Songs in Wood by DAVID BRUCE
These four short poems on a theme of wood/forests are inspired by Japanese haiku, particularly those by Buson. Like haiku, they each attempt to capture a small but multi-layered idea in which the listener/reader is forced to find their own interpretation. The music hopefully both underlines each poem's idea and meaning, whilst also amplifying their ambiguity and mystery. Inevitably this approach leaves me reluctant to say more about the work, but I will say that whilst the wood of the title obviously refers in part to the marimba, I often thought of the choir themselves as a 'singing forest' - so one way to listen to the piece is to imagine that it is the forest itself that is singing throughout. I will also say that in the third song, Humbaba was the monstrous giant, guardian of the Ceder Forest in the Epic of Gilgamesh.
David Bruce 16 March 2011
A thousand singing leaves,
black singing leaves-
the blackbird tree.
Sing with me to the resounding dawn!
This cold winter night,
I will turn to fire.
Humbaba is dead.
Come into the light!
How can you know loneliness
when you are one leaf
in a forest of leaves?
Press / Latest Reviews
for Choir & Marimba
Marimba (5 Octave)
Composed Feb-March 2011
First performance Cantori New York, Makoto Nakura (marimba) Church of the Holy Trinity, NYC, May 7 2011
Commissioned by ISGM New Music Fund for Makoto Nakura
- May 7 2011
Church of the Holy Trinity, NYC (Cantori New York, Makoto Nakura marimba) (world premiere)
- Oct 2 2011
Alti, Kyoto, Japan (Kyoto Gewandhauschor, Makoto Nakura)
- Sep 12 2012
BBC Radio 3 In Tune Broadcast (Makoto Nakura, Kyoto Gewandhaus Choir)
- Sep 14 2012
St. Mary the Virgin, Buckland, Oxfordshire (Makoto Nakura, Kyoto Gewandhaus Choir)
- Sep 15 2012
The Parish Church of St Mary the Virgin, Hambleden, Henley-on-Thames (Kyoto Gewandhauschor, Makoto Nakura)
- Sep 16 2012
St. John the Evangelist, Oxford (Makoto Nakura, Kyoto Gewandhaus Choir)
- Nov 2 2012
Kobe Shinbun Matsukata Hall, Kobe, Japan (Makoto Nakura)
- Nov 1 2013
Kobe Bunka Hall, Kobe, Japan (Makoto Nakura)
Related Posts Forthcoming premieres & performances (5/1/2011)