Even the sound of the piano is blended into nature, and Takagi’s new Marginalia sketches the radiance of life.
Traveling all around the world, Masakatsu Takagi has been rendering the art of sound and image. Writing music for the film, ads, and performing arts, while he always contributes to wide variety of terrains of art, the series titled as Marginalia have been a territory of his personal work of art. Playing the piano in his house amid mountains, with wide open windows, Takagi is records “the resonance” with the chirping of birds and insects or nature as rumblings of thunder, every day. And he releases them on the series. You would hear the sound from the windows more than ever on the latest Marginalia III and the last of the series Marginalia IV.
“In its beginning, microphones aimed only toward the piano. Then I started expecting more sound coming from nature and aimed the microphones outside. Now I set up about thirty of them. I always hope to record the sound as intact as I listened to, so I never process the recorded sound.”
The Interview with Takagi was on the Zoom and he was on the call from his house. During the interview, calls of bush warblers were coming through. While in earlier seises the piano sound was dominant, the piano sounds to be a part of nature in the latest. Very impressive. In addition to this change, the latest and the last reflects a watershed in his life. He said,
“During the recording of III, I had wanted to have children and always thought about what life meant. Accordingly, I have visited Steiner’s facility in Switzerland and undergone medical treatment of the Ayurveda in Sri Lanka. And off course, the recording was always my routine anywhere I traveled. And finally in the middle of the recording of IV, my wife was pregnant. Then, because of the change pf her physical condition, to my surprise, she claimed to me “Don’t play the piano and that make me feeling worse (laughs).” Before very long, she advised me that she found the comfortable tempo. So I took her advise and with that tempo I played the piano and recorded it.”
Paralleled the birth of new life, the two titles was brought about. These are the culmination of both giving birth and his collaboration with her.
“Actually, her drawings were the hint and the trigger of Marginalia to me. When two of us travelled to Solomon Islands, she drew whatever she saw on the post card sized papers. She drew something captured by her instinct, say wave lines of the sea. It tuned out that the array of fifty abstract drawings of hers recorded the impressions and feelings of the landscapes much better than the photographic images. So, I thought the same thing could be done with music. While I was recording Marginalia, she always kept on drawing. The drawing on the cover is the one she drew at the time.”
The new titles conceived through relations with nature and his family. What Takagi sketched with sound might be life and the radiance of life time.