Emergence from Autumn Darkness to Spring
for Jiari-Shakuhachi and Jinashi-Shakuhachi (2015)
1 Jiari-Shakuhachi (lacquered), [1.8 shaku length]; plus voice; 1 Jinashi-Shakuhachi (un-lacquered), or soft-toned wooden or unlacquered bamboo shakuhachi [1.8 shaku length]; plus voice and crotales [1 pitch D; sounding two octaves higher than written] with brass mallets, rubber mallets and percussion bow (or double bass bow); duration: 10′ 00″; publisher: Australian Music Centre
score available from
Performance note: Miyoshi Izumi commissioned Emergence from Autumn Darkness to Spring for performance at the Japan Federation of Composers concert in Tokyo on the 24th February 2016.
Emergence from Autumn Darkness to Spring is emotionally about an emergence from a long darkness into an ecstatic heavenly release, as if autumn had been transfigured into spring. The changing seasons are a metaphor of the burden of a friend’s death and coming to terms with it through music. The music draws on traditional Japanese Noh play’s jo-ha-kyū, using its five-part dan structure to create an intensification of instrumental colour from breath, to ecstatic pitch flourishes, and a quick return to air sounds. Symbolic sounds interlace and emerge in the structure of the music; Christian glossolalia (speaking in tongues) chanting frame the work, whilst Japanese Gagaku court music emerges in tangled, overlapping lines as type of heart cry at the most intense part of the structure—the third dan. The spiritual symbols of heaven and higher dimensions within an arch shaped musical intensification design are about loss and transcendence of the individual, who moves to perhaps a heavenly dimension.
Emergence from Autumn Darkness to Spring is dedicated to my friend and encourager Jack Body.