Trio Webster: Toshi Ichiyanagi’s Fusion of Western and Eastern Music
Doctor of Musical Arts
This document contains a synopsis of Toshi Ichiyanagi’s compositional style, a discussion of his musical philosophy, and an analysis of Trio Webster. Ichiyanagi is a renowned Japanese composer who studied in New York under John Cage’s mentorship. He is also the first composer to introduce Cage’s concept of chance operation to Japanese society. Trio Webster realizes the true exchange of Western and Eastern cultures, and it is accomplished because of Ichiyanagi’s unique experience and philosophy as an international composer. The concept of Japanese classical music and Japanese aesthetics are observed in Trio Webster which is the basis for the depth of the work. Eastern concepts, especially Japanese, can be ambiguous and may be difficult for Westerners to fully appreciate. This study shows the cosmos beyond the practical analysis of Trio Webster and is meant to serve as a guide for those who will perform the works of Ichiyanagi, especially Trio Webster, in the future. This study was facilitated through research and interviews with Ichiyanagi and members of the Webster Trio. Ichiyanagi’s interview is included as an appendix to this document.