n the tea ceremony, the Japanese tea house interior even in the daytime the light in the room is subdued, for the low eaves of the slanting roof admit but few of the sun’s rays. The importance of appropriate lighting in the mood of the overall ceremony signifies the Japanese aesthetic yawaragi (softness/quietness). Another important characteristic of yawaragi is the use of unobtrusive colours. In the formal tea ceremony, everything is sober in tint from the ceiling to the floor; the guests themselves have carefully chosen garments of unobtrusive colours.
In Soft Light, the instrumental treatment characterised by a non-virtuosic modesty, alludes to a timbral sobriety similar to that evident in the tea ceremony. The timbral resources employed here are limited to a minimum. Dynamics limited as they are within a ppp/pp and mp/mf framework create the impression of distance from the sound source in a similar manner as in the example of the diffused light filtered through the screens of the tea house. The subdued quality of sound is maintained even in the instances of louder dynamics as the dynamic peaks occur only momentarily quickly receding back to silence.
First performance: 25 April 2014, Japanese Ambassador’s Residence, Greece, Shie Shoji, Evgenia Votanopoulou, Petros Stergiopoulous.