MATSUSHITA Isao（Japan） Matsushita Isao
obtained both his undergraduate and graduate degrees at Tokyo University of the Arts and Hochschule der Kuenste Berlin. Matsushita has participated in several music festivals. His Opera "Shinano-no-Kuni・Zenkoji-Story" was premiered as cultural Program of Winter Olympic Game 1998 in Nagano. In 2000 his Japanese Drum Concerto "Hi-Ten-Yu"
was performed with Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra. Matsushita served as the Chairman of the Asian Composers League from 1999 to 2004, 2014
to 2018, President of The Japan Federation of Composers Inc., from 2012 to 2018. Passed away on 16th September 2018.
Prayer of the Firmament - Ode to Precious Life
- The Japanese language has a peculiar affinity for beautiful phrases and the ability to express a purity of mind in those phrases. "Hana wo mederu",
or "admiration for the beauty of flowers", and "ko wo kiku", or "smell the incense" (literally, "listen to the incense2) are two example. When I think of the phrase "mimi wo sumasu", literally
"purify the ears", yet meaning "listen carefully", I also think of "purifying the mind to listen to music". I feel such happiness when I remind myself of the bounty of beautiful words, phrases
and sounds that have been given to the Japanese that I am able to hear in my mind. What are the sounds to which I am listening in my mind...?Recent days have been arduous
sorrowful. Then March 11th arrived, which helped all of us to realize that our existences as humans are so fragile when confronted with the
elemental forces of nature. The Japanese people suffered greatly from this unprecedented calamity, feared extensively, experienced a profound sense of loss, and were drained of energy. Yet,
heaven above also gave us the power to face our suffering. Seeing the affected people, I felt powerless: Prayer was my only recourse. Suffering people, the fragility of our lives in modern
society, how the arts can help, how I can help... Many images and thoughts flickered in my mind. After much consideration, I resolved to seek sounds again, armed with the belief that only culture and music can give strong and rich energy to people's minds. I
heaped my thoughts on every note.
I completed this piece "Prayer of the Firmament" as the season of cherry blossoms commenced.
(From program of the premiere)