Music and calligraphy: Toshio Hosokawa’s percussions

The East is different. This simple reality is often clouded by the phenomenon everybody knows as globalization. The outlines of cultures are blurred and the differences softened, the amazement in front of what is far from us stops and we have the impression of knowing everything of everybody: in the West we are living in the era of conversions to Buddhism, of the wild commercialization of Zen philosophy, of geishas tales and so on. The face of Japan, by example, increasingly appears, with its big cities and multinational conglomerates, less different from the western counterparts. That notwithstanding, the East is really different (and the Zen is far more than a lovely reading for commuters), and also the intersections that happen there have something special.

As an example: the Nagasaki-born composer Toshio Hosokawa reports that when in the Noh drama a musician is preparing to play the tsuzumi, a percussion instrument, he brings forth the right hand, draws a circle in the air and only at that point actually generates the sound by hitting the instrument. The ensuing sound is laden with a peculiar tension, that begins through the gesture that comes before the real sound. The performer, in the preliminary gesture, lets out an exclamation, and this cry helps to raise the tension. As an outcome, the sound and the preceding silence are not each rival to the other, whereas the sound somehow takes his roots in the preliminary gesture…
Read more


Tags: , , , , , ,

Leave a Reply