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The International Shakuhachi Society

Yamaji

山路

This is a piece of genre Modern. This piece was composed for Shakuhachi by the person Kozo Masuda in 1980. This piece was composed for Koto by the person Kozo Masuda.

Yamaji appears on the following albums

AlbumShakuhachiKotoShamisen
Art of the Japanese Bamboo Flute and Koto Richard Stagg Sato Kikuko
    The final piece in the selection is entitled YAMAJI, a duet for koto and shakuhachi, composed in 1980 by Kozo Masuda. Although born in Korea his musical training was in Japan under Saburo Takada and Jo Shimaoki at Kunitachi Music Academy where he now holds a Professorship. He completed his studies at the Paris Conservatory. Yamaji was initially written for the famous artists Katsuya Yokoyama and Tadao Sawai and presents a rhapsodic, pastoral view of the Japanese countryside couched in, to modern ears, almost Debussyan language. Such a linkage becomes more obvious if we consider the extent to which Debussy and those of his generation were trying to absorb Chinese atmosphere into their music. If the scales and the mood here are Chinese, the treatment, as the piece develops is less easily classified. One must remember that the shakuhachi's basic scale consisting of D F G A C D and corresponding in fact to the common pentatonic scale associated with China, has to be constantly modified by the player in order to create the scale typical of sankyoku music, i.e. G Ab C D F ascending and G Eb D C A –descending, plus its transpositions. This chromatic aspects of both instruments is used, in the central section, to create the dramatic tension as, the imaginary climber, having surveyed the serene views from the foothills, now gets down to the serious business of the ascent of the mountain, complete with waterfalls, rainbows, dangerous overhangs, heat and breathlessness. When he finally gains the summit the serenity of the pentatonic section returns, this time bathed in delicate arpeggios from the koto. The climber's feelings are overwhelmed by the softness of the air and the beauty of the view.

Duos for Shakuhachi and Koto Yokoyama Katsuya Sawai Tadao


The International Shakuhachi Society - 2018