SATB Choir, unaccompanied – 9 minutes
Haiku capture moments. One day I read this Haiku by Issa:
Napped half the day;
I nearly fell off the chair laughing. The poem was coy, witty, personal, and universal all at once. For a brief moment I was with Issa, sitting beside him in a state of totally amused understanding. After pouring through Haiku by the Japanese masters Issa, Buson, and Basho, I was struck by how they had an amazing perspective of blissful objectivity towards their surroundings. This, combined with an ability to crystallize both a moment in time and the perception of that moment into a handful of crisp, evocative and affecting syllables, was astounding.
For my pieces I selected poems about nature and animals. Before composing I tried to imagine the exact circumstance of the writer as he wrote the Haiku. Where was he? What was he doing? What had just happened? In a way my settings are like mini dramatizations of each poem’s scenario. A mood is set. Something happens. The poet writes.
This work was commissioned by the Young New Yorkers Chorus as part of their annual composer competition.
The recording is of the premiere featuring the Young New Yorkers Chorus under the direction of Michael Kerschner.
O Owl, Make Another Face
Cats Making Love
check out the text and the music here:
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Premiered 6.5.10 at St. Peters Church, 619 Lexington, New York, NY