Jardin d’Iris is a setting of six Japanese haiku written by Basho and his followers all of which are linked through the common imagery of a garden. The work was originally composed at my wife’s request to accompany a staged performance of Kurtag’s song cycle Kafka-Fragmente. Although both works are inspired by the idea of ‘thought fragments’ – either in the form of diary texts written by Kafka or haiku poetry, Jardin d’Iris aims for a musical continuity achieved through techniques similar to those primarily employed in the Japanese renga poetry (linked poetry) where different poems are connected into a single unity by means of pivot devices. Therefore, unlike Kurtag’s work, where each textual unit, corresponds to an individual music movement, Jardin d’Iris features a single movement form where the borders of music and poetry sections are purposely blurred and misaligned.
First performance: 19 December 2010, Art Path Festival, Tokyo University of Music and the Arts, Shie Shoji, Chatziiosifidis.