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Monday, July 16, 2012

The Obscure Composer: Everything So Far

The past two years, starting in the Summer of 2010, have been very productive. In the genre of art songs alone I've written over a hundred new pieces. So it seemed like an update of my works list was long overdue.

It was an interesting exercise. For instance, I've written three song cycles this year with "bells" in the title; I guess that's what happens when Japanese poets and Zen poets provide a lot of my texts. And now everything's in nice folders, organized by genre; as part of that effort, I discovered that one of the songs in my Japanese Dedications cycle isn't filed where it should be, so tomorrow I'll be rummaging around looking for it.

Here it is, the list of all my completed pieces (not counting mere school assignments).

Instrumental works

Satori: Trio for piano, cello or bassoon, violin or flute [1982-83/1985-87]
1. The Bell
2. Haiku
3. Tanka
4. Koan
5. Sugar or Salt?
6. The Orderly Garden
7. Prelude and Fugue
8. WWHH²
9. mu
10. Mud Under a Brick
11. Tanka
12. Haiku
13. When the Pebble Hits the Stick
14. Satori

Bystander soundtrack [2006]
1. Opening
2. Eichmann
3. Head Wound
4. My Lai
5. Rwanda
6. End

Enigmatic Preludes [2010]

Pastorale for solo piano [2011]

Seasons: Haiku for solo piano [2011]
1. Summer grass/Where warriors dream (Basho/trans. Rexroth)
2. Against far off snow mountains/Two crows are flying. (Murakami Kijo/trans. Rexroth)
3. Frozen in the ice/A maple leaf. Masaoka Shiki/trans. Rexroth)
4. A blind child/Guided by his mother,/Admires the cherry blossoms (Kikaku/trans. Rexroth)

Snowy Morning [2012]
1. Snow on wooden fence
2. Falling lace
3. Grey and white morning

Reflections – Duo for B-flat clarinet and cello [2012]

Gymnopedie #4 for solo piano [2012]

Choral – SATB except as specified

Chorale: The Pink Church (William Carlos Williams) [1983] – SSAA

The Revelation Concerning Babylon [1984]
1. The Declaration of the Angel (Revelation 18:2-8)
2. The Lamentation of Kings and Merchants (Revelation 18:10-20)
3a. The Judgment of the Angel (Revelation 18:21-24)
3b. The Approval of the Multitude in Heaven (Revelation 19:1-3)

O magnum mysterium (liturgical) [1985]

Mass (liturgical) [1985] – text is the same as in Bach's B minor Mass, and thus in some minor points does not match the current text of the Roman Catholic Mass

Three Favors (Holtje) [1986]
1. Clouds of cold will
2. Slowly, warily
3. Particles of camphor

David's Lamentation (II Samuel I:19-27, English version) – countertenor, SATB, oboe, 3 trombones [1986]
David's Lamentation (Hebrew version)

Song cycles - soprano and piano except as indicated

Poems (Steve Holtje)
1. Permanence [1982]
2. Song for Grace [1983]
3. Turn of Events [1983]
4. We Know [1984]
5. Teleological Universe [1984]

Eight Poems of William Carlos Williams
1. To a Solitary Disciple [1983]
2. Quietness [1983/2011]
3. Two Plums (This Is Just to Say/To a Poor Old Woman) [1983]
4. The Locust Tree in Flower [1983]
5. Between Walls [2012]
6. To Be Recited to Flossie on Her Birthday [1983]
7. The Descent [2011]
[discarded: At the Ballgame (one verse recycled for Quietness)]
[in progress, though may be separate: Asphodel, That Greeny Flower]

Orpheus Sonnets (Rainer Maria Rilke, in German)
Book I
1. Da steig ein Baum [1984/2011]
2. Un fast ein Mädchen wars [1984/2011]
3. Ein Gott vermags [1985]
4. O ihr Zärtlichen, tretet zuweilen [1984]
5. Errichtet keinen Denkstein [1985]
6. Ist er ein Hiesiger
7. Rühmen, das ists
8. Nur im Raum der Rühmung [1984-5]
9. Nur wer die Leier schon hob [1984]
10. Euch, die ihr nie mein Gefühl verliesst [2001/2010-11]
11. Sieh den Himmel [1984]
12. Heil dem Geist [1984]
13. Voller Apfel, Birne und Banane [2001/2011]
14. Wir gehen um mit Blume [2001/2011]
15. Wartet…, das schmeckt [2001/2011]
16. Du, mein Freund [2001/2011]
17. Zu unterst der Alte [1984]
18. Hörst du das Neue [1984]
19. Wandelt sich rasch auch die Welt [1985]
20. Dir aber, Herr [2001/2011]
21. Frühling is wiedergekommen [1984]
22. Wir sind die Treibenden [1984]
23. Oerst dann [1985]
24. Sollen wir unsere uralte Freundschaft
25. Dich aber will ich nun [1984]
26. Du aber, Göttlicher

