My song cycle, Haiku Songs of Karigane, was recorded and commercially released by PARMA Recordings in October 2016. It is performed by Jennifer Bird, soprano and Mutsumi Moteki, piano. Featured above is the second song in the five-song cycle. All five songs can be listened to on Youtube. The songs are in Japanese. The haiku text of “Hanamizuki” with its English translation is:
Hanamizuki mashironi wagakoto hanare sumu.
Dogwood, pure white—living apart from my child.
From among the many beautiful haiku written by my mother-in-law, Kaoru Karigane, I selected five to set to music. These five suggest to me a mother’s special love for a daughter who lives far away in a distant country. I have organized the poems to create a kind of haiku narrative about the mother’s memories of special moments in her life: moments colored with loneliness, boredom, longing, joy, pain, and love.
Note: This website (davidkirtley.com), also contains a recording of the full song cycle as premiered by MeeAe Cecilia Nam, soprano and Mutsumi Moteki, piano in 2006. On the same page you will also find the entire Japanese texts along with their English translations. That earlier score used by Ms. Nam and Ms. Moteki is only slightly different from the newer edition of the score used for the 2016, PARMA release. To listen to the 2006 performance, please refer to the “Compositions” tab on the left side of this homepage.
Note: the rest of the Cadence CD contains some fine choral works by various composers.