to Michèle TOSI - Editions Leduc
piano - duration : 8’20"
commissioned by Eiko SCHIONO
premiere : July 4th, 2008, Tokyo, Hamarikyû Hall - Eiko SHIONO (piano)
Eiko SHIONO (piano)


Programme note

Following Satori (1998) and Jardin Zen (1999), Tokyo-city is the third work I have composed to express the various emotions which I have felt during my trips to Japan. With Tokyo-city for piano, the point is not so much to describe this capital, rather, the piece is a metaphor for the experience of a foreigner initially lost in this immense city, and then little by little engulfed in the extraordinary energy which it radiates. I also wanted to express the sensations of harmony and colour which I felt over the course of my long walks through the city.

The general design of Tokyo-city is based on the idea of a musical trajectory elaborated around a counterpoint which gradually transforms and unfolds in a purely harmonic space according to the principle of anamorphosis. The whole work is constructed without interruption in a single, large movement, in a formal envelope whose axis of symmetry is close to the golden section. The symmetry concerns both the tempo and the inversion of the register.

The beginning of Tokyo-City is mysterious and enigmatic, arising from the extreme low register of the piano, in tightly-woven three-part counterpoint. Then, very gradually, the tempo accelerates, together with the emergence of a « floating polyphony » which slowly makes its way to the medium register. In this way, a musical figure is imperceptibly revealed which transforms itself gradually into an obsessive « canonic toccata ». In an immense "rallentando" which mirrors the beginning of the work, this toccata very gradually loses its form, leaving in its wake a more and more harmonic universe (certain of these harmonies having a crystalline brilliance). The ends in a state of rarefaction, coming to a close in the extreme high register of the piano.



Update June 2015


→ Poem Tokyo-city published in L'attente… L'absolu, éditions d'écarts, 2013.


Kotaro FUKUMA (piano) – January 27th, 2015, Tokyo, Tokyo Opera city


Press articles

Tami NODAIRA, Tokyo, January 27, 2015

" La pièce d'Allain Gaussin était l'œuvre la plus remarquable de ce soir. Cela a commencé comme de légers mouvements d'une masse sonore dans la nuit du silence. En progressant vers la partie centrale, il se dégage une puissance prodigieuse, une explosion de dynamisme et d'énergie. Les oreilles des auditeurs sont complètement prises par la brillance qui se propage dans l'espace de la masse sonore. Ce que le compositeur avait ressenti à Tokyo, un plein d'agitation et de vie urbaine rapide, a été magnifiquement visualisé par la haute technique de la performance du pianiste."

Traduction Yumiko Yokoï


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