Kyushu University Academic Staff Educational and Research Activities Database
List of Presentations
Daryl Steven Jamieson Last modified date:2021.06.22

Assistant Professor / Department of Communication Design Science / Faculty of Design

1. Daryl Jamieson, Zenchiku’s hollow places: encounters with the non-human, International Association for Japanese Philosophy, 2021.03, [URL], Religious ideas in early 15th-century Japan were a heady mix of Shintō, Buddhism, and Confucianism. Having inherited the mantel of his father-in-law Zeami’s Zen Buddhist-inflected but largely secularised nō, Zenchiku took the art in a new direction – or recovered an old direction –
by focussing his nō on the spiritual yearnings of souls both human and non-human.
In this paper I will examine the contemporaneous syncretic religious thinking – including the animism of Shintō and original enlightenment of Tentai Buddhism – which informed Zenchiku’s spiritual turn. I will emphasise the plays Bashō, Kakitsubata, and Tatsuta in which the principal characters (the shite) are the spirits of, respectively, a banana tree, an iris, and red autumn leaves. In particular, I will ask – via third generation Kyoto School philosopher Ueda Shizuteru’s concept of hollow words – whether Zenchiku’s nō constitute ritualistic places wherein the human (the audience via the supporting actor [ie, the waki]) can encounter the non-human in a spirit of equality.
Taking a close examination of Tatsuta as a performed music theatre ritual – a living event rather than static, dead words on a page – as a case study, I will argue that Zenchiku’s nō manifests a ‘place’ which affords being experienced as transcendent of the artificial boundaries of human and non-human. This place, interpreted in the light of Nishida’s place of absolute nothingness and Ueda’s hollow expanse, can be seen as a place of reconnection and reconciliation for us late- capitalist audiences, allowing us to glimpse – even if only on stage – a possibility of moving beyond the instrumental conception of nature that has wrought so much environmental destruction throughout the Anthropocene. I will conclude by arguing that Zenchiku’s plant-focussed oeuvre enacts a locus of limitless possibility by drawing from diverse streams of what – even his time – was ancient wisdom..
2. Daryl Jamieson, instruments in fields: an intercultural approach to understanding music incorporating field recordings, TAMA Music Festival, 2020.01, Field recordings – audio recordings of real-world (non-fictional, documentary) situations – have been used for musical purposes since the tape recorder became available for composers to use in the aftermath of WWII. However, it is only in recent years that music for instrumentalists and ensembles in dialogue with field recordings have become commonplace in contemporary music concerts around the world. 
This paper will consider what might account for this trend among composers, especially the younger generations. However, the bulk of the paper will less concerned with why and how such music is written, and more focussed on how listeners (including performers as well as the composers, who are the original audience of every piece of music) might interpret music which juxtaposes two (or more) such different sound sources. Hermeneutic frameworks such as fictional vs non-fictional, man vs nature, and other Romantic concepts will be discussed, before moving on to more recent concepts of ecological perception and Kyoto School ontology. Using Michael Pisaro's 'fields have ears (1)' for solo piano and 4-channel field recordings as an example, the concluding portion of the paper will argue that by listening in the light of a variety of aesthetic, scientific, and ontological lenses, listeners can make deeper connections among the instruments, recordings, and themselves, and thus a richer, more spiritually meaningful, aesthetic experience of the music..
3. Daryl Jamieson, Spirit of Place: Zeami’s Tōru and the Poetic Manifestation of Mugen, European Network of Japanese Philosophy, 2019.08, [URL], Zeami Motokiyo was one of nō’s most important theorists and practitioners, and mugen (‘dreams and illusions’) nō one of his most sophisticated innovations. Using the play Tōru as a model case, in this paper I will explore how Zeami’s nō utilise waka theory and Buddhist ontology that was current in his time. I will especially examine his use of utamakura, the poetic device of intertextual allusion via place names. I will argue that utamakura is foundational to mugen nō, the main character (shite) being a spirit attached to a particular famous utamakura place. Tōru – set in a ruined Kyoto garden designed to mimic Shiogama, an utamakura location in Tōhoku – is a prime example of how Zeami’s structures his nō around utamakura.

In the second part of the paper I will analyse Tōru’s text and music through the lens of Ueda Shizuteru’s theory of language. In placing poetic spirits of place on stage, Zeami shows the power of language to manifest something like conventional reality. Mugen nō takes place, I will argue, entirely inside the mind of the supporting priest character (waki) – the shite spirit manifests via poetic ‘hollow language’ (utamakura) in the waki’s mind. Furthermore, when watching mugen nō, the music and poetry combine to create a space wherein the entire audience become waki; we share the aesthetic-spiritual experience of the spirit of place manifesting in our communal mind. His ritualistic staging of the opening up of the hollow expanse is the beauty of Zeami’s art..