Les Origines: Il y eut peut-être une vision première, assoupie dans la fleur

(The Origins: There was perhaps a first vision, drowsing in the flower)

Odilon Redon


“There, some life beyond time existed quietly, in harmony, telling us of eternity–those violent and cruel powers that form the world are gently captured. That work of Redon’s that my friend showed me in his small studio looked like unformed heaven and earth, with a violent primordial energy and anxiety of things being born: an eyeball floating in the dark night, looking like… what? A flower? A human form? In “The Origins” one can see Redon’s true qualities purely concentrated in black and white: the movement of the desire in all earthly things as they aspire to evolve into something human, or, the mysterious exchange of feelings that Rilke felt in the swaying trees when he wrote, "I am becoming a tree, or, is the tree becoming me?” Emerging from some deep swamp, that eyeball will haunt me forever. Is that the stare that threatened Cain?“

–Toru Takemitsu, “Redon Fantasy: A Lone Tree in the Wasteland”, 1980.


Voice for Solo Flute - Toru Takemitsu

Robin Meiksins - Flute

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

  • Listen

Classical music world cup, Day 22: Japan

Composer: 武満 徹 [Tōru Takemitsu] (1930 - 1996)

Work: Adagio (con rubato) from リタニ – マイケル・ヴァイナーの追憶に – [Litany: In Memory of Michael Vyner] (1989)

Performer: Noriko Ogawa

The Coronas, by Toru Takemitsu (musical scores)

Corona I, for piano

Corona II, for string orchestra (audio link below)


What always strikes me about Corona II is how instantly recognizable it is by its timbre and quality – I’ve heard several varying performances and it was a bit like meeting the same person but at different points in their life.

Ichiyanagi says that when a composer puts meaning into sound he objectifies himself, but I don’t think I really understand that. To me the world is sound. Sound penetrates me, linking me to the world. I give sounds active meaning. By doing this I am assured of being in the sounds, becoming one with them. To me this is the greatest reality. It is not that I shape anything, but rather that I desire to merge with the world.
—  Toru Takemitsu, “Nature and Music”
Watch on allegro-fastidioso.tumblr.com

Takemitsu - A String Around Autumn

Ingenious orchestration!  I absolutely love this composer.

#054 Awayuki [ アワユキ ] || Takemitsu [ タケミツ ] 

Two small rabbit ayakashi were on a journey when 
it saw the Hairy One entering Tooru Taki's house.
Curious, they followed behind and later found
themselves unable to leave and separated in the
process. Awayuki was caught by Takashi Natsume
and he lend a hand to find its friend, Takemitsu.
Although they shared their dislike of human,
Awayuki was concerned for Tooru when she cut
her hand as it heard human are weak creatures. After reuniting with its friend, they told Takashi they
no longer hate human but would rather not be near
to one anymore. The both left the house, along
with the hairy ayakashi.

How Slow the Wind

Toru Takemitsu


Performed by the London Sinfonietta, conducted by Oliver Knussen

“How Slow the Wind was written during the final years of his life and is inspired by a short three-line poem by Emily Dickinson of the same name: “How slow the wind, how slow the sea, how late their feathers be!” The poem’s elegant simplicity is echoed in the musical structure, with the basic melodic material taken up by each of the instruments in mini-variations. The careful placement of these lines creates an organic growth of sound that eventually transforms effortlessly into a simple D-flat major chord. This represents for the composer: “a milk white light in the midst of darkness.”

(Caption by Jo Kirkbride)


Here’s another, this time playing Tōru Takemitsu’s “All in Twilight.”

I absolutely adore this piece, and Takemitsu’s work in general. Already working on some more!