Toru Takemitsu (1930-1996)

in blurtmusic •  last month 


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One of the most important artists in modern Japanese history, Toru Takemitsu grew up in the middle of WWII, and was introduced to the idea of ​​war at a very young age. Shortly after his birth (October 8, 1930) his family moved from Japan to Dalian, in the Chinese province of Liaoning. His return to Japan to pursue his primary education was cut short by enlistment in the military in 1944, prompting Takemitsu to grow in contempt for Japan's national government. This period of time, however, was also when he began to listen to western music secretly, as it was then banned in Japan because of the war. In particular, his love of French music in particular began to thrive, which always had a profound effect on his career.

At about the age of sixteen, Takemitsu felt he could "clarify" his identity "through music, and later studied with Yasuji Kyose for a while before becoming independent in the same year (1948).

In 1951, Takemitsu became one of the founding members of the Jikken Kobo, and an anti-education group formed artistic collaborations across multiple mediums, all while trying to completely differentiate themselves from traditional Japanese art. During this time, Takemistsu wrote a wide variety of pieces, including (Uninterrupted Rest 1), a piano clip with no bar lines and irregular heartbeats), and began using electronic tape recordings in the mid-50's. However, the end of the decade was drawing to a close when one of his most famous pieces (Requiem) of the stringed orchestra was written, and none other than Igor Stravinsky, one of the most influential composers of the 20th century, made Toru Takemitsu stand out. so. After hearing the piece, Stravinsky publicly praised the love and sincerity of the episode, and asked if Takemitsu could meet for lunch, an event the Japanese composer called "unforgettable".

Takemitsu, throughout his career thereafter continued to incorporate the ideas of Japanese instruments in the Western process, one of the clearest pieces (November Steps) [1967], a piece, full of traditional Japanese instruments, the purposes of the Western orchestra. Another piece that combined the concepts of both places was (The Herd Downs in the Pentagonal Garden) [1980], a piece that gained popularity in Western (including North American) and Oriental cultures.

Toru Takemitsu is still regarded today as an avant garde performer, and he was the key to the amazing explosions and development barriers in the Japanese music industry.

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