From a composer to Mandalay Grandpa

Chinkon was originally composed by composer Mark Isaacs in 2006 especially for Satsuki Odamura‘s bass koto for our project In Repose. This year I added images to Chinkon, and  a version dedicated to the victims of the recent disaster in Japan had been created.

This morning I posted a news item on my news page announcing the opening of an exhibition of  the video work, Chinkon at the Brunswick Street Gallery in Melbourne tonight. I also made public the work through YouTube and notified Satsuki and Mark that I had done so.

Thus I received the following email from Mark, which with his permission I have reproduced here:

“I dedicated the music in the score to my Grandfather (see attached (see below)), who was dying as I wrote it. That’s my own personal dedication of the music,  and I am very honoured of course that on behalf of all the collaborators the public dedication is to the tsunami victims.

Why I mention it, is that it is so strange that you have published it to YouTube on THIS day, and that it opens in exhibition TONIGHT. Because this exact day is the fifth anniversary of my Grandfather’s death. He died on December 2, 2006. What a strange serendipity.

He asked me to describe him in the score as ‘Mandalay Grandpa’ as he was from Mandalay, Burma. All my family – my parents and their parents, their siblings – are from Burma (originally came as Jews from Baghdad in the late 19th century). They all left as refugees from the Japanese invasion of Burma in 1942. Some walked to India, some who were musicians played for their supper and bed at tea plantations owned by the British on the way of the trek.”

– Mark Isaacs



Listen to Chinkon here.

– Mayu Kanamori


This post is also available in: 日本語 (Japanese)

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