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Recommended Listening from Melissa Smey

Melissa Smey

Dai Fujikura was the focus of the final Composer Portrait of the season in early March. In honor of the composer's birthday on April 27, Executive Director Melissa Smey shares some suggested listening —two works by the in-demand composer.




"When planning the Composer Portraits, we collaborate with the composer and ensemble to decide what repertoire to feature. Did you know that the ideal length is 60-65 minutes of music? With a composer like Dai, who has written an incredible number of beautiful works, it meant there was a lot of great music left out of his Portrait. One piece I especially like is Vanishing Point, a short piece for ensemble written in 2004. This work is scored for 18 musicians, including 4 percussionists! The bowed vibraphone at the beginning is an orchestration technique that always draws my interest – and I immediately want to see how the musicians are creating the effect."

Vanishing Point (2004) for ensemble 

Listen here on Spotify (10:06)

See the score

"The second piece is The Spirit of Beings, for cello and electronics. I would love to share this in a future Miller Pop-Up concert. The work was composed for cellist Matthew Barley’s Britten Centenary tour, to be performed in over 30 different venues. The four movements – Aria, Floating, Awakening, Unending – can be performed in a sequence of the performer’s choosing."

The Spirit of Beings (2012) for cello and electronics

Listen here on Spotify (13:05)

Watch on YouTube

Read the Composer’s Note


Photo by Chris Terry for Miller Theatre


Explore more online at Dai Fujikura’s website.


Photo of Melissa Smey by Kyle Dorosz for Miller Theatre.