みちに虹 〜 ひぐれ ー Michi ni niji ~ Higure

Blind | The world where I can't be but you live in - section 3 ~ 4

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みちに虹 Michi ni niji --- I saw an oil mark on a black pavement near my apartment in Providence. The sunlight made it iridescently shine, and seeing it sent me back to the time when I was a child. I was too small to know what the rainbow things on the pavement were, but they mesmerized me. My friend and I wanted to recreate the same beautiful rainbows, so we carefully poured seven different pigments into a puddle. They settled in the bottom of the shallow water, and no rainbows appeared.  We stirred the water, but it simply made it muddy. By thinking about this memory, other memories from my childhood came back.

ひぐれ Hirure --- Higure conveys the feelings of later life, which includes wisdom, fatigue, resignation, acceptance, and relief. It represents the final phase in the arc of a person’s life, and my own life, as I imagined it to be. Tension and calmness coexist. The very slow tempo illustrates the time of decline in life. There is not much energy left, but one is doing one’s best to live and getting ready to depart to another world. It is slow as if someone is resisting the flow of time. Time does not go backwards.  The piece represents the mortal nature of the world and my relief at being surrounded by and yet able to escape from memories. It, too, is emotional to hold a ritual to send off lost ones and someone who I may lose in the future. That someone can be me as well.

Thesis concert on March 7, 2013

 

The instrument: Hako (Box)

 

In Michi ni niji, the act of pulling thread from the Box was a metaphor of recalling hidden memories. I usually cannot guess what would trigger memories. Sometimes it seems to be random, and other times the connections of triggered memories are clear. Retrieving one memory could take a long time, but once I recall it, numerous memories flow out. There are times that I hesitate to unleash certain memories, too. It varies. The musical tempo changes tied to the physical motion of pulling were parallel to how retrieving memories works. The thread (effort and traces of recalling memories) lay on the floor forming a web, as if old memories hopelessly tried to capture the new memories without letting them slip away. It too, was a ritualistic act to protect the lost ones in the past . 

The Box also controlled the intensity of light in the space by sending MIDI data to the DMX light dimmer through LanBox (DMX controller). Placing the lights near the floor created a localized and intimate but somehow solitary space. Lighting up the performer from below cast shadows on the walls. The shadows amplified the performer's movements, and they made her identity unstable by doubling her figure.

 

 

 

 

Since summer 2014, I have used a custom-built lighting system using PWM to control dimness of LED lighting units. The purpose of building this system was to replace the DMX light controller for portability and flexibility; it works with various voltages (120 - 240v). The electric circuit is designed by Butch Joseph Rovan.