Tu n'y trouveras que du vent II

for three gagaku instruments (2008)


Hichiriki, Ryūteki, Shō
Commissioned by:
Mayumi Miyata and Institute of Medieval Japanese Studies at Columbia University


The title “Tu n’y trouveras que du vent” (There you will only find the wind) is taken from the text entitled Le Courtisan Grotesque (The Grotesque Courtier), written by an esoteric seventeenth-century French writer, Adrien de Montluc. This text is known as Joan Miró created a series of illustrations to be accompanied to the text in 1974.

The text is written in old French, and it is very difficult to fully understand it as there are a lot of word plays and symbolisms, something that must have triggered Miró’s interest because of his proclivity towards surrealism that seems to go side-by-side with the sixteenth-century text. At what is presumably the ending portion of the text, de Montluc depicts the end of life of this “courtisan”:

C’y gist un courtisan grotesque
un fantosme godelures que
fils du mensonge décevant
il vesquit sans corps & sans ame
passant regarde sous la lame
Tu n’y trouveras que du vent

There lies the grotesque courtier
a dandy phantom,
a son of the disappointing lie
he lived without body and without soul
Passer-by, look below the blade
There you will only find the wind


Performance History

02/12/2009 WP
Hitomi Nakamura, hichiriki
Takeshi Sasamoto, ryūteki
Remi Miura, shō
Low Library Rotunda, Columbia University

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