University of Sussex
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Theatrical work using Japanese text: portfolio of compositions and commentary

posted on 2023-06-07, 15:53 authored by Keiko Takano
My main research was to write a theatrical work combining Japanese text with music that is to be performed as ‘shadow play’ theatre. This was my first attempt to create such a large-scale work, writing both the music and the text. There have been discoveries during the process of working on this large project. Most significant was my awareness of what makes my creation more ‘individual’ or ‘original’ as a composer. Personal experiences and background are basically reflected on determinations of what is to be written next and how to process materials. In my case, these determinations often come out of my experience of the mixed cultural environment which is that of Japan, even if it is not my intention to be ‘Japanese’. Among the elements behind Japanese culture, I discovered key words which are time, space, colour and nuance, and these, particularly, became my strong concerns. The portfolio comprises seven works which I composed during the research period, which was from 2004 until 2010. The first part of this commentary will be a description of my thoughts on composition, particularly on what made my works individual and original. In the second part, I will be focusing on the details of my main work Kosatsuki for shadow play. The portfolio comprises the following seven pieces. • dialogues for ensemble (2004) • The brother sun, the sister moon for cello and piano (2005) • In the Gray Dawn for orchestra (2006) • The moon out of the blue for ensemble (2007) • Echoes from the inland sea for string quartet (2007) • Song of the Muro Women for voice and piano (2008) • Kosatsuki for shadow play theatre (2010) comprising a script and a score Recordings of the following pieces are also found on the CD enclosed. [mp3 files encoded and apended here] • dialogues for ensemble (2004) • The brother sun, the sister moon for cello and piano (2005) • The moon out of the blue for ensemble (2007)


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  • Music Theses

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  • doctoral

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  • dphil


  • eng


University of Sussex

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