kodokushi (孤独死)

for pianoforte solo and electronics

Commissioned by Ensemble Mise-En

Kodokushi refers to a Japanese phenomenon of people dying alone and remaining undiscovered for a long period of time; the word literally means ‘lonely death’.

However, the term also refers to the stains (or, metaphorical shadow — think even ‘flash burns’) left behind upon surfaces on which a corpse has naturally decomposed — particularly for quite some time. During this process, especially without any chemical intervention or refrigeration, flesh putrefies and fluids leak, leaving behind a physical representation of the transformation from life to death.

At times, I think this is most akin to a photogram: where a photographic image is produced by placing objects onto light-sensitive materials and exposing it to light.



Piano Solo, Stereo Playback


9 Minutes


9 October 2015
Ensemble Mise-En
Yumi Suehiro – Piano
Mise-En_Place — Brooklyn, NY