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New Publication of Shin-Ichiro Ikebe's Bivalence XI Released on November 15

Nov. 01, 2021

On November 15, Zen-On will release a new publication of Shin-Ichiro Ikebe's Bivalence XI for two voices. Commissioned by Zen-On Music, Bivalence XI was premiered by Takashi Matsudaira and Akane Kudoon in December 2016 as part of a concert titled, "Groupe des Quatre et ses ami(e)s the 23th" at Bunka Kaikan Small Hall in Tokyo.

The composer notes:

"In 1997 I began working on a series of pieces for two identical instruments and have hitherto composed ten works in this series for cellos, violins, violas, clarinets, oboes, double basses, percussion, saxophones, trumpets and mandolins. For this, the eleventh work in the series, I selected voices. The human voice is an astonishing instrument with limitless potential. Although Arthur Schopenhauer and Eduard Hanslick considered that music was unable to depict natural phenomena, the voice is able to make use of the technique of onomatopoeia and of course, also of language. Onomatopoeia differs from one language to another, and in this work I employ it exclusively in its Japanese context. Moreover, I have used fragments or parodies that I created myself of André Breton and the Japanese poet Junzaburō Nishiwaki. I abandoned my initial idea of incorporating bodily sounds such as clapping, stamping and striking and decided to focus on the voice itself and on oral sound. In an earlier work, Monovalence III for voice (1973), I worked primarily with a three-line staff while making partial use of the normal five-line staff. The present work was inspired by the unique vocalist couple Takashi Matsudaira and Akane Kudō, although the type of voice is not indicated in the score. The work may therefore be performed by two male or two female singers in many other combinations of voices."

Bivalence XI was followed chronologically by Bivalence XII for harps (2017), Bivalence XIII for flutes (2017), Bivalence XIV for horns (2019), and BivalencXV for recorders (2019), and Bivalence XVI for bassoons (2021).

Listen to Shin-Ichiro Ikebe's Symphony No. 5 "Simplex" (1990):
(Shin-Ichiro Ikeda/Tokyo metropolitan symphony orchestra, Kōtarō Satō, conductor)

To learn more about Shin-Ichiro Ikebe, visit:

Shin-Ichiro Ikebe
Bivalence XI (2016)
for two voices
Preview the score here