Dai Fujikura: 8 questions
October 4, 2011
Dai Fujikura’s Double Bass Concerto is one of the pieces receiving its world premiere during our Pavilions: New Music Show 2 on 5 November at Southbank Centre’s Queen Elizabeth Hall.  Find out what Dai worries about during concerts, where he has many of his compositional ideas and what he considers to be perfection.

What do you fear the most and why?

"Will musicians play the actual notes I wrote at the concert?" "what if someone collapses in the audience during my piece, and unwittingly disrupts the performance?" "what if a power cut happens during the performance, and all the monitors for observing the
conductor (if the piece has a spatial-setting) also shut down, will the  musicians still be able to see the conductor and play?" and so on....
I think I don't need to explain "why"....

Which mobile number do you call the most?

I hardly call anyone, nor does anyone call me. If I decided to cancel my phone, I don't think anyone would notice!

What ­ or where ­ is perfection?

If it is music, music which doesn't have any bits I dislike.
A "perfect world" exists only in my imagination where nothing I dislike exists, which I try to recreate in my composition. In a way, that's the reason why I compose music.

Who is your favourite hero from fiction (book/comic/film/opera) ­ and why?

Right now? I don't know....when I was a child, I guess "dragon ball" and all those heroes in Japanese comic books;  I am sure any kids in Japan (were born in late 70s) would say the same.

What¹s your favourite ritual?

Taking a long bath (where I write email, sketch, read book etc., but also to think. Almost all my compositional idea come from the bath. I can't live in a flat without a bath....).

What other talent or skill would you like to possess?

I never thought about it....even musical talent (since your question is
"OTHER talent" so I presume you think that I think I have some musical talent?), do I have a drop of it, or not, I never thought about it.....
I don't know, I am ok, being like this; maybe this would not be ok for others, but I have always done and am doing everything I want to do in my life, so I don't think I have any desire for an extra talent or skill in addition to what I have already.

Tell us about a special memory you have of Southbank Centre?

I remember that, when I was an undergraduate student at Trinity college of music, I must have gone to ALL the contemporary music concerts - of course including the London Sinfonietta concerts. I remember, after concerts, walking away from the hall; it was usually raining, going over that horrible narrow pedestrian bridge over the Themes to Charing Cross Station (it's nicer now,)  thinking to myself as I walked, "it would have been great if once in my life time I got myself a performance by a professional ensemble who played it at the SBC..." then going back home to make my parts for college student workshop concert for that week, which usually had 10 people in an audience in little church (if you're lucky.)

If you could programme your ideal Southbank Centre show, which artists (living or dead) would you bring together?

I can't think from my top of my head right now, but I would want to do a bigger scale of music-collision as I tried when I curated in a Kings Place concert last year. Rather having teachers, pupils, friends and family all in the same concert (this seems a trend), I would want to see an artist inviting artists from the opposite side of the musical-globe, opposition rather than coherence. Since nobody listens to music from spinning the CD, less and less people care about the concept of the album, or the whole concert programme for that matter. I like to see more contrasts rather than similarity when I am forced to sit in the chair for that long. It would be also nice to see each artist who appears in this concert to answer the same questions in an interview, to see how similar and different the answers are, to the same topic etc. You could put together the kind of concert with artists, who, if you put them together would guarantee you a public fist fight; that sort of a concert would be nice, whether the artists are dead or alive.

What is the most important lesson life has taught you?

You can't have everything, and it is always good not to set your expectations too high, so that when something good does happen, however little it is, I would feel positive.

What is the most played piece of music on your MP3 player or in your CD collection?

"secret of the beehive" by David Sylvian.

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