four-hand piano

This piece was written for my friends Waka Hasegawa and Joseph Tong. For me, who I am writing for is a very important part of the composition process. I always get my inspiration from the musicians who are going to premiere the piece. This inspiration also comes from their personalities. They might be sporty, or film buffs, or foodies. I know Waka and Joseph rather well. Also they happen to be married… and sharing a piano!… that was my starting point. The idea of husband and wife sharing a piano was quite sensual to me. I wanted those four hands to be as close as possible when they play. I also liked the idea of them holding the keys silently so that when the other notes are played, suddenly those silent keys start ringing. I wanted to let the chords build up together by two players. In a partnership often one person’s action is silently contributed to by the other. To me this is an expression of love. Of course if another duo wanted to play this piece, they wouldn’t necessarily need to be married but it would be great to imagine other pianists getting it on after playing Half Remembered City. Maybe I could then start a dating agency. Another influence on this piece was that I knew that it would be premièred in Japan, my home country. I was thinking about my typical ultra-busy school boy life there, no day off. That may be why this piece has so many rapid contrasting elements like a Japanese schoolboy’s very busy day. — Dai Fujikura

Simon and I have conspicuously resisted its siren song. During passages where our fingers strain to interlock like a sadistic jigsaw puzzle, our hands bearing numerous cuts and scratches, the result of furiously rapid hand position leaps and shifts, we wonder if Dai wasn’t unconsciously describing other, less celebrated aspects of matrimony. — Greg Oh

Traduction: Safia Djerroud


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