LINDA BUCKLEY chiyo programme note

Linda Buckley chiyo (RTE Commission) [9']

Programme note

chiyo is inspired by the work of the eighteenth-century Japanese haiku poet, Chiyo-ni.

Chiyo-ni is widely regarded as one of the greatest female haiku poets. Her work is characterised by a simple, understated beauty, and is often concerned with the human connection to nature, the sense of oneness with nature. This is perhaps best exemplified in some of the poetry which served as an inspiration for this piece.

cool clear water
and fireflies that vanish
that is all there is.

only in the river
darkness flows

the beauty
of hidden things

Within chiyo, more complex resultant textures are created from the superimposition of quite simple melodic lines, like sections of plainchant, moving at different speeds - these lines may
become abstracted or blurred due to the density of layering, with fragments emerging momentarily, 'the beauty of hidden things'.

I was also interested in treating the orchestra in 'block' form, for example, focusing on the string family alone, then wind, brass and full orchestral forces, to isolate and hone in on the individual quality of each sound world, akin to the simple single image of water, of fireflies, of moonflowers. It is this quiet beauty that has always impacted on me, the power of a single image, a single word - as Cocteau notes, 'True tears are not shed over a sad page, but over the miracle of a word in exactly the right place.'

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