Lea Letzel, ›Hanabi-Fu‹

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Guest Fellowships

As a scholarship holder of the Goethe-Institute in Kyoto, Japan, in 2019, Lea Letzel explored the culture and history of Japanese fireworks and, in the course of her research, came across the work of the chemist and fireworks designer Takeo Shimizu. Letzel was particularly fascinated by the fact that Shimizu brought the art of fireworks into conjunction with music: »Around 1956, Shimizu developed a notation system based on conventional Western musical notation. He called it ›Hanabi-Fu‹ - the fireworks score. Shimizu wanted to use this system to plan and document fireworks performances. He added small graphic additions to the notation, for example, to describe the different colours of effects.«

As part of the exhibition ›Inhabiting Basis‹ in autumn 2020 at the Frankfurt exhibition space, basis e.V. which is cooperation partner of the ›INHABIT‹ Artist in Residence Program of the Max Planck Institute for Empirical Aesthetics, Lea Letzel performed her own arrangement of the fireworks score ›Hanabi-Fu‹ in collaboration with Akiko Ahrendt (violin), Florian Zwißler (analog synthesizer).

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