ある夏の日録 (Journal of a summer day) /composition

[Overview]
This piece is electroacoustic music with the subject of summer. It was composed in the music concrete style to be interpreted through an acousmonium system, multi-channel loud speakers orchestra.

[Concept + Theme]
Montage.
Start to compose a piece from scratch with a sound archive that had been already recorded in the field and at home.

[Material research]
I started by analyzing the material collected by field recording.
I completely ignored the sounding body, purely listened, cut unnecessary parts, and preprocessed.

One theme, “summer,” emerged from this sound data research.

[Audio materials that the work contains]
sound of cooking eringi mushroom in a frying-pan
sound of buttering toast
sound of shaking a salad dressing bottle
microwave
underwater
machine in a factory
a Japanese folk song for a summer festival dance with drums
sound of producing traditional Japanese paper
sound of walking in the grass
fireworks to celebrate the emperor’s enthronement
birdsong
a child’s voice
piano
marimba
synthesizer

[Format]
10 min 00
44.1kHz 16bit 2ch stereo

[Structure]
three-part

[Cue of inspiration]
Based on the image, when I placed each piece of sound onto the time axis and the spatial axis, a piece of contemporary dance piece gave me essential inspiration.

Just as I started working on the composition, the choreographer Jiri Pokorny, who is based in The Hague and an ex-dancer in NDT1&2 and Kidd Pivot, came to Japan and held a 5-day intensive workshop in the dance studio Architanz. I learned dance technique and repertoires of Crystal Pite, the associate choreographer with NDT and the artistic directer of Kidd Pivot.

Firstly, we learned a piece titled “The Other You” originally performed by Eric Beauchesne and Jiri Pokorny. This piece was choreographed to an existing song ‘Beethoven’s moonlight sonata’ by Crystal Pite. It is a 20-minute reflective tale of a mysterious connection between two men. Beauchesne and Pokorny are literally mirrored in their impeccable movements, first as a reflection of themselves, then morphing into support that propel each other into the next thought provoking movements.

Secondly, I learned “A Picture of You Flying,” a part of the four-part series that made up a full night show called “The You Show.” This work, in contrast to the first one, uses original electroacoustic music by Owen Belton. As we can see from the short movie uploaded to Youtube, the movement of the dancers and sound match perfectly, just like the sound effects of a movie.

The following are written in the work notes.
“This is a picture of you, falling, knees, hip, hands, elbows, head. This is how you collapse. This is the sound of your head hitting the floor. (Kidd Pivot – The Works – The You Show)”

In the workshop, we listened to the sound source over and over again so that we could move along with the precise timing while following the choreography. I memorized the delicate timing and finely tuned the scale, speed and intensity of each movement. This process of arranging each movement material on the time axis based on the sound source which looked like a map was tough but very interesting for me.

In general, dancers often perform while synchronizing their movements to music as required by the choreographer. Through my regular dance exercise, I always try to explore its relationship with either the rhythm or the melody of the accompanied music, or with both.

However, on the contrary in Pite’s creation process, the composer perform while synchronizing each sound to dancer’s movement. As a result, the sound itself and the movement are perfectly synchronized. This method gave me a hint to go one step forward, as I was trying to compose a collection of collected sound material in front of me.

I considered the sound as a physical movement, and assuming that the sound was dancing in space, I composed the music like it was choreography, that is, each sound was arranged on the time axis and the space axis. It seems as if these assumptions had created a situation where one movement inevitably produced the next movement.

Finally, I played several instruments to add melodic motifs to complete the “one-day” period.

I hope that this piece will function as a trigger, which makes the audience unexpectedly recall a tiny memory from distant summer days.

[Creation process]
pre-production
-field recording
-preview, analysis, classification of the audio materials
-preprocessing of the audio materials

composition
(repeated this flow several times)
-the sequence is created by placement of each sound material in a time and space field done like choreography
-playback
-addition of the audio materials
-track recording

post production
-balance
-sound mixing

[Award]
the Prize FUTURA ,awarded by Denis DUFOUR in CCMC2020 Tokyo, Japan

[References]
Kidd Pivot – The Works – The You Show

The You Show