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A leading figure of Japan's postminimalism movement, Mamoru Fujieda was born in 1955 and first studied composition at the Tokyo College of Music, then received his Ph.D. in music from University of California, San Diego in 1988. Fujieda is internationally recognized as one of music's outstanding younger composers. Working with artists such as John Zorn, Yuji Takahashi, and Malcolm Goldstein, he composes music that emerges from his fascination with the essentially collaborative formation of music. Fujieda has developed methods of composition that depart from the minimalist tradition, charting a new terrain that liberates music from subjectivity by immersing it in a network of relationships.

Among his numerous methods, he has pioneered a new structure of composition that he calls "parasitic," since it consists of grafting new material onto a "rhizome" of original melody borrowed from sources such as Bach, Gregorian chant, or medieval secular music. Whether working with the Butoh dancer Setsuko Yamada to produce sound sculptures that emerge from a mutual reaction between the dancer and objects that she touches, or reading the minute electrical currents flowing through an orchid to express nature's undulations, Fujieda's work represents an innovative approach that fuses technology to biology, composer to performer, and music to audience. His The Night Chant and the first six collections of Patterns of Plants appear on the TZADIK label.

Music excerpts:


Patterns of Plants - the Fifth Collection
Recorded at Other Minds 4, November 12, 1997
Rae Imamura, piano
San Francisco premiere
© Mamoru Fujieda 1996


Patterns of Plants - the Seventh Collection
Recorded at Other Minds 4, November 12, 1997
Rae Imamura, piano
United States premiere
© Mamoru Fujieda 1997