Eiko Shiono

  • piano
  • 8 min 20 s

Programme Note

Following Satori (1998) and Jardin Zen (1999), Tokyo-city is the third work I have composed to express the various emotions which I have felt during my trips to Japan.
With Tokyo-city for piano, the point is not so much to describe this capital, rather, the piece is a metaphor for the experience of a foreigner initially lost in this immense city, and then little by little engulfed in the extraordinary energy which it radiates. I also wanted to express the sensations of harmony and colour which I felt over the course of my long walks through the city.

The general design of Tokyo-city is based on the idea of a musical trajectory elaborated around a counterpoint which gradually transforms and unfolds in a purely harmonic space according to the principle of anamorphosis. The whole work is constructed without interruption in a single, large movement, in a formal envelope whose axis of symmetry is close to the golden section. The symmetry concerns both the tempo and the inversion of the register.

The beginning of Tokyo-City is mysterious and enigmatic, arising from the extreme low register of the piano, in tightly-woven three-part counterpoint. Then, very gradually, the tempo accelerates, together with the emergence of a « floating polyphony » which slowly makes its way to the medium register. In this way, a musical figure is imperceptibly revealed which transforms itself gradually into an obsessive « canonic toccata ».

In an immense "rallentando" which mirrors the beginning of the work, this toccata very gradually loses its form, leaving in its wake a more and more harmonic universe (certain of these harmonies having a crystalline brilliance). The ends in a state of rarefaction, coming to a close in the extreme high register of the piano.




Preview the score