Inkeri Jaakkola: Laakeripuun luona — Beneath the Laurel Tree. The text-music relationship of Paavo Heininen’s opera Silkkirumpu (The Damask Drum)
My dissertation deals with Paavo Heininen’s groundbreaking, modernist opera Silkkirumpu (The Damask Drum) op. 45 (1983), for which Eeva-Liisa Manner translated the libretto from a Japanese noh-play, Aya no tsuzumi. The aesthetic principles of noh-theater – extremely refined details combined in a unified dramatic whole – are also central in Silkkirumpu. In spite of the story’s Japanese origin, Silkkirumpu has a dense referential network to European opera tradition: Silkkirumpu is a universal artwork, and it can be interpreted from both Japanese and European perspectives.
In my study I demonstrate how the interaction between text and music reflects the dramatic content in Silkkirumpu. I base my analysis on how the libretto has been transformed in the compositional process, what transformational processes can be perceived, how the musical narrative is realized and which musical signs and symbols can be recognized.