Manga Vision

Cultural and Communicative Perspectives

Manga Vision: Cultural and Communicative Perspectives is an exciting exploration of manga (Japanese comics) from academic and artistic perspectives, edited by Sarah Pasfield-Neofitou and Cathy Sell, and published by Monash University Publishing.

View the main page for more information about the volume.

CHAPTER 7. Finding Music in Manga: Exploring Yaoi through Contemporary Piano Composition
by Paul SmithPaul SMITH
University of Western Sydney
Paul holds an honours degree in composition from the University of Western Sydney and is currently completing a Doctorate of Creative Arts exploring Japanese visual culture and music. He works as a casual lecturer/tutor at UWS and the University of New England and as a freelance singer in the greater Sydney area. His recent Kawaii Suite was featured on an album of contemporary piano music by Antonietta Lofreddo.

Manga has a unique aesthetic, a visual language of its own. Manga, and its sister medium, anime, have inspired artists from a variety of disciplines including sculpture and film. But how might a composer respond to anime? When the dominant visual aesthetic of manga is used to inform and inspire a different sensory art world, what is created and what is explored? This chapter draws upon the composition of a piece of piano music , Tides of Falling Leaves, which responds to material within the yaoi manga genre. It details the way manga informed this creative process and how the music acts as a way of remediating the visual gestures unique to manga.

As an example of practice-related research, the compositional process described in this chapter highlights a number of questions relating to inter-media relationships. Providing the theoretical framework for this research are the complimentary concepts of 'ekphrasis' and 'translation' – tools for examining works that straddle disparate media. Accompanying these is a move away from representational thought. When manga disconnected from an expected form of representation, its artistic vibrancy takes on a number of new roles, inviting a rethinking of the potential for intermedia dialogue, between languages and artists.

ADDITIONAL ONLINE CONTENT: Audio Files and Music Score Images

Click on music score images to enlarge them.
Audio streaming requires a browser which supports HTML5.

Full length piece:
Tides of Falling Leaves by Paul Smith

Figure.1: Smith, Tides of Falling Leaves, b. 1-4

Figure.2: Smith, Tides of Falling Leaves, b. 13-14

Figure.3: Smith, Tides of Falling Leaves, b. 17

Figure.4: Smith, Tides of Falling Leaves, b. 22-25

Figure.5: Smith, Tides of Falling Leaves, b. 27-30

Figure.6: Smith, Tides of Falling Leaves, b. 76-79

Figure.7: Smith, Tides of Falling Leaves, b. 36-39

Manga Vision Cultural and Communicative Perspectives © 2016 Pasfield-Neofitou & Sell
Music score images and audio © 2016 Paul Smith
All other content © 2012-2020