Lines from the Japanese (2003)
Commissioned by Rebecca Lindholm for her niece, Sarah.
Premiere—2009, by Amy Morris, Upper Midwest Flute Association gathering, Minneapolis, MN.
- On the Autumn Mountain
- Tangled thoughts
- River longing
- The Lightning flashes!
Lines from the Japanese was commissioned by my friend, Rebecca Lindholm, as a graduation present for her niece Sarah, a flutist who had studied Japanese at Bryn Mawr College. I chose five phrases with strong images from translations of Japanese poems to make a suite. Only in “Haiku” does Japanese poetry directly influence the form or content. In that very brief movement, the three lines of music have five, seven and five pitches respectively, modeling the three phrases of 5, 7, and 5 on in the Japanese haiku form. One of the challenges of writing for a solo wind instrument is to fashion compound melodic lines that create the illusion of more than one voice. That sort of writing is clearest in the last three movements.
Since graduation, Sarah Lindholm has continued to work as a translator on Japanese Manga publications.