Sphere (Japan), Melbourne International Arts Festival


‘Fight showcased 6 contemporary pieces for solo violin ranging from Motoharu Kawashima’s fun, John-Cage-esque instruction piece (rub violin on top of head, end performance with empty stage and a recording of a classical piece) to Kate Neal’s almost romantic sketch of melancholy, sour notes. Yasutaka Hemmi performing in a Japanese armed martial arts dojo, complete with demonstrations enhanced the novelty of these rarely seen works. The audience had to draw its own conclusions about what this combination suggested (the sound of a swiftly drawn katana blade generating a cruel tension in Neal’s work, for example). If nothing else, the staging added firmly poised, meditative bodies to such aggressively avant-gardist compositions as Helmut Lachenmann’s pointillist scrapings.’ — Jonathan Marshall, Realtime

Japanese violinist Yasutaka Hemmi performed some of the most difficult pieces for violin composed in the past 25 years, accompanied by live martial arts by the Melbourne Budokai.

HELMUT LACHENMANN, Toccatina, 1986
DAVID YOUNG, Animali, 2002
LUCIANO BERIO, Sequenza VIII, 1976
KATE NEAL, New work, 2003
BRIAN FERNEYHOUGH, Unsichtbare Farben, 1999
MOTOHARU KAWASHIMA, Dream Structure III, 1994


Violin — Yasutaka Hemmi
Martial arts — Melbourne Budokai
Producer — Rosemary Joy

Kenshikan Dojo
91 Rosslyn Street, West Melbourne

19 October

Image Miriam Devriendt

APHIDS acknowledges the Wurundjeri Woi-wurrung and Boon wurrung peoples on whose lands we live and work. Sovereignty was never ceded and we pay our respect to past, present, and future Aboriginal elders and community, and to their long and rich history of artmaking on this Country.