|Horn Concerto No.2|
This work was commissioned by Nobuaki Fukukawa. It is very rare for an individual person to commission a large scale work like this concerto and I think it is a wonderful thing. I previously wrote a work for him for solo horn called "Poyopoyo" for which we experimented together to find a sound which is the antithesis of the stereotypical horn sound.
I looked for sensitive, quiet, soft, and poetic sounds to represent poyopoyo. In Japanese the word "poyopoyo" describes something soft and squidgy, with a velvety texture - like the cheek of a four month old baby, which is how old my daughter was when I wrote this work. Over online video conferencing we settled on using a bass trombone harmon mute or a specially made harmon mute for horn to achieve the desired affect. The player can open or close the mute with his hand to make the "wah-wah effect, and throughout this piece the speed of this wah-wah effect varies to represent poyopoyo.
Based on those experiences, I also made this concerto closely working with Nobuaki over skype, and meeting him in person, spending hours of experimenting to find unusual horn sounds. I think I do this because I generally dislike the typical sound of a classical "Horn Concerto" which often sounds macho and noisy. Like before, I wanted to do something totally opposite to that.
Part 1 of this concerto is like a "Poyopoyo" concerto. The orchestra sounds like the wah-wah mute on horn. Next I composed a cadenza part of the concerto, which is very new for me as well as for Nobuaki. The sound is nothing at all like a normal horn, nor of European classical music (nor Japanese). We have no idea what it is, but when I found it when we were playing around with Nobuaki with his horn in our friend's apartment, we looked at each other, and I immediately jumped up and down with a joy, and started composing on the spot. He tried it and it sounded wonderful to me. I hope you will wait to hear what it is!
The cadenza part has became an individual piece called "yurayura", a little sister piece to this Concerto.