5 Haiku for alto flute and guitar (2012)

Duration c. 9 minutes Comissioned by Duo Damiana: Molly Barth – flute, Dieter Hennings – guitar. Premiered by Duo Damiana, January 19, 2013, Gosser Fine Arts Center, Campbellsville University, Campbellsville, KY.
Audio Sample
(Performers: Duo Damiana: Molly Barth, Dieter Hennings)

Recording available on “Castillos de Viento” by Duo Damiana, Innova Recordings (https://www.innova.mu/albums/duo-damiana/castillos-de-viento)

Program Notes

5 Haiku are a set of varied musical reflections on texts by the 17th-century Japanese haiku master Matsuo Basho.  Some of the pieces are as long as 3 minutes, others barely 30 seconds, reflecting the paradox in scope that informs Basho’s haiku, their concise forms revealing an entire world within. The outer texts, which refer to beginnings (art) and ends (Basho’s “death poem” – the last he ever wrote) respectively, both make use of a Japanese rice-planting song, and are used to frame the three internal haiku, suggesting the beginning and end of a life journey. 5 Haiku was composed for and is dedicated to Molly Barth and Dieter Hennings.

The beginning of art –
a rice-planting song
in the backcountry."
attached to nothing,
the skylark singing.
Harvest moon –
walking around the pond
all night long.
Where’s the moon?
As the temple bell is–
sunk in the sea.
Sick on a journey,
my dreams wander
the withered fields.
Matsuo Basho