Aki Meguri Kite (Autumn Comes Round Again)

秋巡り来て Aki Meguri Kite (Autumn Comes Round Again)
2 shakuhachi and ichigenkin/speaker (2015)

Premiere performance: June 6, 2015 at Tenri Cultural Institute, New York City, on the program 音故知新 One String, One Breath: New and Traditional Music for Shakuhachi and Ichigenkin
Elizabeth Brown and Ralph Samuelson, shakuhachi; Issui Minegishi, ichigenkin

duration: 15′

program note
Elizabeth Brown’s 秋巡り来て Aki Meguri Kite “Autumn Comes Round Again”, for two shakuhachi and ichigenkin/speaker, uses poetry from Voices from Japan*, written in response to the 2011 earthquake and tsunami and originally published in the Asahi Shinbun. A distant, offstage shakuhachi underlines the loneliness of the text. The second poem refers to the single tall pine tree which survived on the coast of Rikuzentakata after the town was devasted; the image of this tree became a symbol of hope.

my home place
has become a town
without voices, without humans
it is as distant
as the end of the earth
furusato wa
muon mujin
no machi ni nari
chi no hate no gotoku
tooku naritari
— Keiko Hangui, Fukushima May 2011

ふるさとは 無音無人の 町になり 地の果てのごとく 遠くなりたり
半杭 螢子 (福島県 2011年5月)

the souls of the dead
sheltering in the moon
descend to the lone pine
in Rikuzentakata
autumn comes round again
seirei wa
tsuki ni yadorite
matsu ni furu
aki meguri kite
Shoichi Hirai, Saitama October 2011

精霊は 月に宿りて 松に降る 陸前高田 秋巡り来て
平井 正一 (埼玉県 2011年10月)

*Used with permission:
Isao and Kyoko Tsujimoto , Studio for Cultural Exchange, Tokyo.
English translations by Joan Ericson, Amy Heinrich, and Laurel Rasplica Rodd.