Shirakawa Barrier (for Amnon Wolman)
Sound, Wood, Ink, Mylar
30.5 x 24 x 2.5 cm / 9.5 x 12 x 1 inch
A composition and sound-object for the artist 60's birthday.
Tape and four voices; Together with members of 'Music Nova' Ensemble: Shira Legmann (Organ), Assaf Shatil (Piano), Yoni Niv (Metal) and Dan Weinstein (Gong).
Two notes on Shirakawa Barrier (for Amnon Wolman)
Shirakawa Barrier is one of Japan's historic sites, built around the fifth century AD. Its initial aim was to defend ancient Japan against the
invasion of the northern barbarian tribes. Over the years the barrier gradually disappeared from the landscape, until eventually turning into a
symbolic passage on the way to Oku, the north country, thus becoming a poetic memory.
Many of Japan’s poets come back to Shirakawa Barrier, either in person or in their imaginations. Because of this connection, it has
come to be known as Utamakura - a rhetorical function and category of poetic words (often place-names) that cultivate intertextuality
between individual poems and generate allusions to the canon. Moreover, Utamakura literally means “poetic pillow” or “a pillow of
poetry”, thus Shirakawa Barrier is a place that doesn’t distinguish between history and fiction. It is a site of literary journey.
Shirakawa Barrier (for Amnon Wolman) was initially conceived both as a visual object and a musical composition, and as a result of its
assemblage has exchangeable properties of both art forms. One can intimately re-stage the piece, at any given time, by juxtaposing
translucent layers of texts into the object and listening to the composition.
The compositional part of this piece was written specifically for (and with) Musica Nova's musicians. The tape contains sonic
fragments I recorded with the four of them, separately, on previous unrelated occasions.
download the score (english) download the score (hebrew)
Shirakawa Barrier (for Amnon Wolman) performed live by 'Musica Nova' Ensemble, 29 April, 2015 [mp3]