The Face of Another

Dir. Hiroshi Teshigahara

Out of the Teshigahara/Abe/Takemitsu/Segawa films I’ve seen, this is probably my favorite one. I really love the surreal and eerie imagery here. Takemitsu further enhances the atmosphere with his score that blends his avant garde style with some more contemporary pieces; playing along with the theme of duality.

To the human being nature is anonymous. Its scattered elements exist, potentially defined by their own names. True rapport between nature and human beings begins when we name things. It is then that the real exchange between things and man begins. When one sees a humanized tree, that tree truly exists. In other words, I strive to create an unnatural environment in my world. That is really a natural thing to do. For me, the naturalizing through allegory and metaphor that one finds in Japanese folk songs is completely unnatural. On numerous occasions I have written about the reconciliation of the Japanese people and nature. But now, by turning away from such thinking, I want to try to understand it in a new way.

What I have been saying is that we must give meaning to sound by returning it to its original state as a naked being. Sounds themselves, their movement as personalized beings—that is what we must discover and continue to discover anew. Organized sound is merely a subjective creation of the human being and is not the personalized sound I am discussing. My phrase “give meaning to sound” refers to something other than mere naming and differentiating. It concerns a total image. Both my acceptance and my suspicion of “chance music” stem from this point of view.

I want to carve away the excess to expose the single real existence. I must continue to work, striving always for precision and clarity.

from Confronting Silence: Selected Writings, Toru Takemitsu.


Voice for Solo Flute - Toru Takemitsu

Robin Meiksins - Flute

Centre d'Arts Orford - Les Beaux Concerts de La Relève 7/17/14