TEMPLE BELL (2011)
Soprano, mezzo-soprano, clarinet, piano, cello
Premiere: 19 November 2011. Sydney, Australia
Temple Bell is a setting of a haiku by Japanese poet Yosa Buson (1716 – 1783). I have always found the brevity of the haiku form attractive, and I was particularly drawn to the ambiguity and fragility of this haiku. The opening two lines of the haiku describe the setting and actions of the subject, which is not revealed until the final word of the poem. This ambiguity is paralleled in the setting of the text. Following the fragile opening section of the piece, the singers are integrated into the instrumental textures, performing without text for the majority of the piece. It is not until the final section of the piece that the text is revealed in its entirety.