Composed by Catherine Kontz
Commissioned by Huddersfield Contemporary Music festival
Written for and Performed by Monica Germino (violins) and Frank Van der Weij (Sound Engineer) at the Huddersfield Contemporary muisc Festival 2010

4 1/2 Tatami
for Monica Germino

The score of 4 ½ Tatami is a floor-map measuring roughly 3m x 3m when assembled. It marks out the performance space in which the violinist moves around as well as displaying the musical material to be played. The format and measurements of the score are taken from the Japanese Tatami mats which are a traditional type of Japanese flooring. In Japan, there are many rules concerning the number of tatami mats and their layout in a room to avoid inauspicious patterns. Never more than two corners of different mats ought to meet in one place. 4 ½ tatami is a common size for the tea-room.

The piece is also very loosely inspired by Maxence Fermine’s novel ‘Le violon noir.
As the title suggests, the score comes in 4 ½ parts/mats: Mat A, Mat B, Mat C, Mat D and the middle mat with each mat being cut into three parts (and the middle mat into two parts) for practical reasons. Each mat differs from the others in terms of material and sound. The mats should be arranged seen on the right.
The laminated score should be stuck to the floor with a black or dark gaffa/duct tape adding a border of 4.85 cm each long side of the mat and a border of 1.15 cm on the short sides. The middle map should have a border of 4.85 all around. This will not only keep the score firmly in place but also make the mats exactly 180 x 90 cm each which are the norm measurements for most tatami mats.