Saturday, August 27, 2016

August 27th, 2016: Premiere of "Withering Chrysanthemum / 残菊 (2016)" in Tokyo, Japan

My work for solo 13-string koto, Withering Chrysanthemum / 残菊 (2016) will received its world premiere in Tokyo, Japan. This work was commissioned by Sahoko Nozawa. 

Program notes:

There is no flower I adore more than the chrysanthemum. I love the beautiful color and the shapes of the individual petals. Most of all, I am fascinated by the intricate design created by the various layers of petals, an element which I came to appreciate as I struggled to draw a chrysanthemum in my Chinese ink drawing class at the Kaetsu Centre in Cambridge, England.

This work is intended to evoke the lifespan of chrysanthemum. The piece begins gently and innocently, a petal-less bud. The piece slowly grows in intensity as petals begin to appear and the flower blooms. There are two sections of the work in which the chrysanthemum struggles to survive through harsh weather conditions such as strong winds or rain. Towards the end of the work, the petals are unable to resist being pulled from their stems by a fierce storm. The final moments musically depict the last remaining petals as the chrysanthemum faces the end of its life.