I have always thought string instruments strange, simply because a body of strings sounds so different to, say, a solo violin played on its own. I have employed both these contrasting textures in this piece for string orchestra. What interests me is how the sound of a group of solo instruments can be transmuted into the tutti sound and then back again. It reminds me of a flock of birds in flight. When they are widely spread, you can see the serried ranks of birds, one after another; but when they form a single band or line, they become some mysterious, ghostly black entity which you can't recognise.

I also felt, while I am composing, that I am sculpting the sound because of these many string instruments – especially played divisi - presented me with a vast canvas of homogenous string sound. Then I could transform them from big chord into some kind of moving shape, from the semi-opaque structure of the flock to the more focused line.

Dai Fujikura (edited by Miranda Jackson)

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