for piano trio
commissioned by NZTrio
Kintsugi is the ancient Japanese art of repairing broken pottery with gold. All the pieces of a broken bowl or pot are carefully joined back together with gold-dusted urushi (lacquer). Rather than hiding the damage, kintsugi celebrates all the cracks or ‘scars’ for the unique history that they represent. The object is more beautiful for having been broken.
I am personally drawn to kintsugi as a metaphor for embracing 'brokenness' and imperfection as a source of strength. This piece for piano trio is my expression and exploration of kintsugi, and involves musical fragmentation, fragility, mending, and finding beauty in the 'cracks'.
While writing this piece, I was very fortunate to meet Wellington-based Japanese ceramicist and kintsugi practitioner Kumiko Jacolin. I am grateful to Kumiko for her work and our discussions on Japanese philosophy in ceramics that have been influential in my creative process.