PRINT November 2007


Teiji Ito

TEIJI ITO IS INVARIABLY LINKED to Maya Deren, since their professional and romantic relationship spanned the last decade of her career, 1952–61, and the first of his. Deren’s account of their initial encounter is as steeped in self-mythology as any of the images in her films:

“Teiji, I have the feeling that if ever you were approached by an inquiring reporter and asked for one or two of the most important or critical moments in your life—you certainly would have to mention that one where I ran into you in front of the five and dime store.”

“When you asked me to do the score for your film.”

Ito was only seventeen years old at the time. Born in Japan to a samurai-class family with long-standing ties to the theater, he had immigrated with his parents to the United States shortly before Pearl Harbor. By the time he met Deren, then thirty-five, he had learned to play a variety of instruments and

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