In recent months, I have had the pleasure of creating a new piece for (and with…) Manitoban pianist Everett Hopfner. The piece examines the character of Oshima from Murakami’s Kafka on the Shore. Oshima is a very organized librarian who serves as the pivotal axis around which all supernatural events in the novel seem to flow. He fields characters toward each other, toward locations, and toward the surreal—but he never participates himself. Oshima has a kind of considered calculation but a considerable amount of heart. I was very inspired.
I create Oshima with Hopfner by way of late-night radio-style vocal transmissions. I explained aspects of the piece to Hopfner, who only listened to them once before assimilating the information into his understanding of the piece. In the final rehearsal before the performance, Hopfner’s own understanding of the piece far surpassed mine—just how I like it!
Oshima was premiered on March 12, 2017 at the Winnipeg Art Gallery during the Cluster: New Music + Integrated Arts Festival. An image can be seen below, and a recording should be available soon.
(me with Hopfner, photo care of Leif Norman)
(Hopfner performing the piece with many bells and whistles, photo care of Leif Norman)