For classical guitar and flute, As Cores de Tomie is a collection of songs for flute and guitar inspired by works of Japanese-Brazilian artist Tomie Ohtake (1913-2015).
This work is a commission by Chamber Music America. One of the most beautiful music pairings is between the classical guitar and flute. The delicate nature of the classical guitar provides a perfect sound to the flute’s light and airy sound.
As Cores de Tomie may be performed as a suite or standalone songs. The first movement, “Shades of Blue,” is a melancholy waltz, a sentiment I often associate with this particular color. “Imperfect Geometry” is my take on Ohtake’s giant red sculptures, which are part of the busy and vibrant landscape of São Paulo, her adopted city. The third movement, “Watercolors,” emerged while I explored her works for this medium.
These four songs for classical guitar and flute aim to honor the singular way she handled forms. The subtleties of color and shapes emit a rather calming effect. At the same time, some of those paintings are pretty stark, so it was my instinct to portray the artist’s conception as if in real-time.
The final song,” The Starfish” (“The Ocean’s Star”), concerns a yellow sculpture that stood at the top of Lagoa Rodrigo de Freitas (Rio de Janeiro’s most famous lagoon); from 1985-1900. The song is supposed to summon the sounds, colors, and characteristics of that era in my native city.
ABOUT THE ARTIST:
Tomie Ohtake was born in 1913 in Kyoto. In 1936, when she was twenty-three years old, Ohtake traveled to Brazil to visit a brother but could not return to Japan due to World War II. Ohtake settled herself in São Paulo with her husband, her son Ruy being born there in 1938, and started painting in 1951, at the age of 40, after a visit to the studio of the painter Keisuke Sugano.