One of my favourite seasons in Japan is spring. Although the weather can be very changeable with plenty of rain spells and strong winds, it is also the time for the cherry blossom which I particularly love. During that season, entire areas in the countryside, parks, squares, river banks and streets in the heart of the city which throughout the year feel like ordinary spaces, for a short period of time transform into extraordinary spaces filled with living-art of ultimate beauty. The impact of this transformation becomes even more profound due to its brevity and changeability.

There is a word I once came across in the dictionary that I like which perhaps describes best the short-lived beauty of the cherry blossom. Belonging in the category of those peculiar words like wabi-sabi whose meaning cannot be accurately translated into English, utakata is a term that carries various meanings and connotations such as ‘bubbles on surface of liquid’ ‘ephemeral’ or ‘transient’. The short life-span and fragility of cherry blossom led me to associate it with the image of floating bubbles.

Utakata (violin & 20-string koto)

UTAKATA (2013) for violin & 20-string koto. Duration: 12 minutes