Wednesday, February 6, 2008

56. LEWIS SAUL: Geta Cloud (2:00)

The title is a reference to Kurosawa's first film: Sugata Sanshiro (1943). The geta (Japanese clogs) and the image of clouds are crucial symbolic references in the film [Sugata, a would be judo champion, throws off his getas in order to pull his new teacher's rickshaw {apparently, the Japanese have an expression "to throw off your getas" which means to put yourself in the hands of others -- as Sugata does in that scene}. The cloud is a transformation of the image of the lotus flower, which serves as a symbol of Sugata's superior inner strength in his final showdown with the bad guy].

The music (beginning at 0:30), however, is my own little tribute to the extraordinary score of Shinichirô Ikebe in the second dream of Akira Kurosawa's Dreams (1990) -- "The Peach Orchard."

I made no conscious study of Ikebe's original Noh-type music -- but I attempted to capture that "flavor." [Ikebe's score is all the more extraordinary when the Noh-type music flows into some pseudo-Bach organ music!] I do not believe that there is usually a piano in a Noh ensemble. Mine is carefully tuned to a 1/4-tone scale I decided upon. Other instruments to listen for are the gongs, koto, and taiko drum...

(2000/Alesis) (Track 1 on CD)

Geta Cloud (2:00)

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