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Work of the Week – Atsuhiko Gondai: Omnia Tempus Habent

Atsuhiko Gondai’s Omnia Tempus Habent for piano and string orchestra will have its world premiere on 9 November 2017 at a concert celebrating composer Valentin Silvestrov’s 80th Birthday. Conductor Yuta Shimizu will be joined by pianist Alexej Ljubmov at the Musashino Civic Cultural Hall, Tokyo for a programme which also includes Silvestrov performing a selection of his own piano and chamber works.

In his music, Gondai seeks to create a cultural dialogue between Europe and Asia by reconciling new compositional techniques with traditional philosophical ideas. In order to do this, he studied Catholic Church music and worked with the Buddhist priest Shomyo to explore new ways of integrating the musical traditions of these religions.

Atsuhiko Gondai – Omnia Tempus Habent: an attempt to capture a moment

Sound is ephemeral; it fades quickly without leaving a trace. In Omnia Tempus Habent, Gondai attempts to capture the moment sound is produced. The title Omnia Tempus Habent (‘Everything has its time’) is a reference to a parable. Everything passes: every activity, every action, every feeling.

“Music is time. There is always a beginning and an end. To compose is to listen to ‘that moment’ along with the progression of sounds, in other words ‘the fixed moment’ within the irreversible and limited time that was cut out, with an eternal ear that only exists within your heart.” – Atsuhiko Gondai

Like Silvestrov, Gondai returns regularly to certain themes in his works. In his 2015 work for orchestra, Vice Versa, he rejects notions of reconciliation to explore musical contradictions and opposites. Find out more about Vice Versa below.