T HIS CUR R E NT WOR K YOU A R E PE RFO RM IN G, PROJECT I X – P L E I A DES BY I AN N IS X E N A K IS, FEATURES ONE OF HI S MOST C O M PL E X PIEC ES. IS T HERE A NY E L E ME N T T HAT TAK ES M O RE CONCENT R AT I ON FOR T HI S P I EC E , ESPEC IAL LY IN T HIS S IX P I EC E C OL L A B OR AT I O N W IT H YO U RSE L F ? That’s an interesting question! Music by Iannis Xenakis is really complicated—5-8 beat layered with 9-10 beat and so forth. It’s really hard to grasp the music by reading the score. As you gradually decipher the puzzles for all six tracks of the composition one at a time, you begin to understand that there lies a beautiful phrase within what may seem like a chaos. And when I thought about how to express it myself, I came up with the idea of six panel projections of myself playing each track to compose the whole piece. It took some effort because the piece is not arrangeable like Steve Reich’s, and it is pointless if you eliminate any of the tracks from the composition. I think showing the same person, me, playing all
the tracks simultaneously made it rather interesting in its own way where you can see the sensitive rhythm changes in the movement, such as changes from 5-7 to 5-8 beats.
IT SE E M S T H AT YOU A R E FOND OF TH E S OU ND OF N AT U RA L IN ST RU M ENTS, NOT ONLY M A R IM BA BU T A LSO LO G D RU M S A ND EV EN C LAY P OTS. C OU LD YO U D ESC RIB E T HE DIFFER ENC E OF TH E S OU ND IN C O M PA RISO N TO C OM M ON DR U M S? DO YOU TH INK YO U H AV E M O RE H IGH LY DEV ELOP ED H EA R ING T H AN T H E AV E RAGE LAYP ERS ON? The sounds of nature are good for your body. Within the log drums that Osamu Ishikawa carves for me, there are various sizes and tones. We all play them together from kids to adults in my class where the sound becomes quite full and the vibration feels really precious on our bodies. I don’t think that my hearing is extraordinary. What I do think is that people in current urban settings tend to shut-out sounds because there is con-
stantly too much noise. When you are in nature, in mountains and rivers and trees, you can hear every sound more clearly. You miss out on lots of sounds when the atmosphere is crowded with noise and people only hear what they want to hear. In that sense, I’m no different than others and not open to all sounds. But when it comes to the sound I’m creating, I give my concentration to every detailed corner of it.
WH AT DO YOU M OST C OM M U NICATE TH R OU GH YOU R C LASS ES A ND WOR KS H OP S WITH C H ILDREN WITH DISA BILITIES? I’m not necessarily “teaching” them how to drum. Instead everyone’s rather freely hitting the instruments. Within that “free drumming,” I try and build a rhythm that they can get into and take them to a level where it naturally feels good and fun. Kids with disabilities tend to bite into it quicker. Playing with them gives me new freedom and findings as well. TO M TOM MA GA Z INE