Six Haikus for horn and piano (2008) for horn and piano — 8’
–Commissioned by Jennifer Montone for Jennifer Montone and Cecile Licad
–Premiered November 2008 at Carnegie Hall
Six Haikus, for solo horn and piano, is about the ephemeral passing moments and epiphanies in the haiku poetry tradition. I have used only fragments of haikus as the inspiration for each movement. The medium of horn and piano especially allows me to reflect on the poetry of the expression and color in dialogue between just these two instruments. Three of the movements are for horn with piano, while three are for unaccompanied horn, but with the pedal resonances of the piano, into which the horn projects its sound. In this way, the horn becomes its own accompaniment, building gauzy chords of sonorous harmonies in the reflection of the piano strings. I have incorporated the syllabic poetic scheme into these movements in collections of five, seve, and five notes in returning music to embrace the expression of the poetry further. Each fragment of poetry represents a poignant scene from the words of the haiku.
Six Haikus was written for Jennifer Montone and Cecile Licad with warmth and admiration for two of my musical favorites.