The Arbitrariness of Language (duration ca 8’00)
Performed by Eva-Maria Zimmermann
This piece is my second work to be based on a particular poem by the Medieval Japanese poet Izumi Shikibu. A phonetic rendering of this poem in the Roman alphabet reads: kuraki yori, kuraki michi ni zo, irinu beki, haruka ni terase, yama no ha no tsuki (translating* roughly as; one must enter from the darkness into a dark path; shine afar, moon on the edge of the mountains!) In this rendering I have become obsessed with the sound and structure of the poem; its rhythms, its irregular repetitions, its balance. Each consonant and vowel has its pianistic equivalent, sometimes more than one - and through repeated partial iterations, the poem's sounds and structures gradually accumulate, emerge, fragment and reform.

*Thanks to Marié Abe.

Evelyn Ficarra