The Art of Precious Scars

for violin, violoncello and piano

Emma-Ruth Richards

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for violin, violoncello and piano

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Composer Emma-Ruth Richards
Year of Composition 2019
Duration 17'30"
Categories (all composers) , ,
Catalogue ID ce-err1taps1


The Japanese art of kintsugi teaches that broken objects are not something to hide but to display with pride. When a bowl, teapot or precious vase falls and breaks into a thousand pieces, we throw them away angrily and regretfully. Yet there is an alternative, a Japanese practice that highlights and enhances the breaks thus adding value to the broken object. It’s called kintsugi (金継ぎ), or kintsukuroi (金繕い), literally golden (“kin”) and repair (“tsugi”).

This traditional Japanese art uses a precious metal to bring together the broken pieces and at the same time enhance the breaks, giving them a new, more refined aspect. With this technique it is possible to create true and always different works of art, each with its own story and beauty, thanks to the unique cracks formed when the object breaks, as if they were wounds that leave different marks on each of us.

Although my piano trio does not pertain directly to a programmatic narrative, the three movements (I. Molten, II. Monument, III. Mien) do convey impressions of falling, gilding, transformation and portrait. Hopefully the work addresses the idea of breakages becoming valuable and the essence of resilience.