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Work no. 220


    Part of an ongoing (as of April 2022) series of canons for percussionist Amy Salsgiver. The title refers to a famous Hiroshige print, The Moon Reflected in the Sarashina Paddy-fields, Mount Kyodai. This English translation is from Marije Jansen's book Hiroshige's Journey in the 60-Odd Provinces. The actual characters are simply "[the] moon [in] every field". Canons are by their very nature something of an analytical genre; I felt like both the image and its Japanese title had a similar abstract feeling to them, so I chose to preserve the Japanese title for my collection.

    Our Moon and other satellites were on my mind after composing the first two pieces – a cold satellite like Ganymede, and a volcanically active one like Io, perhaps. The rest of the canons were composed to follow this train of thought. Four out of five canons here are based on the same melody, but in the solo marimba Liberté it becomes just one of many five-bar melodies, each followed by its reflection, or imitation, just one out of many... subsatellites? It's so fascinating that although satellites of planetary satellites are theoretically possible, scientists have yet to observe one.

    The individual pieces are named after ring arcs of Neptune's rings. I've long wanted to use those names as titles, and it seemed fitting for this music – not just because of the astronomical inspiration, but also because there's a political dimension to this music: I was working on the canons when the Russian warship Moskva was sunk by Ukrainian forces, hit by two R-360 Neptune anti-ship missiles. The next canon I composed for Amy, Kawanakajima, was also inspired by a Japanese print – an moonlit battle scene by Kuniyoshi.

    田毎月 – PDF score

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