the zero of nothingness from which we come and to which we return. Obviously, he is influenced by the Zen concept of nothingness. I think that in our lives energy is circling invisibly and in unexpected places. Even inside a void, on the level of quantum mechanics, a pair of particle appears and disappears. I wanted to create something yet nothing with sounds, controlling them with my own energy. For this piece any energy moving through space and time between sounds and musicians are created intuitively.

I was impressed by Akikazu Nakamura’s performance on a F# bass shakuhachi(3尺1寸), which is a very special instrument, and decided to include it in this piece. Thanks to Mr. Nakamura, I recorded samples of the instrument to use for an electronics part as well as for a spectral analysis by computer, which gave me a pitch content. Since this shakuhachi is in F#, I focused on an analysis of F# spectra using such techniques as harmonic distortion and ring modulation, and similar. I used 1/4 tones, unstable pitches, and white noise-like sounds to create a floating tension. This time, instead of Bass Shakuhachi, I use alto flute.

(from program note)




Editor: Tamamo Nagai