Daryl Jamieson


utamakura 3: Saihōji

On 10 November 2018, atelier jaku presents the first of a three-part series of concerts called the ‘Garden Series’. In this concert, the first half will feature new-music icon John Cage’s seminal Ryoanji for oboe and voice. Daryl Jamieson’s new piece utamakura 3: Saihōji for voice, cor anglais, and percussion with field recordings fills the second half.
Please join performers Yakushiji Noriko (voice), Unagami Nagisa (oboe/cor anglais), and Aita Mizuki (percussion) for a music event aimed at all five senses: including an art installation (Portable Garden) by regular atelier jaku collaborators Setsuami and Takeyama Keisuke, bespoke incense (Natura in minima maxima) and two specially-commissioned cocktails.

Tickets:    ¥3500
Drinks (including two bespoke cocktails) and food are available, but are not included in the ticket price.
Tickets are available to be purchased from atelier jaku directly (website).

Location:  Isezaki Bar 333
      1-3-1 Isezaki-chō, Naka-ku, Yokohama, Kanagawa
      (3 minutes walk from Kannai station on the JR Keihin Tōhoku/Yokohama/Negishi lines, or Yokohama subway's Blue Line)

'Hollow Sounds' Published

My first journal article since 2007 has been published in the Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism. The paper is called ‘Hollow Sounds: Toward a Zen-derived aesthetics of contemporary music’. It develops how my reading of Japanese philosophy (especially Kyoto School philosophy) has influenced how I listen. The aesthetics blog ‘Aesthetics for Birds’ has a summary I wrote up on their website, which is free to access.

Abstract: To attempt to fill a perceived gap in Japanese aesthetics concerning music, this paper sketches a possible way into conceptualising a Zen- or Kyoto-school-derived aesthetics of contemporary music. Drawing principally on Kyoto-School philosopher Ueda Shizuteru’s theories of language’s three levels (signal, symbolic, and hollow words), the author proposes a similar distinction between different kinds of musical experience. Analogous with Ueda’s analysis of poetry, the oscillation of signal or symbolic sound and hollow ones is found to be what gives certain contemporary music its spiritual power. By applying this poetic-religious theory of language to music, an entirely new way of understanding contemporary music becomes apparent. As test case of this new approach, Morton Feldman’s 1970 work The Viola in My Life (2) is analysed. The final section addresses the differences between this method of understanding via nothingness and traditional Idealist approaches via the Absolute.
Keywords: Kyoto School, Ueda Shizuteru, Morton Feldman, Jonathan Harvey, aesthetics of contemporary (atonal) music

October 2018 - Three concerts

Big news for October – two premières and a performance of one of my most substantial pieces for a solo instrument.

First up, on 6 October at Shoto Salon in Shibuya, Hiroaki Ooi premières my piece through the mist, empty sky (2018). This is part of his Portraits of Composers series, the focus being on composers from North America and including music by Babbitt, Carter, Crumb, Adams, Zorn, and Vivier. The programme note for my piece reads:

A mist gathers and disperses in three distinct layers of musical material. Clusters in the bass give way to individual notes; a melody ranges widely over the keyboard, first accelerating then decelerating; mid-range harmonics colour the soundscape with microtonal nuances of greater, then lesser, complexity.

See more details and reserve tickets at this link (in Japanese).

On 17 October at Tiara Kōtō, Gaku Yamada gives the first performance of utamakura 1: ponds of Nara (cf this video of utamakura 2: Arnardalur, which was premièred on 6 September). Ponds of Nara is my first piece for electric guitar, and I'm still finding my feet with electronics and field recordings, so this piece was quite an experiment for me. An excerpt from the programme notes:

utamakura 1: ponds of Nara is based on three famous Nara ponds – Kasuga Shrine, Sarusawa Pond, and Katsumata Pond – associated with springtime, the love-suicide following an imperial affair, and ephemerality, respectively.

Reserve tickets at this link (in Japanese).

Finally, Nobutaka Yoshizawa reprises my piece plaintive belling which he commissioned, premièred, and recorded in 2013. Plaintive belling was a breakthrough piece for me, the first full compositional expression of my understanding of Nō aesthetics, and still my longest piece to date for any solo instrument (without electronic accompaniment). The autumnally-themed concert will be at Keyaki Hall, Masao Koga Music Museum, Tokyo, on 24 October. For more details, and to purchase tickets, see this link.
Revisit the premiere performance:

Thin Edge New Music Collective in Tokyo

Thin Edge New Music Collective (TENMC), one of Canada’s most innovative young contemporary music groups, is coming to Japan this summer for their first Asian tour. TENMC’s co-directors Cheryl Duvall and Ilana Waniuk will play three concerts in Tokyo and one in Fukui.
They will give many Japanese premieres, as well as the world premiere of my new piece utamakura 2: Arnardalur for video, field recordings, violin and piano. It is based on the work I did in residence in Iceland this spring.

Tokyo Concert 1: CanadaJapan
30 August 2018, 19:00 (doors open at 18:30)
Koen Dori Classics, Shibuya
¥3000 (door +¥500)
  • Brian Harman - Cherry Beach for violin and piano with electronics (Japan Premiere)
  • Kaija Saariaho - Frises for violin and electronics (Japan Premiere)
  • Yuka Shibuya - View from the round window 2 for piano
  • Takahiro Kuroda - Two Bows for violin solo
  • Kotoka Suzuki - Shimmer Tree for piano and electronics (Japan Premiere)
  • Linda Catlin Smith - With Their Shadows Long for violin and piano (Japan Premiere)

Concert in Fukui
2 September 2018, 16:00 (doors open at 15:30)
Kitano Show, Fukui
¥2000 (door +¥500), university students ¥1500, high school or younger ¥1000
  • W.A.Mozart: Sonata in E minor K.304
  • Linda Catlin Smith : With Their shadows long (1997)
  • View from the Round Window 2 (2018)
  • Aram Khachaturian :Trio for clarinet,violin, piano (1932)
  • Takeo Hoshiya: Ancestral Song 2 (2012/2015)
  • and more!

Tokyo Concert 2: Improv
5 September 2018, 19:30 (doors open at 19:00)
ftarri, Suidobashi
Improvisation in collaboration with Miyama McQueen-Tokita (bass koto) and Ko Ishikawa (shō).

Tokyo Concert 3: From sea to sea to sea
6 September 2018, 19:30 (doors open at 19:00)
¥3000 (door +¥500) Drink not included
  • Kenji Sakai - Chasm for violin and piano
  • Daryl Jamieson - utamakura 2: Arnardalur for violin, piano, field recordings and video (World Premiere)
  • Maria de Alvear - Thinking for violin, piano, live video (Japan Premiere)

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2 June - Satoko Inoue's Music Documents 28

My next performed piece will be the Japanese premiere of my Fugue in A-flat, which I wrote in Iceland in March 2018. It will be performed by Satoko Inoue, who also gave the first and second performances in Montréal and Toronto earlier this month. The concert is at Ryogoku Monten Hall, on 2 June 2018, at 4pm (note the early start time).
Contact ticket@monten.jp for tickets.

Hope to see you there!