Written by Joshua Iyer
Published: February 8, 2015 at 4:50 PM [UTC]
During one of my breaks at 10am, I discovered, while trying to find some Finzi scores because he writes great strings music, the Japanese composer Toru Takemitsu, who, within the 1960s, wrote a piece called “November Steps”. It’s a very intriguing piece. One of his goals was to combine elements of Japanese (traditional) music with Western music that he enjoyed, and in “November Steps”, he added the biwa (a Japanese lute) and a shakuhachi to the orchestra, which create a very Japanese feel to the traditional orchestra. As I listened to the piece, performed by the New Japan Philharmonic, I could picture the picturesque mountains and countryside of the country, as if I were in a calm and tranquil Japanese village, and it created an exotic sonic experience that was very cool and inspiring. It is a very 20th Century-style of composition, and I believe we actually discussed some of his music at my camp last summer. Perhaps since listening to this, I will gain new ideas for my own piece. In any case, I just wanted to briefly share this composer with you. He was also particularly interested in Debussy Impressionistic style as well, which is cool because he is one of my influences personally. I hope you enjoy him!
He once stated, “My music is like a garden, and I am the gardener. Listening to my music can be compared with walking through a garden and experiencing the changes in light, pattern, and texture.”
"November Rain and be sure to look at some of his other stuff, too! :) At about 7:20 in the video, there is a cool, high violin moment along with the Japanese instruments which is kind of cool, complete with glissandi and everything.
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