Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Carpe Diem #1095 Six Japanese Gardens by Kaija Saariaho

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

As you know this month I try to inspire you by using classical music of all ages and from all over the globe. And ... I will continue that today of course. For today I have a modern classic piece of music titled "Six Japanese Gardens" composed by the female composer Kaija Saariaho. I had never heard from her or her music.

Kaija Saariaho (1952 -)
Let me tell you a little bit more about her:

Kaija Anneli Saariaho (*1952 - ) is a Finnish composer based in Paris, France.

Saariaho studied composition in Helsinki, Freiburg and Paris, where she has lived since 1982. Her research at the Institute for Research and Coordination Acoustic (IRCAM) marked a turning point in her music away from strict serialism towards spectralism. Her characteristically rich, polyphonic textures are often created by combining live music and electronics.
In 1986, Saariaho was awarded the Kranichsteiner Preis at the Darmstadt International Summer Courses for New Music. In 1988, she won the Prix Italia for her work Stilleben and in 1989 both Stilleben and Io were awarded the Prix Ars Electronica. In 2013 she was awarded the prestigious Polar Music Prize.
During the course of her career she has received commissions from the Lincoln Center for the Kronos Quartet and from IRCAM for the Ensemble Intercontemporain, the BBC, the New York Philharmonic, the Salzburg Music Festival, the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris and the Finnish National Opera, among others.

As I was preparing this music-month I ran into various compositions by Kaija Saariaho, some of them are beautiful, others are very difficult to follow and understand. I had mixed feelings by the composition I love to share here to inspire you. This piece of music has 6 movements and is titled "Six Japanese Gardens". (Video created by Wellesz Opus)

I hope this composition will inspire you. Here is my haiku inspired on this composition by Saariaho:

gurgling valley stream
can't resist your lovely song -
shadow of a Carp

© Chèvrefeuille

And I re-created a cascading haiku series into a cascading tanka set:

rustling leaves,
the sound of falling water -
profound silence
as I walk through my garden
saying my prayers

saying my prayers
while walking through the garden -
song of a nightingale
mingles with the sounds of the garden
in praise of Mother Earth

© Chèvrefeuille

And now it is up to you ... This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until December 18th at noon (CET). I will try to publish our new episode, The Great Wall of China by Einar Englund, later on.

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