December 7, 2023
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Insen Dances
Year: 2015     Timing: 6:40
for Wind Ensemble
There is a rhythm permeating all living things, embedded in the behavior of organisms at every level of complexity. From the morning call of the swallow to the cicada's assertive buzzing, there are three progressive stages as a sound increases in speed and intensity. The legendary Japanese playwright Zeami named these stages Jo (beginning), Ha (breaking), and Kyu (rapid), observing that 'every phenomenon in the universe develops itself' according to this steadily building progression. Jo-Ha-Kyu became the foundation Zeami's plays and the basic structure of Noh—a traditional Japenese fusion of dance, song, and theater. I wrote Insen Dances as a musical homage to Noh, Jo-Ha-Kyu, and Zeami's aesthetic ideals—after all, Zeami himself wrote that 'music is the soul of the Noh.'


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