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.

Eyes are Now Dim (ensemble)

EYES ARE NOW DIM (2016) for female voice, sho, koto, violin & electronics. Duration: 20 minutes
22