[28 minutes]. Difficulty: VI/Soloist, IV/Orch.
1+picc+alto, 2+ cor ang., 2+Eb+bass, 2,4,4, 2+bass. 1, timp+3, str.
A series of main melodic themes based on ten Japanese haiku about the moon are unveiled throughout the composition. Contrapuntal lyrical lines were then superimposed over those initial melodies. The overall orchestration is intentionally transparent, reflecting the clarity of the haiku form. Subtle shifts in timbre further “reflect” and “amplify” the meaning of these “Pierrotesque” images. Yet, the depth within the orchestration is, at times, rather cloudy an ominous. The essence of Japanese haiku seems to have a parallel sensibility with many of the smaller gardens I have visited while touring throughout Japan over the past three decades. In particular, the tiny gardens within the very small Daisenin Temple located in Kyoto remind me of the purity of this poetic form. The orchestration in Moon Shadows is intended to reflect this sensibility in ways similar to that of a graceful branch of a Yew on a moonlit night, reflecting upon a pond, then further transformed with shifts in the direction and intensity of the evening breeze as Koi, unaware of “the pure essence of the moment” unabashedly swim by. Premiered by the composer with the University of Michigan Symphony Band, Michael Haithcock, conductor.
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