Washing The Ink-Stone

This piece was written in response to Naviarhaiku248 – Washing the ink-stone.

  Washing the ink-stone,
  The Indian ink flows away
  Blue, blue.

This is a haiku by Hashimoto Takako, one of the most important voices in haiku poetry during the World War II years in Japan, together with Mitsuhashi Takajo and Ishibashi Hideno among others.

Washing the ink-stone was written for Flute, Clarinet, Vibraphone, Violin, Viola, Cello and String Bass.

Washing the ink-stone
Washing the ink-stone – Score

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Me this stillness this awake

About a year ago I was approached by a singer who wanted to collaborate with me. I wrote a piece for her but was never able to get her to sing it – I am guessing that she did not like what I had written and did not want to tell me (it’s okay, I’m a big boy). The piece is still sitting around and I am hoping to someday find someone who will be willing to give it a go.

I had reached out to a friend for a poem to use for the words and he directed me to a friend of his, Carol Burbank (http://www.carolburbank.com/), who provided me with a few poems. I felt sad that I was not able to return the work that I had originally intended so I decided to have another of her poems read, then write a piece around it. Fortunately, I was able to get Diana Smethurst (https://soundcloud.com/diana-smethurst), whose voice I have always enjoyed, to read Carol’s poem, “Me this stillness this awake.”

Me this stillness this awake was written for Flute, Clarinet, Horn, Trombone, Vibraphone, Violin, Viola, Cello and String Bass.

Me this stillness this awake
Me this stillness this awake – Score

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Fulfillment (collaboration with Daniel Diaz)

Fulfillment was written in response to Disquiet Junto Project 0351: Selected Insomniac Works Volume II.

  Step 1: Last week, about 60 members of the Disquiet Junto recorded ambient music for the middle of the night. The specific request was to “Make very quiet music for very late at night for very fragile psyches.”” This week, we’ll each select a track from last week and proceed to dial it down even further.
  Step 2: Listen through the tracks from last week’s project, and choose the one whose ambience you want to employ in your track.
  Step 3: Having chosen a track in Step 2 above, confirm that your chosen track is downloadable. If it isn’t, either get in touch with the musician who made it, or choose another track.
  Step 4: Listen closely to the track you selected in Step 3. Consider what edges it has that might be smoothed out, what drama it has that might be subsumed. Consider how you might do such things while retaining something that is inherently listenable, should someone choose to turn up the volume and focus on it.
  Step 5: Rework the track you selected in Steps 2 and 3 to achieve the goals that arose from Step 4.

With this sort of thing I normally use a random number generator to select the track I am to work with, but I felt that Daniel Diaz’s Emptiness seemed to have so many possibilities that I felt that I had no choice but to use it as electronics.

Fulfillment was written for Violin, Viola, Cello, and electronics.

Fulfillment
Fulfillment – Score

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Ophiuchus and Chiron

Ophiuchus and Chiron is my first release on the Aural Films label.

Notes for Chiron:

Chiron

In Greek mythology, Chiron was held to be the superlative centaur amongst his brethren, as he was called the “wisest and justest of all the centaurs”. Chiron was pierced with an arrow belonging to Heracles that had been treated with the blood of the Hydra. Despite being a master of the healing arts, he was unable to heal himself and lived with incredible pain.

Prometheus had given fire to mortals, to the great displeasure of Zeus, and as punishment was bound to a rock, where an eagle would feed on his liver. As he was immortal, the liver would grow back, only to be eaten by the eagle the next day.

Heracles arranged a bargain with Zeus to exchange Chiron’s immortality for the life of Prometheus. Chiron died after his liver was eaten, but was given a place in the stars.

This piece depicts that exchange.

Largo
Chiron travels to Tartarus, where Prometheus is chained.

Adagio
Prometheus sees the approach of Chiron and realizes that he is to be set free.

Andante – Largo
The death and transfiguration of Chiron

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Music For Insomniacs

Music For Insomniacs was written in response to Disquiet Junto Project 0350: Selected Insomniac Works.

  Step 1: It’s the middle of the night, long past dusk and long before dawn. You can’t sleep.
  Step 2: Think about what kind of music you’d want to hear right now — super quiet, super subtle, unlikely to wake you, potentially to ease you back to the comfort of your pillow, or at least to calm your mind.
  Step 3: Record the sort of music that Step 2 made you imagine.

I wanted to put something together that fulfilled the idea of a drone, but needed variability – enough interest so that if I could not get back to sleep I could at least listen. Well in the background is a string orchestra accompanied by trombone and clarinet, but one is unlikely to recognize too much of that. In for foreground are the electronics, seeded by the single call of an owl I recorded after waking up in the middle of one night.

Music For Insomniacs was written for Clarinet, Trombone, Violin, Viola, Cello, String Bass and electronics.

Music For Insomniacs
Music For Insomniacs – Score

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The Sky Begins To Overcast

This piece was written in response to Naviarhaiku245 – Flowers of morning glory.

  Flowers of morning glory.
  The sky above this street
  Begins to overcast.

This is a haiku by Hisajo Sugita, an innovative exponent of the women’s haiku movement, and one of the first poets to combine distant views and foregrounds in the same poem. Her role in modernizing haiku was recognized only after her death, when contemporary writers began to use a similar style of juxtaposition.

We change on a daily basis, and certainly the piece I would have written to this haiku two weeks ago would have been completely different. Two weeks ago I would have focused in on the first line, but as Hurricane Florence approaches I looked more toward the last line. Although landfall will happen tomorrow, we are starting to feel the effects of it a few hundred miles north, and I hope the best for my southern neighbors.

The Sky Begins To Overcast was written for Flute, Clarinet, Horn, Trombone, Bass Drum, Glockenspiel, Violin, Viola, Cello and String Bass.

The Sky Begins To Overcast
The Sky Begins To Overcast – Score

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Haiku Music – Volume 3

Haiku Music – Volume 3

My third self-published album – ten musical interpretations inspired by ten haiku.

Listen free and/or support the artist. The links below display the scores.

Finally, A Clear Sky 6:18
finally a clear sky
yet no moon…
summer mountain
Sleeping Awake 8:02
he won’t go to sleep
unless we play him the tune
that keeps him awake
The Snail Raises His Horns 3:41
A snail
Raising its horns:
Edge of the well.
The Pine Shadow Falls On The Tent Wall 10:02
The pine shadow falls on the tent wall
& I see the shrine
as if for the first time
To The End Of The Field 6:49
To the end of the field
All alone I go
Autumn sky
Reason Redundant 6:25
A lucid mirage
Faint elusive memories
Reason redundant.
Indian Summer 6:58
Indian summer:
dragonfly shadows seldom
brush the window.
Wild Geese Take Flight 6:48
The wild geese take flight
Low along the railroad tracks
In the moonlight night
Morning Coolness 6:58
Morning coolness:
dewdrops swaying
in the spiderweb
Meditation Class 10:07
Meditation class
the distant waterfall
suddenly closer
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