京極流箏曲「新春譜」Kyogokuryu​-​sōkyoku "Shinshunfu"

by 雨田光平 (Kōhei Amada), SUGAI KEN

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聴く環境の音が
またこの音を変えてゆく
こーゆー曲を俺も作れたら最高だ
(KILLER-BONG)

「伝統・土着と西洋音楽それぞれへの距離の取り方において、考えうる最高レベルの古今東西融和の成功例であり、我が国にも“パッタナー”が在ったことを示す証拠となる1曲だ」(俚謡山脈)

「新春早々、実は食えないニセのおせち料理を食わされった!って悪夢が満載です!!…でもオイシイでしたね!」(中原昌也)

「身を清めてじっくりと浄化されるかのような、そんな音の処方箋的メディテーショナルな響きと心地よさに完全に魅了されてしまった」(COMPUMA)

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「考えうる最高レベルの古今東西融和」(俚謡山脈)を人知れず成し遂げていた幻の傑作であり、現代のアーティストや作家達を惹き付けてやまない秘曲、京極流箏曲「新春譜」。作者、雨田光平の貴重な自演と電子音楽の名工、SUGAI KENによるリワークをカップリングしてお届けする必殺の1枚。

<京極流>は明治に創設された箏曲の流派であり、その二代宗家である雨田光平は福井県生まれの彫刻家/画家/作曲家で、日本に本格のハープ奏法(注記)を持ち帰ったハープ奏者でもある。京極流は箏曲界のスーパースター、宮城道雄らの「新日本音楽」に先立ち(※雨田と宮城は親交が深かった)、黛敏朗、諸井誠、武満徹らが台頭するよりも前、歌唱と演奏の両方で古今東西の均整の取れた合体に成功していた驚くべき例で、誤解を恐れず字義のまま言えば日本式<シンガー・ソングライター>の始原といえる。

この「新春譜」は画家・青木繁の描いた古の神々のイメージを創作源に、雨田が昭和30年頃に作曲し、京極流箏曲が福井県無形文化財に指定された後、昭和45年に出版した自主制作LP収録のヴァージョンで、琴、笙、ハープを含めた6名で合奏・歌唱したものだ。

対するSUGAI KENのリワークは現代音楽/RVNG/HIPHOPをメビウスの環のようにつないだ作品で、リワークというよりはSUGAI KENのオリジナル新曲と考えた方がいい。

京極流箏曲と「新春譜」を考察した切れ味鋭い解説も必読!(※解説はフィジカル版のみの掲載です)

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注記:
雨田が日本に持ち帰ったのはフランス本流のグランドハープの奏法で、グランドハープ奏者として帰国デビューを飾っている。
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解説:北村卓也
マスタリング:倉谷拓人(Ruv Bytes)
装丁:木村銀次

credits

released March 15, 2019

The cover of this release features a gradation of color, a subtle but complete infusion of one element into another, an almost imperceptible moment where A becomes B and both become more. And that is one way of thinking about the music in this release, a piece composed in the mid-1950s, and a 2018 re-working of that same piece. The original was composed by Kōhei Amada and played by an ensemble in which the Japanese traditional instruments koto, shō and taiko fuse perfectly with the French grand harp. The composition itself also melds Amada’s traditional, classical sensibilities and his knowledge of the deepest roots of Japanese music with his appreciation of new developments in both Japanese and Western music. Another element to consider here is the role of Amada’s voice and lyrics, fusing noh and other traditional elements with a modernity foreshadowing the rise of the singer-songwriter, melding high tradition with folk impulses. This theme of gradation and infusion continues in the other piece of music on this release, Ken Sugai’s revision of the original, with its puzzling amalgamation of analog/digital, acoustic/electric, and performed/programmed, with the various temporal and geographical elements of Amada’s music melted and melded into the 21st century.

- Cover art: Ginji Kimura
- Mastering: Takuto Kuratani (Ruv Bytes)
- Liner notes (CD & vinyl only): Takuya Kitamura
- English & Japanese text/rare photos (CD & vinyl only)

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Comments by Spencer Doran (Visible Cloaks):

EM Record's release of little known koto auteur Kōhei Amada continues the label's tireless mapping of multi-hued human expression, sitting outside genre convention and confusing record store clerks everywhere. "Shinshunfu" is sectioned into two parts: a more recognizable duet between koto and Irish harp, and a complete 180 into an elongated vocal piece repellent with droning shō and taiko drum bass hits. This concoction brings up familiar scents: Lou Harrison's small ensemble harp pieces, or a Japanese recasting of the Medieval troubadour songs performed by transcultural-minded early music groups like Studio der frühen Musik or Hespèrion XXI. Yet these comparisons are merely abstract, "Shinshunfu" exists at a crossroads, a form both distinctly Japanese and distinctly "other", a complex blend of folk strains that is deep with emotional resonance and hard to place even for aficionados of Japanese traditional music.

Sugai Ken's rework renders the source material almost unrecognizable, pushing even further in the non-deterministic, GRM-like meta-concrète direction of his recent work, jump-cutting in high definition between synthetic birdsong, haunted vocoded voice and arresting, back-of-the-head foley. Of "Shinshunfu", only the drone of the shō and the occasional taiko hit appear in plain view. The exploration sits comfortably in the idiosyncratic sound world that Ken has been prolifically constructing for himself in the last few years (what he has come to call "Japanese electronic-folklore"), just as brilliant as one would expect.

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