Review of Chance Monsoon by Dai Fujikura, Sony Japan, 2017
“The sound of the guitar is like a piece of small jewellery and I am continually figuring out how to spin it into a big world, or a whole universe.” Dai Fujikura
There is only one piece for guitar in this new cd produced by the great Japanese composer Dai Fujikura, but Chance Monsoon, performed by Soichi Muraji, is the passage which also includes the cd title and with which the CD begins and, by itself it’s a good reason for buying this beautiful cd, made by Sony Japan with a really phenomenal sound quality.
One of the mistakes that can still easily be made in listening to Fujikura’s music is to think of him as a “Japanese composer” in the exotic sense of the term. Already in the previous Ice released in 2014 for Kairos Fujikura has shown to compose using styles far away from any form of Japanese exoticism. Who expects from his music any possible, sad, trivial crossover between traditional music Gagaku and the Darmstad’s experimentalism will in fact be disappointed. To these people I suggest reading excellent Edward D.Said’s “Orientalism” essay.
Chance Monsoon is a very varied disc for a total of nine tracks, featuring ensemble and solo instrument tracks, including three for piano (Returning, SekSek and Ayatori) performed by Jacob Greenberg, Uto for taiko drums, performed From Ensemble Yui, Rare Gravity by Nagoya Philharmonic Orchestra, Silence Seeking Solace, featuring Alice Teyssier’s voice. The cd closes with the Cello Concerto performed by the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE), but the most beautiful piece of the whole album is, for me, the spectacular “Neo” composed for shamisen, a passage characterized by such energy and vitality that rarely we can meet in a piece of contemporary music. So beautiful.
Dai Fujikura is confirmed as one of the most interesting composers present at the moment. Guitarists, I warned you.