Five Pieces on Korean Zen Poems for piano four-hands

Composer: 

Year Authored (or revised): 

2010

Scoring: 

one piano four-hands

Duration (min): 

11

Movements-Titles: 

1. evening smoke rises at the edge of the forest
2. when butterflies dance
3. only apricots fall in the autumn wind
4. drunk on the moon, filled with clouds
5. how can busy people know the pleasure of leisure outside the dusty world

First Performance: 

7/7/11, Gyeongju, South Korea, CMS International Conference, New Music by CMS Composers, Nanette Solomon and Susan Wheatley, piano four hands

Five Pieces on Korean Zen Poems, for piano four-hands is based on poems that I selected from Because of the Rain, A Selection of Korean Zen Poems,1 compiled and translated into Korean by Daljin Kim, and then translated into English by Won-Chung Kim and Christopher Merrill.  In the Translator’s Preface Christopher Merrill writes, “what these poems offer is a distillation of Zen doctrine and practice, glimpsed through a Korean lens… a form of compression akin to the aphorism… a style of thought congenial to the contemplative life, a music that depends upon stateliness and surprise…” I wanted to express these qualities through the music and perhaps touch with sound the meaning, which, as Mr. Merrill later writes, is “like the waves of moon light that ripple across the sea and vanish into the scrollwork of the solitary monk.”

The titles of the five pieces and the poems from which they are derived are the following:
1) evening smoke rises at the edge of the forest from On the Bank of a Stream;
2) when butterflies dance from The Dream of a Butterfly;
3) only apricots fall in the autumn wind from On Hearing a Pipe;
4) drunk on the moon, filled with clouds from A Fisherman’s Song; and,
5) how can busy people know the pleasure of leisure outside the dusty world from Mountain Life.

Print Edition Price: 

$14.95
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