Instrumentation: alto saxophone
Duration: 7 minutes
Year composed: 2017
First performance: Christopher DeLouis, 18th World Saxophone Congress, Zagreb, Croatia, July 13th 2018
Other performances: Yui Sakagoshi, Mita-Hall, Osaka, Japan, August 3rd 2018
Pisol Manatchinapisit, Amsterdam, Netherlands, November 24th 2018
Christopher DeLouis, The Graduate Center, CUNY, New York, (NY), December 10th 2018
Nitchan Pitayathorn, Yamaha Music Hall, Bangkok, Thailand, February 22nd 2019
Christopher DeLouis, University of Nebraska at Kearney New Music Festival XVIII, Kearney, (NE), March 8th 2019
Pisol Manatchinapisit, Silvana, New York City, NY, USA, August 29th 2019
Pisol Manatchinapisit, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, USA, August 31st 2019
Christopher DeLouis, The 2nd Asia Saxophone Congress, Shanghai Conservatory of Music, Shanghai, China, September 17th 2019
Program note: Izanami is a piece inspired by the Shinto creation myth. Izanagi and Izanami are the ones who create the many Islands of Japan. From the floating bridge of heaven they stirred the primeval ocean with a jeweled spear until these islands appeared. From their union, Izanami gave birth to several other gods but she died while giving birth. Izanagi decided to go to Yomi-tsu Kuni, the land of the dead, to bring his wife back from this land of darkness. Before he could reach her, Izanami ate the food of the dead. Horrified to see that Izanami was a rotting corpse, Izanagi fled. Izanami sent hideous female spirits, eight thunder gods, and an army of fierce warriors to chase him. Izanagi managed to escape and blocked the passage between Yomi and the land of the living with a huge boulder.
The three different strates (heaven, land of the living, Yomi) are represented in the three registers of the saxophone. Each register has its own characteristics. The high register is calm and observes the scene. The medium register is agitated like the life it is supposed to represent. The chalumeau is dark and windy. Throughout the piece, the registers dialog and evolve. Some characteristics inherent to one register contaminate another, following the journey Izanagi and Izanami experienced.