Summary of
Summary of "Only the Sound Remains" October 22, 2018

Summary "Only the Sound Remains"

"«La estructura de estas dos historias emocionantes, simples pero
profundas, evoluciona dentro de una atmósfera extraña, oscilando
entre sueño y realidad, llevando el drama personal a una dimensión
universal, y transportando a los personajes a los confines de lo
conocido, en busca de una verdad interior. Esta intimidad resulta más
accesible a través de la música que de las palabras.» 
REVISTA OPÉRA MAGAZINE. Nº 138. KAIJA SAARIAHO"
ALWAYS STRONG
Sodzu Gyokei, a priest serving at the temple of the royal court, is praying
for Tsunemasa, who died in the battle of the Western Seas. Tsunemasa was
a favourite of the Emperor, who had given him a lute named Seizan (Blue
Mountain). Gyokei now offers the instrument at the altar of the deceased,
performing a service for the salvation of his soul. While the prayers and
music for Tsunemasa to become a Buddha resonate, the faint shadow of
a man appears. Gyokei asks who it is, and the shadow replies that he is
the ghost of Tsunemasa, lured there by the sound of the prayers. Then the
shadow vanishes and only the sound of his voice remains, telling the priest
how it misses the old days. This happy moment, however, is short-lived.
Tsunemasa’s ghost is tormented by visions of the battle in which he fought.
He wants the lights to be extinguished and disappears.

FEATHER MANTLE
One spring morning, as the fisherman Hakuryo sets out to go fishing with
his companions, he finds a beautiful feather robe hanging on a pine branch.
When he plans to take it home, a Tennin (angel) appears and asks him to
return the robe to her. At first Hakuryo refuses. But he is moved by the
angel’s lament that she cannot go back to heaven without it. He will give
her the robe in return for seeing her perform a celestial dance. When the
fisherman again expresses distrust, she responds: «Doubt is for mortals;
with us there is no deceit». The Tennin dances in the feather robe; one of
the dances represents the waxing and waning of the moon. Eventually she
disappears in the haze beyond the peak of Mount Fuji.