Music of Remembrance Commissions Two New Works on Japanese and Japanese-American Experience of War (Bi-lingual:日本語訳付き)

Updated June 29, 2017
Contact: Mina Miller
(206) 365-7770


Music of Remembrance Commissions Two New Works on Japanese and Japanese-American Experience of War

2017-18 season unveils music inspired by life in internment camps, and by memories of survivors of nuclear war 


For its twentieth season, in 2017-18, Music of Remembrance (MOR) will premiere four new works that it has commissioned to recall the wartime experience of Japanese and Japanese-American people.

After the attack on Pearl Harbor, more than 120,000 people of Japanese ancestry – a majority of them American citizens – were forced to detention camps scattered across the western United States. French-American composer Christophe Chagnard, now in Seattle, will explore this painful chapter of history through the stories of individuals, families and artists based on their personal accounts, journals, letters and art works. The composition will combine traditional Japanese and classical Western instruments along with a narrator/singer, all combined with visual media projections.  

Ryuichi Sakamoto has had a unique impact for decades in Japan and around the world as a composer, musician, film actor and peace activist. One of his 2017-18 MOR commissions, “Snow Falls,” is a musical setting of Kiyoke Nagase’s moving poem of that name. The musical arrangement for actress, violin and piano draws on melodies from Mr. Sakamoto’s film “Nagasaki: Memories of My Son.”  Japanese actress Naho Shioya will deliver the poem both in Japanese and in an English translation by Empress Michiko. Sakamoto's second new MOR commission (title to be announced), will be scored for string quartet, piano and voices. He plans it as a participatory work, in which members of the public will join the performers on stage to honor the names of people who perished in World War II – balanced equally between Japanese and non-Japanese victims of the conflict.
MOR's 20th season will also include a song cycle by Japanese composer Keiko Fujiie, drawing on words of witnesses and survivors of the atomic blasts in Hiroshima and Nagasaki to make an eloquent statement about the urgency of preventing nuclear war. Ms. Fujiie, a long-time Nagasaki resident and one of Japan’s most noted and frequently-performed composers, has been honored twice with the NHK Symphony Orchestra’s coveted Otaka Prize.

MOR, founded in 1998 by Mina Miller, performs and commissions works about the experience of those who have been the targets of persecution and exclusion. “Music of Remembrance’s roots are in the music that commemorates the Holocaust and the voices it silenced,” Miller said. “Those events have profound resonance for our world today.  We’ve failed to learn from history if we choose not to speak and act on behalf of people whose rights and dignity are threatened anywhere and at any time.”

MOR will premiere the Fujiie commission Wilderness Mute and Sakamoto's Snow Falls at its November 5, 2017 concert at Seattle’s Benaroya Hall, and the Chagnard commission, Gaman, at its May 20, 2018 concert at the same venue. Gaman, Wilderness Mute and Sakamoto's 2nd MOR commission (title to be announced) will be part of MOR’s concert at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music on May 24, 2018. Season Subscriptions for the Seattle concerts are now availalbe at or by calling 206-365-7770. Ticket information for the San Francisco concert will be announced this fall.

About Music of Remembrance

MOR remembers the Holocaust through music, and honors the resilience of all people excluded or persecuted for their faith, nationality, ethnicity, gender or sexuality. In addition to rediscovering and performing music from the Holocaust, MOR has commissioned and premiered more than 20 new works by some of today’s leading composers, telling stories of tragedy, courage and inspiration.


Music of Remembrance(ミュージック・オブ・リメンバランス)、日本人と日系アメリカ人の戦時中の経験に題材を得た2つの新作を委嘱



Music of Remembrance(MOR)は、活動20周年を迎える2017-18シーズンに、日本人と日系アメリカ人の戦時中の経験に基づく2つの委嘱作品を初演します。



ミナ・ミラー(Mina Miller)によって1998年に創立されたMORは、差別や迫害の対象になった人々や、彼らの経験に基づく音楽の演奏と作品委嘱を行っています。ミラーは「MORのルーツは、ホロコーストと、ホロコーストによって沈黙させられた人々の声を思い起こすことでした」また、「これらの出来事は今日の世界にも深く共鳴します。歴史の教訓から学ぶためには、権利と尊厳を脅かされた人々のために、それがいつどこで起こったのかを問わず、彼らの話を語り継ぎ、行動を起こさなくてはなりません」と語ります。


Music of Remembranceについて

MOR はホロコーストの惨禍を音楽を通して思い出し、信仰、国籍、民族、性別や性的嗜好によって差別や迫害を受けた全ての人々の精神的な強さを称えます。また、ホロコースト時代の音楽の再発見や演奏に加え、MORは20を超える作品を著名な現代の作曲家に委嘱し、悲劇、勇気、そしてインスピレーションのストーリーを語り続けています。


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