ALTO RECITAL AT THE END OF THE MASTER’S DEGREE CLASS OF JUTTA PUCHHAMMER
Piano accompaniment: Ashken Minasyan, Oscar Silva
– Concerto for viola and orchestra by Airat Itchmouratov, Movements 1,2 and 3. ( 40’)
– A string around automn by Toru Takemitsu, arranged for piano and viola by Toshio Hosokawa. ( 18’)
– Kamalto, solo viola piece by Showan Tavakol. ( 17′)
Then Ensemble Kamaan will present us an excerpt from the show Des chemins qui mènent partout with
in Kamanché: Showan Tavakol ,
at Rhabab and Voice: Behnaz Sohrabi,
in Santur: Amir Amiri
and on viola: Olivier Marin
Encounter with Persian music.
My integration into the Kamaan ensemble has allowed me to understand that the diversity of Iranian music reflects the diversity of language groups and their own systems: Persian, Azeri, Kurdish, Baluchi, Khorasani and Turkaman. Each music, according to its origin, has its own modal system based on orality. On the other hand, “Dastgahi” music, known as Persian classical music, includes a written repertoire. The objective of the Kamaan ensemble is to create links between Dastgahi music and music from different regions in a contemporary perspective and goes so far as to harmonize with other styles of music, this time Western: baroque and medieval. This monodic music is built from a pattern or theme specific to a mode. For an experienced music lover, only a few notes combined in a certain way are enough to recognize the mode used. There is no fixed height, any scale can be transposed, only the arrangement of the mode and the 1/4 “Coron” of very precise tones change according to the mode.
At first, my work was to appropriate these melodies and themes that I transplanted and noted in C clef. I have encountered rating difficulties because of the tuning of the instrument which can be in 4te-5tte-5tte or 5tte-4te-5tte depending on the modes, which is a problem for our Western rating system. For example in a chord C# G# G# G# G# ( 5tte-4te-5tte) the 3rd finger (C#) in first position on the G# string will be = at the empty string C#. This is a problem because usually it is the 4th finger that is = the empty string. This gives two possibilities of visual pitch for the same note heard.
This passion for Middle Eastern cultures has led me to explore fundamental works such as the Radif (collections of themes from the Dastaghi classical music) and collections of Persian poetry by Rumi, Hafez, Saadi in the genre of the “Ghazal” (love poems), romantic poetry developed in the 13th and 14th centuries. Persian poetry is the foundation of Persian music: the rhythm of the verses is essential. This is why I chose to include an extract in Persian language to show the links with the composition of Showan Tavakol “Kamalto” in Nava and Charga.
Concerto for viola by Airat Itchmouratov.
Last summer I participated in a string competition in France, in which I had to perform a complete 40′ concerto. However, in our viola repertoire, few concertos correspond to this duration. With the help of Jutta Puchhammer, I started looking for such a work. I then discovered this concerto and immediately appreciated it. His romantic and modern Russian-inspired language incorporates very folk elements that immediately attracted me. In addition, the fact that Airat Itchmouratov is a living composer has strongly encouraged me to choose him, because for me it is a pleasure and a real desire to be able to discuss and share music with their creators. This piece reminds me of works of mythology and great epics, especially the story of Tristan and Isolde, which inspired me a lot. From an instrumental point of view it is a challenge in terms of endurance and sound power of the instrument. In such a piece, the musical process develops over a very long period of time, which requires imagination and renewal throughout the piece.
A string around automn.
In 2016, the Hokusai exhibition at the Grand Palais in Paris left its mark on me: the precision and artistic gesture that animate Japanese prints have intrigued me for a long time. Moreover, the great manga master of the Ghibli studios, Hayao Miazaki, has succeeded in combining these static and suggestive works to create masterpieces of animated works such as Le château Ambulant or Le voyage de Shihiro. Moreover, the relationship to gesture in Japanese culture has always fascinated me: very young I was introduced to martial arts and their philosophy. I always see Karate movements as a form of artistic expression, as for our instruments where the
gesture is worked, precise and of great intensity. So I created an EMPI composition inspired by a “Kata”, a Japanese term that refers to a sequence in martial arts. These are movements codified from the experience of combatants. Even if the objective of the gesture remains martial, a certain musical energy, concentrated and precise, derives from the movements and sublimates them. This gave me the opportunity to work on a multi-step composition with many graphic elements that became notes. I also intend to create a show one day around Japanese culture. I had the opportunity to meet Jean Dutrieu who composed solo viola pieces inspired by Japanese Haikus, whose work left its mark on me. A work around this culture could complete my previous research and lead to a show with a strong theme combining the pictorial, literary and martial field of Japan.
From an altistic point of view, Toru Takemitsu’s piece is very enriching in terms of techniques and harmonic sound control. Moreover, the musical time of this piece, close to that of the prints, is very particular and requires a mental conditioning to introduce itself into this new suspended time. The bow must become a kind of brush running through an impressionist canvas. This piece gives free rein to the imagination of timbres, colours and sound landscapes in a sublime weightlessness.
The Projects :
As you will have understood, my program invites you to travel: trips to very diverse and characterized cultures to explore the mechanisms underlying their traditional music as well as their impacts on Western music. I often use other artistic media such as literature or pictorial art to give a foundation to my projects. Here, the final master’s degree program requires a variety and various technical requirements, which directs me towards a specific musical range. However, in a non-school context, these plays would find their place in a show in the form of a lyrical tale. I have already had the opportunity to design one inspired by Dante Alighieri’s The Divine Comedy. This summer I am giving several sonata concerts for which I will be integrating the sonata of Takémitsu and Kamalto. Moreover, my activity with the Ensemble Kamaan places me at a crossroads of creativity between traditional Persian classical music, traditional Western classical music and the contemporary creative approach. This is what we are trying to do with our show “Des chemins qui mènent partout”.