Kotoka Suzuki, assistant professor of music composition, won first prize for her composition “In Praise of Shadows” in the Musica Nova 2016 competition in the compositions for acoustic instrument/voice/ensemble and electroacoustic media.
“In Praise of Shadows” was inspired by Junichiro Tanizaki’s essay “In Praise of Shadows” (1933), written at the birth of the modern technological era in imperial Japan. The essay describes the ways in which shadows or emptiness are integral to traditional Japanese aesthetics in music, architecture and food, right down to the design of everyday objects.
Suzuki is also a finalist for the same work in the Canadian Section of the International Society for Contemporary Music - World New Music Days 2017 competition, which takes place in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada in November 2017.
“In Praise of Shadows” was commissioned by the ASU Prisms Contemporary Music Festival and premiered by Arizona Contemporary Music Ensemble (ACME) in 2015.