Ahania I

1971

Ahania is the name of the wife of Urizen, who figures prominently in the mythology described in the prophetic works of William Blake known as the Urizen Books, such as The Book of Urizen (1794) and The Book of Ahania (1795).  Originally, Ahania represents pleasure and symbolizes a woman’s love, but to Urizen, the embodiment of reason and law who is hardened by rigid reason and intellect, she comes to symbolize sin and evil.

At the end of the first movement of this composition, the performer murmurs this passage from Blake’s prophetic book, Jerusalem: The Emanation of the Giant Albion (1804):

“I must create a System, or be enslav’d by another Man’s.”

Each sound one after the other, controlling the point of each originating micro breath and energy, creates a breathing sound space.  The sound space is brought to life.  The work is not a composition, but rather a fixed improvisation born from a controlled micro sensitivity.  

(c) Yoshi Hachimura

  • Translated by Helen M. Nagata, Ph.D.
  • Associate Professor of Art History, Northern Illinois University

Yoshio Hachimura JP

Hachimura Yoshio studied composition at the Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music, graduating in 1961. His early compositions display the influence of the atonal Expressionism of the Second Viennese School. He established his original style, an assimilation of Webern, Boulez, Cage, jazz and Japanese traditional music, with One Hour at Every One Breath (1960); this work won him a prize at the 1962 Rome International Competition. In 1967 he joined the faculty of the Gakuen College of Music, becoming an assistant professor in 1984. The colourful sonorities of Constellation (1969), performed to acclaim at the 1969 Japanisch-Deutsches Festival für Neue Musik, became one of the characteristics of his later style. In 1980 he won an ISCM prize for The Logic of Distraction (1975).

Yoshio Hachimura