Basho Haiku


Roger Zare


Performance forces:
sop — perc, str 4tet



Hototogisu Ootakeyabu wo Moru tsukiyo Translation: a little cuckoo, through a vast bamboo forest, the moonlight slanting Basho’s haiku are incredibly simple and concise, yet they still manage to convey content and imagery that are extremely thought-provoking. My composition is in three large sections, each concentrating on one line of the poem. The percussion scoring mimics the imagery of the poem, presenting the bamboo forest through the use of bamboo chimes and xylophone, and utilizing the crotales, pitched gongs, and suspended cymbals to create an ethereal setting for “moonlight slanting.” This piece was written for a project called Positive Space, created by percussionists Sam Livingston and Peter Dodds. It was premiered at the University of Michigan on March 21, 2010, and then performed three times at the University of Michigan Museum of Art on March 27, 2010, during the Positive Space concert.