||: Repetition :||, Fugue No.1 in QWERTY for 8 Typewriters

||: Repetition :||, Fugue No.1 in QWERTY for 8 Typewriters is a synthesised music and text score composed for typewriters that Naomi composed when she was commissioned to produce new work by Royal Northern College of Music and Manchester Metropolitan University. The performance was part of The Art of Sound: The Sound of Art at the Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester, 2008. Naomi was mentored by Professor Adam Gorb, Head of School of Composition, RNCM.

Naomi won the Best of Manchester 2008 (Art) and Arts Council North West prize, art08 Individual Artist Award for this piece of work. Peter Saville was on the judging panel for the award and in 2012 he selected Naomi Kashiwagi to be profiled in the Dazed Digital feature, Peter Saville Selects Naomi Kashiwagi.

RNCM – Art of Sound : Sound of Art from Silicon19 on Vimeo.
(Performance of ||: Repetition : ||, Fugue No.1 in QWERTY for 8 Typewriters’ starts from 15:20)

||: Repetition :||, Fugue No.1 in QWERTY for 8 Typewriters

Four pianists and four percussionists from RNCM, collectively forming a Typewriter Ensemble interpreted and performed the score, ||: Repetition :||, Fugue No.1 in QWERTY for 8 Typewriters.

Pianos and percussion instruments are mechanically and sonically similar to typewriters and it was therefore central to this work that pianists and percussionists performed this piece. By using typewriters as musical instruments, Naomi reinvent the conceptual and functional potential of these everyday technologies beyond their standardised and intended functions. The rhythmical click-clacking of typewriter keys, the ‘ting’ and the ‘return’ action are inherent poetic qualities that have musical resonances. This performance embodies the curiosities and enchantments of the everyday.

The score is based upon the meaning of repetition in both language and music. It is composed of four movements that explore the monotonous, hypnotic and rhythmic characteristics of repetition. Each letter of the words ‘repetition’ and ‘repeat’ are allocated note values that correspond to their respective time signatures 4/4 and 3/4 time. The layout of the score is based upon standardised notational structures and formats.