Neo (音緒)

for shamisen

Until now, I have never written for the shamisen.
For me personally, Japanese instruments are the cliché music we hear in Japanese restaurants outside of Japan, or what we see on New Year’s Day television programs in Japan.

When Honjoh Hidejiro commissioned this work, I realized I needed to do extensive research to be able to write for the shamisen. I worked closely with Hidejiro, as he would be the player who would premiere this piece, and we exchanged ideas through lots of Skype sessions as well as emails, with me sending him portions of written music and then listening to his recordings.

"neo" is a part of shamisen.

For some reason, I had a rather cartoon or comic book-like image about the instrument. Like some ninja or samurai who plays shamisen, and a part of the shamisen is a samurai sword, or something (yes, I watch too many movies and too much TV).
In particular, though, my attraction to the shamisen was the concept of adding "noise" to the sound, which is unthinkable in western classical music. I loved it.
I immediately thought of it as a bit like distortion with an electric guitar. So I treated this piece like a guitar solo in rock concert.

I hope you are cheering and screaming when he finishes this piece, like you would in a rock concert.

Dai Fujikura