Why do I compose? What does composition mean to me?
Today, we live in a world where all kinds of music surround us, pop music, jazz, classical music, environmental music, avant-garde, folk music, traditional music...
More and more, we realize the almost infinite variety of musical styles, and it would seem odd if so-called contemporary music, in order to preserve some illusionary purity, were to confine itself to an existence in a cultural vacuum.
Rather than writing for an elite audience only, I want to let the life of "ordinary people", their emotions and thoughts enter into my music, I want to be influenced by and react to the multi-cultural jungle we all are living in. This is my main source of inspiration.
Ever since I decided to become a composer, I felt attracted not only to contemporary and European classical music, but also to folk music, traditional music, jazz, pop, and so on. My works are deeply influenced by this attraction. Of course, I don't use those influences directly, I don't just quote jazz, folk music etc., but I try to assimilate the music and link different worlds in my imagination. Eventually, this process leads to my own musical "sound".
Somehow in my mind, Schoenberg's String Quartets may overlap with Miles' Electric Jazz, or the static time-scape of Gagaku merges with Tori Amos' expressionistic pop, or the Beatles and Balinese Gamelan join their tunes. Being Japanese, I still feel the traditional arts of Japan living on subconsciously, while technology, globalization, and the simultaneity of heterogeneous cultures so typical of today's Japan exert a more acute effect on me, and mobile phones, mangas, and animes shape the way I perceive and thus also effect my art.
Artists have always sought to express their concern for the world they live in; to be sure, there is much to be concerned about today and dangers are often hidden behind a surface of smooth luxury. Living in a time which seems prosperous and peaceful but holds grave menaces in many respects, I want to speak about this world in my own words and in the language of music.
No part of this homepage may be used for commercial purposes
without permission of the composer.
©2006 Mari Takano