osm for cello (2015)

“osm" was commissioned by Toppan Hall. It had been a while since I wrote a solo cello piece.

I wanted to write a big solo work which would connect all the musical materials with one line.

I also researched thoroughly how the instrument, the cello, was made. I was amazed that each instrument was made with tremendous effort and passion, not only the cello’s body but also the bow.

I wanted the piece to flow, and it develops into lyrical lines: sometimes staccatos are flying around in rhythmic patterns, sometimes the notes are running around and that turns into the melody in harmonics. 

I wanted to create a piece in which the musician is required to play with kinetic energy, yet the piece also demands that the musician plays beautiful melodies with a very rich tone.

Another thing I was interested in, was the left hand position of cellist. In this piece, the position remains in one spot most of the time but the pitches are flying across using combinations of mixed harmonic and the non-harmonic notes, and they are all played staccato and played fast. Two octaves, three octaves of pitches flying around but from one left hand position.

The piece is titled “osm”. In addition to the image that it changes constantly as like computer graphic images, the impression of the piece I came up with was “osmosis”. However, it feels it is too ordinary as a title so thought of shortening it to “osm”. Those three alphabet letters are all round, and it looks like a cello’s body. It also looks like organism, and also orgasm. Those I like to think and feel while listening to music.
In addition to that, osm means "8" in Czech, an infinite sign, which I also thought it is suitable for this piece.

Dai Fujikura (edited by Alison Phillips)