Shades of ochre (2017) for orchestra


Commissioned by NHK- SO Tokyo
NHK Symphony Orchestra in Tokyo under the direction of Lawrence Renes
09.06. 2017, Music Tomorrrow 2017 in Tokyo Opera City Hall
21 Min.
Shades of ochre
Commissioned by NHK Symphony Orchestra, Tokyo
The world Première is on June 9, 2017 at “Music Tomorrow 2017” at the Tokyo Opera city hall
with the NHK Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Lawrence Renes.
Red, orange, gold, sometimes even purple.
The layers of ochre produce a magical landscape.
Anyone who has ever walked through natural ochre rocks such as those in Roussillon in southern
France will find the flood of colours an unforgettable and even ecstatic experience.
Human kind has always been attracted by ochre pigment.
It was used in prehistoric and ancient times by many different civilizations on different continents.
The colouring of ochre pigments is produced by absorption and remission (scattering or reflection)
of certain frequency components of visible light. The acoustic spectra of this piece were formed
analogous to this.
For me, the orchestral formation was like a Mother Earth from which an energy flow and numerous
hues were produced.
I consider timbre just as important as other elements of music such as pitch, rhythm and dynamics.
In my piece “Shades of ochre“, I have endeavoured to create a sound organism consisting of
numerous hues and whose states, such as like stratum of ochre, and angle of appearance are
progressively and constantly changing.
In addition to the subtle usage of timbre, there is also the aspect of form, which suggests that
painting plays an important role:
The orchestra sprays and drops the sound materials onto an imaginary canvas. These include
bisbigliando effects, which remind us of the particles of ochre, and glissandos. These events are
developed, broadened and connected by the ensemble. This is like a viewer in front of, for
example, one of Jackson Pollock´s paintings. One can not only take a glance at it from a distance
but also scrutinize it closely with the eyes to appreciate the colour detail. The piece maintains its
form with a dramaturgy of Zooming in and out.
in Cologne, April 2017.
Malika Kishino