Copy|Yuriko Mikami|KnowLedge World Network|Activities|KNOWLEDGE CAPITAL

  • 2019.07.02
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They say Japanese people are good with their hands. Surely you must also be good at making things, too.
So what kinds of things do you make? Everyone has a different path, such as starting out as a hobby and learning on your own as you create works, or by taking lessons and having your works appreciated by others. And while you can be proud of yourself for the time, energy, effort, money, and passion that go into your work, it's also true that you want to show it off and let other people appreciate it as well.

And here is where the first dilemma rears its head...

Sometimes it doesn't end with you simply having your work praised and valued by others. "I would like you to give this work to me." "How much would you sell it for?" "I want to make something like this; can you teach me how?" And so on...

Even things you made as a hobby come with an immeasureable sense of affection, attachment, and perserverance. But on the other hand, even among well-known artists—regardless of whether or not it depends on the degree of perfection of the work—there is an unusal sense of reluctance when it comes to revealing techniques and creative processes, and that can lead to frustration.

World-famous Italian composer Ennio Morricone is one of of those types, and his name often comes up when this topic is talked about. Anecdotes about how he wouldn't give out sheet music to the orchestra until just before practice begins, and as soon as practice is over he would quickly collect it all, not even leaving one page behind so that nobody could copy it, and things like that.


Generally speaking his songwriting style is rather simple, but just like how a single pinch of salt can completely change the flavor of a dish, even missing just one note when trying to learn a simple Morricone piece by ear and putting it down on paper can cause it to miss the mark when it comes to copying his style; it's quite surprising. It can be said that it means that he's established an identity with regard to his writing style and that his style of composition has achieved perfect balance.

Anyway, I was reading the newspaper the other day and I was reminded of one of the masters that was incredibly attached to his work.



The cupola (dome) of the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore in Florence was built around 1430 AD by the first Renaissanse-era architect Filippo Brunelleschi. Brunelleschi was apparently a goldsmith and a sculptor as well, but after a sculpting competition where he was eventually bested by his rival, the story goes, he gave up on sculpting and turned to architecture.

He must have been a pretty dramatic person to go and change his profession completely after just losing one contest, I thought lightly at first, but surely there must have circumstances that led to that outcome. According to one theory, he had underestimated and mocked his rival Lorenzo Ghiberti. It was also written that he enjoyed joking around and playing pranks not only on his rival but on others as well.

If you have visited this cathedral before, surely you were impressed by the beauty of the gold mosaic as you look up at the cupola.



But there is even more to be impressed by in that mosaic. More specifically, how the cupola was created. Brunelleschi spent his whole life creating this cupola and he did so using unprecedented architectural methods that he devised on his own. These methods were probably not well understood by the workers as there were no previous examples to draw on. He explained how to stack the bricks for the cupola by demonstrating with turnips. And then after he finished the demonstration, he tore it down and ate it, and one can only assume that the workers neglected to write the process down.

It is said that Brunelleschi was incredibly attached to his works and was very afraid of someone stealing his ideas and techniques.

The newspaper article was not actually about Brunelleschi, but was instead about the one and only worker with permission to climb up the cupola. He goes up once a year to perform maintenance. Travelers are permitted to go up part of the way, but this person is the only person in the world who holds the key that allows him to go all the way up to the round ball on top of the cupola. It has a window on top! And what a small window it is!

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  • Yuriko Mikami
  • AgeDog (INU)
  • GenderFemale
  • JobMusician

A cellist based in Milan. Performs solo and ensemble concerts, as well as produces multi-style stage performances that combine theatrical shows, images, dances and live music.

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