The Waves

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Duration 18:00

THE WAVES  was composed with financial support from the Nederlands Kamerkoor.

The version for choir,  is dedicated to the Netherlands Chamber Choir and conductor Peter Dijkstra, who premiered it September 7 2019 at the Amsterdam Muziekgebouw, as part of the ‘Ark van Noach’ theater production.

The sax quartet version was premiered June 2019 by the Prism Saxophone Quartet in NYC and Philly, and later on ‘fine tuned’ in close collaboration with the Dutch Syrène Saxophone Quartet, who played the Dutch premiere and recorded it for their 2023 album.

Also in 2019, the string orchestra version was performed by Amstel Strijkers conducted by Marien van Staalen, who re-arranged it both for string quartet and string orchestra. With string orchestra Haagse Beek he performed it early 2023.

I was inspired by ideas of temporality and impermanence. Like everything, music is impermanent,  for sound is a vibration that appears out of nothing and disappears right after. I am fascinated by the indifferent beauty of the swelling and fading of a single sound. I was also inspired by poetry of the 13th century Japanese monk Dogen.

Special thanks to Tido Visser and Marien van Staalen for their support and for Syrène Sax Quartet for their help and inspiration.

The Waves by string orchestra Haagse Beek, cond. Marien van Staalen, 11 March 2023, Lutherse Kerk, Delft

The Waves by Ned.Kamerkoor Sep 7 2019:

The Waves by Syrène Kwartet  Dec 7 2019:

dewdrops on a blade of grass,
little time before sunrise;
do not let not the autumn wind blow too soon

moonlight, empty sky
open sky, moonlight
empty as the open sky
empty mind
losing my self
losing my self
moonlight in dewdrops
open sky
clear moon, empty mind
the world is moonlight, reflected in dewdrops

the water is clear;
fish swim just like fish
the sky is empty;
birds fly just like birds and so do fish
fish swim just like fish
moonlight, emptiness, the open sky
I lose myself in shadows
a mind as empty as the open sky
empty mind, emptiness
clear moon

the bridge of dreams
floating on the brief spring night soon breaks off:
now, from the mountain top a cloud
takes leave into the open sky
little dewdrops on a blade of grass
so little time before sunrise;
let not the autumn wind blow too soon

Elhei Dogen, 1200