About the album
Toshio Hosokawa's compositions for string quartet reveal manifold linkages with traditional Japanese arts: music, poetry, calligraphy, ink painting, and philosophy of this cultural sphere inspired him to compose his works. His relationship to sounds is therefore fundamentally Asian, based on the idea of permanent transformation: in these string quartets, there is not a single sound whose character is not continuously modified by glissandos, trills, tremolos, harmonics, vibratos of different sorts, constantly shifting dynamics, and various bowings, by which the individual note is transformed into a dynamic structure.
Hosokawa’s compositional esthetic is influenced decisively by his relationship to nature: “I have always wished to compose works which might become part of the sounds of nature, the sound of the cosmos.” Both pitches and natural sounds are for Hosokawa natural objects and therefore means for existential experience and transcendence.
Hosokawa has on occasion mentioned that the specific sounds in his string quartets are not only derived from the fertile ground of Asian spirituality, but also from the scores of western modern and avant-garde composers; he has also indicated that it is not his intention to perpetuate divisions between Europe and Asia: “I would not like to emphasize the leaves and branches of the different kinds of music that have developed within the two spheres of eastern and western culture, but rather find the common aspects that exist in the roots out of which both have grown.”
co-production with Sudwestrundfunk