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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractThis study examines the influence of Modern Art on the piano compositions of Toru Takemitsu (1930-1996) to demonstrate how he was inspired by visual art and integrated its ideas into his music. From his youth, Takemitsu was aware of the relationship between music and visual art, exploring different genres, especially Surrealist poetry and modern painting, as well as Japanese gardens, then harmonizing and incorporating these ideas within his music. In doing so, he established his own philosophy and musical structure, combining colorful sonorities with spatial effects of timelessness, which became cornerstones of his music. This document explores and identifies ideas from Modern Art - primarily visual works of Paul Klee, Odilon Redon, Kagaku Murakami, and other Surrealists - that Takemitsu adapted and wove into his compositions to create visual imagery, rich in color, within his music. The use of these ideas is discussed in an analysis of two of Takemitsu's most profound and mature solo piano works, Les Yeux Clos - In Memory of Shuzo Takiguchi (1979) and Les Yeux Clos II (1989), both inspired by Odilon Redon's series of paintings, entitled Les Yeux Clos (1890).Following Chapter I, the introduction, Chapter II discusses Takemitsu's early influences, film music, legacy, and contribution to society. Chapter III examines Takemitsu's encounter with Surrealism and the four artists– Shuzo Takiguchi, Paul Klee, Odilon Redon, and Kagaku Murakami - that influenced him the most by demonstrating the importance of breaking with convention and freely exploring one's inner world. Chapter IV identifies the principles and ideas of Modern Art and Surrealism that appealed to Takemitsu, and how he adapted them into his compositions. The ideas fall into four categories: philosophy, structure, color, and space. Chapter V presents original analyses of two solo piano works, Les Yeux Clos and Les Yeux Clos II, demonstrating how the principles and ideas of different art forms are integrated into Takemitsu's works. Concluding remarks in Chapter VI include a brief discussion of how an understanding of Takemitsu's complex artistic journey can deepen a performer's understanding and interpretation of Les Yeux Clos and Les Yeux Clos II.
Degree ProgramGraduate College