Composers about composers

Composers about composers

On our blog, our contemporary composers present their favorite composer from our reperoire. This time Balázs Horváth introduces Dai Fujikura.

“Time after time I find myself wondering whether personality can be related to the creative output of a person. This cannot be verified in our predecessors, but it can be studied well enough in ourselves and those of our acquaintance – our creative colleagues and friends. And once we know them, it becomes possible at least to guess the relationship between personality and creative output.

I first met Dai Fujikura six years ago in Caen, France, at a festival to which Péter Eötvös had invited some composers – former “pupils” of his – to play their own work. Dai and I were soon talking as if we had known each other for years. After that first meeting, I listened to some of his music, then put it aside. Then last October, Dai appeared in Budapest at the anniversary concert of the Péter Eötvös Contemporary Music Foundation, where we met again and continued where we had left off as if it had been only a week before. That public discussion prompted me to see whether Dai’s music was attuned to his personality, out of curiosity, having met someone of unique, kind, talkative and clear-minded characteristics.

Not to further delay, they do indeed correspond. Although the details in his work are precisely and clearly presented, the overall shape needs to be heard. The main message of what Dai does lies in its dynamism and form – all of which emanates from his personality. He and his music are both energetic; they act rapidly, but always leave time to digest what was composed or said. The subject matter of his compositions is clear and the implementation of it as impressive as his personality. Listening to his music, the importance of the melodic and harmonic aspects is clear. I would even go so far as to say his work emanates a romantic attitude, although the timing differs strongly from that of 19th-century music. He always emphasizes the instrumental approach.

Much of Dai’s music is composed for soloists with an orchestral background. Of these, the ensemble pieces are more refined in the relationship created between the soloist and the accompanying musicians. For energy, for dynamism, waving shapes or detailed elaboration in generous sounds, continually moving textures but with slow chord changes, I need look no further than Dai’s music. I can get all of this from listening to his music (such as the piano concerto, Calling or Wave Embraced), and from talking with the composer. I hope I will have a chance to do both again in the not-too-distant future.”

Balázs Horváth

Balázs Horváth: worklist