The Chicago Symphony Orchestra commissioned me to write a chamber work for any six players from the orchestra. As the CSO is one of the best orchestras in the world, I wanted to differentiate from a usual work for chamber ensemble, deciding to write for a whole section instead. It was extremely hard to decide which section to write for, as each one is exemplary. I decided to start asking my friends, as I simply couldn’t make up my mind. This led to even more confusion, as each had a different opinion! In the end, I chose to write for the cello section, if only because I have a very good friend who plays in it.

Since composing a piano concerto in 2008, I have been trying to sort out the relationship between percussive and sustained sounds. I found an acceptable solution for my piano concerto and wanted to develop this further in the work. In the opening you hear rather simple and clear pizzicato and arco (played by the bow) figures which alternate as if the sustained arco sound was the reverse of the pizz.

This reverse action is like a mirror, but also harmonically it is like a mirror. Hence the title of the piece. Sometimes this mirror is distorted, as if the musical material had entered a house of mirrors in a fairground. This concept runs throughout the piece horizontally and vertically.

I was worried that when the pizzicato sections were written at a fast tempo, they might have been quite uncomfortable for cellists to play. However, this was the effect I really wanted, so I had to try it out with several cellists. Luckily, when the Chicago Symphony was last visiting London -where I live and compose- I barged into the hotel room of my cellist friend and tried many things out!

After I finished the piece, I reflected on touring and travelling, and realised that the last time I visited Chicago - to attend the concert of "music now" - I visited and saw Anish Kapoor's sculpture Cloud Gate. The visual affect of this work is very similar to what I had in mind in Mirrors. Perhaps fond memories of my last visit to Chicago had been at the back of my mind.

Dai Fujikura (edited by Harry Ross)

藤倉 大《Mirrors》

 僕は、速いテンポで書かれたピチカートの部分がチェリストにとってかなり弾きにくいのではないかということが気にかかっていました。しかし、それこそ僕がほしいと思っていた効果なので、複数人のチェリストでそれを解決しようとしなければなりませんでした。幸運なことに、CSOが最近ロンドン―― 僕が生活し、作曲している街――を訪れたときに、チェロ奏者の友人のホテルの部屋に押し掛け、さまざまなことを試みることができたのでした。
 この曲を書き上げた後、ふと今までの自分の旅行の経験などを思い出していたのですが、前にシカゴを訪れた時――それもCSOの「music now」というコンサートに出席するため――アニッシュ・カプーアの彫刻《Cloud Gate》を見に行ったのです。そこで自分でもびっくりしたのですが、この作品の視覚的な効果は(もちろん書いている時には考えもしなかった)僕が《Mirrors》で思い描いていたものと非常に似通っていたのでした。もしかすると、僕が最後にシカゴを訪れた懐かしい思い出が、心の奥底に残っていたのかもしれません。

藤倉 大(編集:ハリー・ロス)

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