IMPULSE - Piano Concerto No.3

This is my third piano concerto, and I am preparing for the fourth one now.
When I finished my first one, AMPERE, after many months of nightmares and struggles, I never thought I would write this many.

In this concerto, IMPULSE, the solo piano and orchestra are one living organism. The piano always initiates something, as though the piano is the “impulse” to which the orchestra then reacts immediately. Every time the orchestra reacts to each single piano note the results are varied, and the reaction is sent back to the piano rather impulsively. The piano then reacts back to the orchestra and so on: a chain reaction that goes on until the end of the concerto.

For instance, in the opening, both the piano and orchestra start very quietly, the piano is moving fast and the orchestra acts as if it is an imaginary giant sustaining pedal, but not always just echoing what the piano has played. In this respect it is like a “magical-pedal” or a mischievous resonance created by the orchestra.

Sometimes, all of a sudden, the piano plays a single phrase - just one hand, no more than 1 note at a time even when the dynamics are quiet. Then suddenly the piano plays a fast and loud figuration, the orchestra suddenly wakes up and reacts, as if a kid has suddenly shaken a stick in the water of a pond, and splashes and ripples are created on surface of the water.

Unlike my other piano concertos, IMPULSE has another dimension for me: the whole orchestra and piano are creating a sound somewhere between a big texture and big melodies. There are big lines, as if a painter has drawn a line with a very thick brush in one complete stroke. But inside the stroke, the sounds is always moving fast, shimmering. This, to my ear, it is rather orgasmic, a sort of long lasting orgasmic sound is gushing into your ears into your brain. At least to me I imagine perhaps that’s what it will sound like.

This concerto uses the full range of the piano and in some sections the lowest key of the piano (most pianos) is repeatedly played percussively together with drum section of the orchestra. Also the highest note of most pianos is also repeatedly played and that is reflected in the orchestral instruments.

Dai Fujikura (edited by Alison Phillips)