On the year 2022 I finished my PhD in ethnomusicology for the University of Aveiro under the title Aesthetics of sound in Japanese hōgaku. Ethnomusicology and Artistic Research in dialogue.

On it I researched on the aesthetic dimension of Japanese hōgaku both from ethnomusicology an artistic research. This thesis should be understood as the sum of three elements of equivalent importance: a text, the recontextualized transdisciplinary performative piece Kūkaku, and the audio-visual documentary Painting in the void. The three elements constitute a unity and the narration would be incomplete without all of them. This was an extensive, challenging and enriching project that took several years of my life throughout the end of the 2010’s and the beginning of the 2020’s and was only possible thanks to the generous collaboration of many people. To all of them my gratitude. All the materials relative to the PhD can be found here.

The final output of this PhD includes:
· A manuscript. Access here.
· The audiovisual documentary Painting in the void has been published in the peer reviewed magazine Screenworks, in its special issue dedicated to Musicology and Audiovisual. Access here.
· The performative piece Kūkaku. Trailer.


1. ‘Gayageum sanjo’. Audio for the full piece used in the gayageum sanjo audio-visual for the exhibition ‘Eolssigu!’

2. Solo shakuhachi improvised miniature ‘Eleven’. By Horacio Curti, from the shakuhachi album ‘Home is Now’ (2015).

3. ‘Desert’. Concert for Shakuhachi and Orchestra by Ramon Humet. Spanish National Orchestra with Horacio Curti on shakuhachi. Premiere concerts series. Live broadcast by Spanish National Radio from concert on June 16, 2019.

4. Cadenza of the concert for shakuhachi and orchestra by Ramon Humet, ‘Desert’. Spanish National Orchestra, Horacio Curti, shakuhachi.

5. Jiari shakuhachi sound as played by Kakizakai Kaoru in the honkyoku piece ‘Shingetsu’ from his album ‘Koten Shakuhachi I’ (2002).

6. Jinashi shakuhachi sound as played by ChikuZa in the piece ‘Shingetsu’, from his album ‘Take to Iki’ (2012).

7. Sounds of the chromatic scale presented in Figure 6 in which the difference in tone color and dynamic possibilities can be seen, as played on a 1.8 jiari shakuhachi by Horacio Curti.

8. The shakuhachi sounds re, ru and maru no chi played in sequence on a 1.8 shakuhachi by Kakizakai Kaoru.

9. The shakuhachi sounds ha-ro and ri-ro played in sequence on a 2.4 shakuhachi by Kakizakai Kaoru.

10. Fragment of the beginning of the nō play ‘Shakkyo’ (石橋, stone bridge). Voice Kanze, Motomasa (Kanze & Tamba, 1988).

11. ‘Dan no Ura’, 壇ノ浦, by Nakamura Kakujo. Track 3 of the Album ‘Biwa Sun Moon Rhyme Concert Live '95’ (1995)

12. Nōkan sound. By Isso, Yukihiro. From the play 'Shakkyo' (石橋, stone bridge) (Kanze & Tamba, 1988).


All the audio-visual materials are created by Horacio Curti, unless otherwise mentioned.

1. ‘Eolssigu!’ Poetic audio-visual piece for the project of the same name.

2. ‘Gayageum Sanjo’. Example of one of the educational pieces for the project ‘Eolssigu!’

3. ‘Eolssigu!’ Trailer for the project of the same name.

4. ‘Ukigumo’. Trailer of the piece’s world premiere. Barcelona, 2013.

5. ‘Kūkaku’. Trailer edited by Ariadna Pujol and HoracioCurti.

6. Audio-visual presenting the creation and evolution of the material described by Vika Kleiman on the previous quotation from her personal diary

7. The voice in nō. Examples of the use of the voice by Tsumura Reijiro. From personal fieldwork interview. Tokyo 2020.

8. The sound of the Satsuma biwa with sawari. By Nakamura Kakujo.

9. The sound of the Satsuma biwa without sawari. By Nakamura Kakujo.

10. How sawari works in the Tsugaru shamisen.

11. Kakizakai Kaoru and Horacio Curti on ma, 間. Fragment from the documentary ‘Painting in the void’. Chichibu, Japan,2020.

12. Ma in action as shown in two different qualities of movement within . By Sekine Yoshito.

13. Writing the character ma, 間, atregular speed. By shodō master Kakizakai Megumi.

14. Writing the character ma, 間, in slow motion. By shodō master Kakizakai Megumi.

15. ‘Painting in the void’. An audiovisual recount of the creation of the performative piece ‘Kūkaku’.

16. ‘Kūkaku’. Audio-visual documentation of its first performance.

The work during the thesis: some pictures

Click on the picture to view more.

National Gugak Center, Seoul, Korea.
Taegum workshop