Artists at Noguchi | Changing and Unchanging Sound

Thursday, June 13, 2019 - 6:30pm - 8:30pm

In celebration of the exhibition Changing and Unchanging Things: Noguchi and Hasegawa in Postwar Japan, The Noguchi Museum presents Changing and Unchanging Sound, a musical performance featuring the premiere of a work by Anne Leilehua Lanzilotti, works by Kaija Saariaho, Juri Seo, and improvisations based on paintings by Saburo Hasegawa. Violist Lanzilotti is joined by Johanna Lundy on french horn, and the Argus Quartet.


Changing and Unchanging Sound reframes and interacts with works by Isamu Noguchi and Saburo Hasegawa. Saariaho’s Sept Papillons (Seven Butterflies) for solo cello uses the physicality of the musician’s hand movements to evoke the image of a butterfly settling on the fingerboard, as Hasegawa’s The Butterfly Dream—from Chuang Tzu (1956) imagines characters as butterflies. The musicians will also perform improvisations based on Hasegawa’s works that are featured in the exhibition. The theme of postwar reflection and memory are present in Saariaho’s Aure—the opening melody uses the phrase “Why us, why the star?” from Anne Frank’s diary. Seo’s Winter-Spring, from her quartet Infinite Season, suggests death and rebirth using old styles reimagined in contemporary contexts. Finally, Lanzilotti’s new work honors Noguchi’s never fully-realized Bell Tower for Hiroshima (1950; partially reconstructed in 1986) and imagines the sound this memorial might have created.


As a whole, Changing and Unchanging Sound considers being open or closed, amplifying the sentiment of Noguchi and Hasegawa’s conversations about cultural exchanges. In working through sonic and visual forms of how things break up and how they’re put back together, Changing and Unchanging Sound explores questions about what it is to be human, living in uncertainty and growing after destruction.


Free. RSVP recommended: [email protected]


Changing and Unchanging Things: Noguchi and Hasegawa in Postwar Japan. Photo: Anne Leilehua Lanzilotti.