version for piano(1996, rev. 2004)
|Movements||I "Tian" (heaven) - II "Di" (earth) - III "Dong" (east) - IV "Nan" (south) - V "Hsi" (west) - VI "Bei" (north)|
|Premiere||May 3, 1996 by Jon Sakata, Marsh Chapel, Boston, MA|
I have composed a series of pieces entitled Gardens, as a tribute to the Ming Dynasty Yuen Yeh, the earliest and the most exquisite Chinese horticultural treatise. Gardens, in this discourse, are not treated as a confined enclosure, but as an extended environment. A Chinese garden is a visual world as well as a world of other senses. Passing clouds, remote mountains, sound of ancient temple bells, transience of seasons, . . . all are part of the extended space. When we recite a poem or play the seven-stringed zither, our spirits immerse into the garden as we remain reflective observers.
These pieces are musical gardens. To perform one of them is to walk through a garden of sounds.
Garden Eight was composed for any solo instrument. It consists of six pitches and six relative durations, and it is dedicated to a friend whom the composer had seen six times before composing this work.