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SUZUKI Kotoka / 鈴木琴香


Dreams And Wandering

Birth Y: 1971 Birth C: JAPAN Gender: Female

Dest: Concert

Media Specification: Mixed music

Commission: commissioned by the Sinus-Ton Music Festival / Unser Liben Frauen monestary, Magdeburg, Germany

Performer(s): Mendelssohn Chamber Orchestra

First perf.: Premiered by Mendelssohn Chamber Orchestra, Leipzig, Germany | Gunnar Harms, conductor

Duration: 23:00

Perf. Country: GERMANY

Perf media: Chamber orchestra and electronics


Prog. notes: I. Slanted Moon
II. Wet Molecular
III. Rupture
IV. Epilogue

This composition is inspired by the well known writings of the Japanese poet, Matsuo Busho. Busho traveled from Edo (modern day Tokyo) northward on the island of Honshu from 1689 to 1691, and as a result left one of the most revered literary texts in Japanese history: “Oku no Hosomichi” (Narrow road to the deep north). This journal contains hokkus that beautifully depict the northern landscapes he visits. Upton his return, he spent the next three years editing the journal.

The work is in four short movements and sonically represents images from his journals as well as his very last hokku, which he completed just before his death in 1694. The first movement depicts Busho’s romanticization as a voyager drifting for eternity and his longing for a journey that is described in this opening paragraph:

“The months and days are the travelers of eternity.”……”Those who float away their lives on ships or who grow old leading horses are forever journeying, and their homes are wherever their travels take them.”….”…I seemed to be possessed by the spirits of wanderlust…….I could think of nothing but the moon at Matsushima.”

The middle two contrasting movements are more loosely constructed, and inspired by images of landscapes and weather described in his writings. The unmistakable feeling of melancholy in Busho’s last poem, “Falling sick on a journey”, speaks to his love of his native land. Finally, the work closes with an image of Busho’s soul evaporating into the sky while dreaming of the landscapes that he so loves.

Falling sick on a journey
My dream goes wandering
Over a field of dried grass

Editor: M.B.