Program Notes – Takemitsu Voice

The final set of program notes from Alicia McGorlick. Thanks Alicia!

Voice (1971)
Toru Takemitsu

Takemitsu is an internationally recognised composer who composed music with a distinct fusion of traditional Eastern styles, in this case Japanese style, and Western forms in his pieces.[1] His ‘avant-garde’ work ‘Voice’, dedicated to Aurèle Nicolet, revolves around the use of the voice, through humming, singing and speaking into the flute. Extended techniques from Bruno Bartolozzi construct the basis of the work. This includes Noh flute attacks (a breathy attack from a Noh kan flute used in the Japanese Noh Theatre), pitch bending, microtones, double tremolos, key clicks, multiphonics and whisper tones. The concept of ‘ma’ 間depicts a Japanese aspect of time and space and is used in this piece through the use of sound and silence coexisting with one another.[2] The poem spoken both off and on the flute is written by Shuzo Takiguchi from his “Handmade Proverbs”:

Qui va la? Qui que tu sois? Parle transparence!
Who goes there? Speak transparence! Whoever you are!

[1] Hwee Been Koh, East and West: The Aesthetics and Musical Time of Toru Takemitsu, Ph.D diss, Boston University, 1998, 1. (CHECK THEORY AND METHODS ASSIGNMENT IF YOU WISH TO REWORD A BIT)

[2] page 2

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