Chitose Trio

1. Concert by the Chitose Trio.
Recital of traditional Gagaku music. On request, also contemporary compositions are played by the trio or by different combinations of instruments from the trio.

The contemporary compositions will be by contemporary Japanese composers, such as trio members Hitomi Nakamura and Ko Ishikawa, and composers like Kazunori Miyake, Maki Ishii and Sukeyasu Shiba. Works by John Cage will also be on the repertoire, for instance Ryoanji, played by Hitomi Nakamura on hichiriki and electronics.

2. Kegonkyoyama
Composition by Composer Antoine Beuger (Germany), for speaking voice and eight instruments '2003'; performed by the Chitose Trio, members of the Wandelweiser Ensemble (Germany) and Joep Dorren (speaking voice).

The work was composed in 2003 and is based on the poem On Flower Wreath Hill (Kegonkyoyama in Japanese, a burial mound of a Japanese princess) by the American poet Kenneth Rexroth '1905-1982' from 1974. On Flower Wreath Hill is a long poem, comprising 14 shorter poems.

Antoine Beuger’s work consists of eight parts separated by short intervals. Each of the first seven parts is about 20 minutes long; the last part is 80 minutes.

The choice of instruments is free, provided that seven instruments are capable of producing soft and long to very long tones, such as wind and string instruments,
but electronic instruments are possible too. The eighth instrument has to be a wooden percussion instrument that produces soft, short and dry pats.

The result is eight parts, consisting of fields of very soft, long to very long notes, varying in timbre. Every now and then, there is the soft, short and dry pat.

During the first seven parts, the speaking voice reads a poem for six to eight minutes, starting at any moment to be chosen by the speaker.
During the eighth part, the speaking voice reads seven poems of six to eight minutes each.

The speaking voice is soft and the pace is quiet, about three seconds per word. There is also a score for the speaking voice. Despite the slow pace and the many pauses between the words, the natural speaking pace and the narrative character should be preserved. The result is an almost hallucinating experience, by the quiet speaking voice, the long musical lines, the often surrealist text and the fact that time is doing its job.

3. Zeami (Pracht von Blüt)
Composition by Antoine Beuger (Germany), for instrument and actor '1998'; performed by Hitomi Nakamura (hichiriki) and Joep Dorren (actor).
Duration: approximately 40 minutes.

This work is based on the lamentation Zeami Motokiyo '1363-1443' wrote on the death of his son Motomasa. Zeami was a theatre aesthetician as well as a writer and director of many classical plays for the Noh theatre. He led his own theatre company and considered Motomasa his natural successor and artistic heir, which explains why his son’s premature death was a great blow.

The work begins with a prologue by the instrumentalist who, out of the actor’s sight, plays the same tone several times, very soft and long, with long pauses. Instrumentalist and actor need to sense the moment that the actor takes over simultaneously. The actor sits on an empty stage. He delivers the text by heart.

The words are spoken at various pitches; four different pitches are required. For this performance, four registers had been opted for: very high, falsetto, normal speaking voice and very low – a reference to the speaking style of the Noh theatre.

4. Teishin / Ryokan
Composition by Antoine Beuger (Germany), originally for a woman and a man '2001'.
Duration: approximately one hour.

Antoine Beuger will convert the work into a version for soprano (Irene Kurka), 2 speaking voices (Joep Dorren and Sylvia Alexandra Schimag), hichiriki, sho and ryuteki (members of the Chitose Trio).

Ryokan Taigu '1758-1831' was a Zen monk and poet who was looked after by a young nun in the last years of his life. Ryokan and the nun, Teishin, developed a close bond, which resulted in an intensive exchange of poems.

The work consists of three parts, each comprising several of Ryokan’s and Teishin’s poems:
Part 1: Teishin und Ryokan Liebesgedichte (seven poems)
Part 2: Ryokan stirbt (three poems)
Part 3: Ryokans Vermächtnis (one poem)

The man and woman sit on an empty stage, together and yet each one by themselves. The man speaks without doing anything else and the woman sings, syllable by syllable, softly and very slowly as if they are writing at the same time.

All syllables more or less have the same time length; units of silence have been composed between the syllables. Each unit has the same duration as that of a spoken syllable. One poem follows ano ther without any interruption.

In the new version, there will also be room for soprano, hichiriki, sho and ryuteki, representing the world of spirits, thus referring to the Noh Theatre.