Emergence from Darkness
for solo harp (2015)
duration: 15′ 00″
Performance note: Yukiko Hirao (harp) performed Emergence from Darkness at the East Meets West concert in the Chamber Music Hall, Aichi University of the Arts, Japan on the 17th December 2015.
score available from
Emergence from Darkness is structurally and emotionally music that is about an emergence from darkness—the almost inaudible sounds and tensions arising from violent atmospheres into stronger utterances. The dirty ‘blues-like’ sounds that perforate the music come from rapidly changing pedal positions whilst a note is in play to create textural roughness and are complimented by single sliding notes as melodic emphasis devices. These colours span out into an array of colouristic techniques including Korean gayageum flicking techniques and Japanese koto grace-note gestures to energize both single notes and melodic phrases. What emerges in the work, from the opening cluster sounds, is the revealing of Japanese Gagaku-based sonorities and sadly arching melodic phrases, that sit still and aching in the air but ruptured by bluesy fragments. The Yokohama skyline and its sudden juxtaposition of shapes that allow for the flow of peoples through the city inspired the structure of the music. In the music, near silent sounds gradually emerge, reappear and end the work amid denser sections that suddenly emerge in a series of juxtapositions; here the musical flow through time moves into sudden emergences of emotion and cathartic sound as its point.
Akira Kobayashi commissioned Emergence from Darkness (harp) for performance at Aichi University of the Arts as part of a Collaborator residency. Both Aichi University of the Arts and the Australian Commonwealth through the Australia-Japan Foundation, which is part of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, supported the residency.