Sange (2016)

for six percussionists
In memory of Yoshihisa Taira

A tribute for the 10th anniversary of his disappearance (Hommage pour les 10 ans de la disparition de Yoshihisa TAIRA)
Commissioned by the Ministère de la Culture et de la Communication
World Premiere: 05.12. 2016 in Teatro comunale Città di Vicenza by the Percussions de Strasbourg
Duration: approx. 15 minutes

“Sange” [s¯nge] literally translates from the Japanese as the spreading of petals (San ∙ 散 = spreading, Ge ∙ 華 = petals).
In a Buddhist ceremony, there is a particular act where the priests walk around the ceremony space, reciting sutra and spreading petals in order to bless the deceased spirits.
This is called ‘Sange’. Originally fresh lotus flowers and petals were used, but now they have been replaced by lotus petal shaped coloured paper.
At the ceremony, many multi coloured paper petals are scattered in the Main Hall.
The solemn recitation, the dancing of petals and originally the fragrance of fresh lotus petals were not only appealing to people’s auditory and visual senses, but also their sense of smell.
At the same time. A magical atmosphere is created representing the highlight of the ceremony.

The composer Yoshihisa Taira utilises very little carefully chosen material in his piece "Hiérophonie V" which was written for les percussions de Strasbourg, transporting us into his vivid and rich profound music universe.
Ten years after of the passing of Yoshihisa Taira, who was my first professor of composition, I wish to write this new piece “Sange” as a tribute to him.

One of the most striking quotes by Yoshihisa TAIRA was " masterpieces are like a polyhedron whose appearance always changes according to the change of the angle in which we watching and whose position progressively and constantly is changing".

For my piece, “Sange” I wish to create my own polyhedron by concentrating on the
following three areas:
1. Defining the form of the piece.
2. Realisation of the third dimension by imagining a polyhedron created by the sounds of the six musicians. I would also like to bring in the notion of an ascending odour.
3. Evolution of sound material.

I intend to:
- Primarily use the same instruments and the disposition that are available in the nomenclatures of "Hiérophonie V" as a core.
- Quote two musical ideas of "Hiérophonie V” such as the ostinato of the wood-drum
which appears at the end of the piece and the voices witch are used in the piece into “Sange”.
The former will be one of the basic sound materials, which will contract the sound space of the piece.
In the latter case I wish to restore the energy that evokes and creates the gesture of impulse, without using the human voice.
- Add the idea of the particularity of electroacoustic music into the pure instrumental music, for the following two levels:
1. Creating wealth and peculiarity of sound materials with few instruments by seeking different techniques and combinations of playing. (For example, the drums will be written with using six
different zones to obtain varying tone colours such as the rim on, the body of the instrument and four different areas on the skin.
2. Create various sound layers, which have their own trajectory by moving in the space. I would like to musically depict the ceremonial act of the “Sange” by stimulating the three human senses with the sounds produced by the six percussionists.

“music must be very instinctive"
The composition is a very intellectual but is also intended to be nutrition for the heart and mind.
In “Sange”, I wish to create a musical organism, which has its own identity, using the Percussions de Strasbourg’s sound energy.