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Clavichord gives Kobe taste of past

by Eriko Arita

Kobe is set to host a rare clavichord concert titled “Patterns of Plants; Fragile Sound Tapestries Played on the Clavichord”on Dec. 13.

The clavichord is a stringed instrument with a keyboard. It was used across Eurpope mainly in the 17th and 18th centuries. Historically, it was mostly used for practice and as an aid to composition. Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750) is one of the more notable figures who used the instrument to compose music.

The clavichord produces sound by striking strings with small, metal blades called tangents. It has a unique sound different from other keyboard instruments. The clavichord that will be played at the Kobe concert was modelled after an instrument made in Germany in the 1780s, according to event organizer The Conference on Art and Art Projects.

Tickling the strings the night of the performance will be Satoru Sunahara. Sunahara is an associate professor of the Toho College of Music in Tokyo. He studied piano at Tokyo University of the Arts and at the University of Munich.

“Patterns of Plants” is a tune by Mamoru Fujieda. He composed the tune by transforming the data of bioelectric fluctuations on the surface of leaves into a melodic pattern. Fujieda, a professor of Kyushu University’s Graduate School of Design in Fukuoka, will give a lecture on the modern history of tune and pitch (in Japanese) before the concert. Fujieda has received a doctorate in music from the University of California, San Diego.

The lecture will start at 2:30 p.m. and the concert will start at 3:30 p.m.

“Patterns of Plants; Fragile Sound Tapestries Played on the Clavichord” will be held in Cap Studio Y3 at the Kobe Center for Overseas Migration and Cultural Interaction. Tickets cost ¥2,500 in advance, ¥3,000 at the door. For information, call C.A.P. at (078) 222-1003.