The Long Arc of Time

28.6.2020, 20:30, BrickHouse (Hlubina Coal Mine)

Chamber Noh opera, 2019-2020

Music: Miya Masaoka
Libretto: Tracie Morris
Stage adaptation: Makiko Sakurai

Directors: Sean Griffin, Miya Masaoka
Light design: TBA

Lydia Mahnkopf, soprano
Martin Opršál, percussion
Kazuma Yamanaka, Noh actor and Intangible Cultural Treasure of Japan
Jinya Imai, Japanese shoulder drum of Noh and Kabuki
Makiko Sakurai, Shomyo singer

World premiere, 60 min

The Long Arc of Time is a timeless story that is Buddhist in its premise and typical in its rhythmic and hypnotic incantatory Noh style. Set in the mountains in rural Japan, a Shomyo Buddhist singer and wanderer-beggar encounters a grieving man who has lost his child, and is still searching hopelessly, unsuccessfully in the forest. He eventually finds solace in a deeper understanding when a bird-god (or a spirit in the form of a bird) gives wisdom as to the interconnectedness of nature, the living trees and wind, and a reminder of the principal that a living thing that dies continues to live on in other living things. The Noh actor culminates this sense of enlightenment and understanding by performing a traditional Noh hero’s dance. The libretto was created by Tracie Morris and the story was adapted for the stage by Makiko Sakurai.

Miya Masaoka is an American composer and sound artist. Her work explores bodily perceptions of vibration, movement and time while foregrounding complex timbre relationships. In 2018, she joined the Columbia University Visual Arts Department as an Associate Professor, where she is the director of the Sound Art Program. Her interconnected artistic practices include notated composition, acoustic-electronic performances on traditional Japanese string instruments and of new Noh music, and spatialyzing and sonifying the behavior of plants, brain activity and insect movement. She has been commissioned by and collaborated with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE), Jack Quartet, Momenta, and the S.E.M. Ensemble. Her awards include the Alpert Award, and Doris Duke Award. 

This event is a part of the celebration of the 100. anniversary of relations between Japan and the Czech Republic.



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