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Monday, November 29, 2021

Dai Fujikura, Glorious Clouds


If you are alert to what is going on these days you might know something of the music of Dai Fujikura. I reviewed his Zawazawa on these pages last September 25, 2019 (see index for that one). And now I am happy to be listening to his new two-CD set Glorious Clouds (Sony Music Labels SICX 10012-3). Like Takamitsu before him, he can incorporate traditional Japanese elements into his music while transforming them completely into his own New Music vision. And he extends the Modern vocabulary in ways both personal and brilliant.

The new music set is bracingly varied and diverse in combinations and expressions. Sandwiched between the orchestral gems "Glorious Clouds" and "Ghost of Christmas" is a wealth of musical worlds: the electric guitar of Prog meets New Music via Danlel Lippel performing "Sparkling Orbit," solo recorder on "Serene," solo horn on "Uniuni," then the koto and voice of Muyo Kumera, a Shamisen Concerto, New Music for five Shakuhachi, solo violin with motion sensor, chamber music with two clarinets, song form for soprano and piano, solo marimba, solo double bass, solo viola and solo contrabass clarinet.

What is perhaps the most remarkable about all this is how the music manages to sound idiomatic for the instruments at hand and yet refreshingly free of formula or predictability.

The twenty minute title cut for orchestra gives you a wonderful place to start with dramatic atmospherics and a sense of mystery and wonder.

All performances are first-rate and in the end you can only feel like you have been in the presence of a musical mind that seems literally endlessly inventive. Hurrah for all this. Listen all you who want a bead on what is NEW in New Music. Strongly recommended.

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