Oud (2020) Double Concerto for Marimba, Piano and Ensemble


Marimba, Piano, Fl. - Cl. - 2 VL. - Va. - Vc. - Cb.
for Ensemble Nomad
Dedication to Norio Sato
World Premiere : 09.10.2020 in the Opera City Tokyo
Commissioned by Takako Arakida Fund

Duration : approx. 13 minutes 30 Secndes

Submerged fragrance (沈香)

The resulting reverberation and resonance after a sharp attack on a marimba, along with it’s

rich spectrum, natural " woody" sound, reminds me of the fragrance of wood.

Agarwood, Kyara, Sandalwood...

The odours of these incense woods have been appreciated in Japanese history and culture.

According to legend, Agarwood first came to Japan when a log of incense wood drifted ashore.

People noticed that the wood smelled marvellous when they put it near a fire.

We can enjoy the smelling incense wood as a “listening fragrance “ in music.

Incense woods exude their odour and it spreads into the space. The fragrance changes constantly and will finally disappear. It does however evoke our sensations, memories and emotions.

For me, this is very similar to what I can experience with certain sounds in music.

Fragrant Woods are formed when they are infected with a type of mold. During the infection process, the light and odourless woods produce a dark aromatic resin that transform into a very dense, dark, resin-embedded heartwood. This gradually sinks below the surface of the water.

The chemical process, which can take between ten or even some hundreds of years, is something I think about when I‘m composing.

Oud means Agarwood.Japanese call it as Jinko (沈香) which literally means "submerged fragrance".

My piece "Oud" starts with a sharp attack on a wooden instrument. Its resonance appears and then gradually disappears into the space, as if it were a fragrance from incense woods.

It constantly changes its musical states which include density, sound colour, and gestures and forms fragrant sound, as if the heartwood had been infected to become fragrant.

"Oud" is dedicated to Norio Sato and commissioned by  Takako Arakida Fund.

(in Cologne, July 2020 , Malika Kishino)