"Sho" for violin (2018)
Commissioned by the International Max Rostal Competition Berlin
"I see the universe in individual grains of dust" Onkō Jiun
Line and form and empty space are the visible elements of sho, the oriental art of writing. Expression of the inner truth, fusion with the forces of nature, knowledge of the truth of life, however, guide the brush of the artist across the paper. The black of the ink and the white of the leaf have the power to make the fullness of the universe shine.
The metaphorical-associative thinking developed in Japanese art under the influence of Zen Buddhism, the idea of making the phenomena both sensually perceptible and shrouded in mystery, inspired me to create a similar musical arrangement. The instructions of the sho, living line, contrast, simplicity of inner complexity, openness, and flux have guided me in the composition of the piece, which should give the listener's imagination space and involve it in the process of sonic transformations.
Formally, the piece follows the three stages of sho, the awakening of the line (kihitsu), the transformation and the journey (sôhitsu) and the vanishing of the form into the void from which everything emerges (shûhitsu).
Of course, the examination of Far Eastern philosophy and art can only be a source of inspiration for the Western artist. The music remains a personal expression, exoticism is not pursued. For me, it is the approach to a fascinating idea of the realization of universal powers, in which intimacy and openness take precedence over dialectics and mathematical order.
Thorsten Encke 2018, Translation Lila Hess