Yoshiaki OnishiJapan/USAMusic2012

Spargens was commissioned by trombonist William Lang. Its title, "spargens," is a Latin word meaning "scattering." It is a piece about a musical continuity being affected by various interferences, thereby creating paradoxically scattered sonic images out of such continuous musical gestures.


During my residency at the Civitella Ranieri Center, my goal was to start developing sketches for my three compositions: parti… for violin solo, spargens for trombone solo, and concretize my plans for Tramespace, a diptych for large ensemble that I would be working on for the coming few years. I have accomplished the objective, and I feel that I have some solid materials to work on after the residency is over. However, the residency also brought me some unexpectedly fruitful projects with other fellows. They are: a public interdisciplinary presentation/dialogue with Kenyan visual artist Peterson Kamwathi Waweru, several video montage projects with Argentinian poet Arturo Carrera, as well as a recording/improvisation project with composers Claudio Baroni and Theresa Wong. I do not consider them as distractions from my own works; instead, I firmly believe that these spontaneous happenings enrich my creative vision in music and encourage the multilateral perspectives on arts-at-large.


Without any doubt I could say that the fellowship was one of the singularly important events in my life thus far because the castle, surrounded by the immense natural landscape, was a locus of listening. In each moment of listening, whether to the weaves of birdcalls, to the thought-provoking ideas of the other Civitellians, or to the clarity of my own ideas formulated in the uninterrupted tranquility, I was constantly challenged to listen more. To listen more so that a deeper sense of understanding is revealed “fold-by-fold” – this was a welcoming change after my recent years in New York, where I often felt the need to filter out the saturated soundscape in order to hear. So I am very glad to have been powerfully reminded of the act of listening during the month of May at Civitella, where the trace of chilly spring still lingered in the air.