Despite their brevity and the lack of subjective sentimentalism, Japanese haiku are open to free interpretation through the creation of a multitude of personal associations of images, ideas and feelings. Such contradiction between the poems’ outlook and their interpretation creates a kind of dynamic tension. A similar technique is used in the design of Japanese gardens and landscaping where on a small scale the elements of the natural world were cleverly used to give the illusion of a greater outdoor space. This technique of compressing a vast landscape into a small space became known as “the great within the small”. Using this aesthetic idea as source of inspiration the work Eyes are now dim is a musical exploration of the macrocosm hidden in the haiku by Matsuo Bashõ.
First performance: 30 May 2016, The Great Hall, Hellenic Centre, London, Shie Shoji, Naomi Sato, Aisha Orazbayeva, Makiko Goto.