Book II (in progress)
1. Atmen du unsichtbares Gedicht [1996/2011]
2. So wie dem Meister [1982/2010]
3. Spiegel noch nie hat man wissend beschrieben [1982/2010-11]
4. O dieses is das Tier [1982/2010]
5. Blumenmuskel [2010-11]
9. Rühmt euch, ihr Richtenden [2010]
27. Gibt es wirklich die zeit [1996/2011]
28. O komm und geh [1996 or 2001/2010]
29. Stiller Freund der vielen Fernen [1996 or 2001/2010-11]

from Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus (Ludwig Wittgenstein)
1. The world is everything that is the case
2. Whereof one cannot speak

Japanese Dedications [2010-11]
1. I should not have waited (Lady Akazome Emon/trans. Kenneth Rexroth)
2. Do not smile to yourself (Sakanoe/trans. Rexroth)
3. Amidst the notes (Yosano Akiko/trans. Rexroth)
4. Left on the beach (Yosano Akiko/trans. Rexroth)
5. Like tiny golden (Yosano Akiko/trans. Rexroth)
6. Once, far over the breakers (Yosano Akiko/trans. Rexroth)
7. To love somebody (Lady Kasa Yakamochi/trans. Rexroth)
8. When spring escapes (Princess Nukada/trans. Kenneth Rexroth & Ikuko Atsumi)
9. The stars pass (Empress Jito/trans. Rexroth & Atsumi)
10. This life of yours would not cause you sorrow (Murasaki Shikibu/trans. Rexroth & Atsumi)
11. From the North send a message (Murasaki Shikibu/trans. Rexroth & Atsumi)
12. The troubled waters & The memories of long love (Murasaki Shikibu/trans. Rexroth & Atsumi)
13. I can no longer tell dream from reality (Lady Akazome Emon/trans. Rexroth & Atsumi)
14. The leaves of the bush clover rustle (Kenrei Mon-in Ukyo no Daibu/trans. Rexroth & Atsumi)
15. Grasshoppers (Kawai Chigetsu-Ni/trans. Rexroth & Atsumi)
16. Cats making love in the temple (Kawai Chigetsu-Ni/trans. Rexroth & Atsumi)
17. Be careful! (Ome Shushiki/trans. Rexroth & Atsumi)
18. The fireflies' light (Chine-Jo/trans. Rexroth & Atsumi)
19. Everyone is asleep (Enomoto Seifu-Jo/trans. Rexroth & Atsumi)
20. How beautiful the Buddhist statues (Imaizumi Sogetsu-Ni/trans. Rexroth & Atsumi)
21. There is nothing like the cool (Tagami Kikusha-Ni/trans. Rexroth & Atsumi)
22. A bird comes (Yosano Akiko/trans. Rexroth & Atsumi)
23. I have the delusion (Yosano Akiko/trans. Rexroth & Atsumi)
24. Is it because you always hope (Yosano Akiko/trans. Rexroth & Atsumi)
25. My heart is like the sun (Yosano Akiko/trans. Rexroth & Atsumi)
26. Sweet and sad (Yosano Akiko/trans. Rexroth & Atsumi)
27. All day long having (Okamoto Kanoko/trans. Rexroth & Atsumi)
28. Scattered petals gather on the road (Hatsui Shizue/trans. Rexroth & Atsumi)
29. Silently / time passes. (Hatsui Shizue/trans. Rexroth & Atsumi)
30. In the autumn when words sound (Baba Akiko/trans. Rexroth & Atsumi)
31. O brightness (Hoshino Tatsuko/trans. Rexroth & Atsumi)
32. You and me - Anonymous geisha song/trans. Rexroth & Atsumi)
33. Tokiwa Mountain's/pine trees.... (Ono no Komachi/trans. Jane Hirshfeld w/Mariko Aratani)
34. Seeing the moonlight (Ono no Komachi/trans. Hirshfeld w/Aratani)
35. If, in an autumn field (Ono no Komachi/trans. Hirshfeld w/Aratani)
36. See! The gleam (Fukuda Chiyo-ni/trans. Hirshfeld w/Aratani)
37. I think I will not go out again (Izumi Shikibu/trans. Hirshfeld w/Aratani)
38. I cannot say (Izumi Shikibu/trans. Hirshfeld w/Aratani)
39. Come quickly (Izumi Shikibu/trans. Hirshfeld w/Aratani)
40. As I dig for wild orchids (Izumi Shikibu/trans. Hirshfeld w/Aratani)
41. Although I try (Izumi Shikibu/trans. Hirshfeld w/Aratani)
42. Listen, listen (Izumi Shikibu/trans. Hirshfeld w/Aratani)
43. Beloved Buddha (Yosano Akiko/trans. Sanford Goldstein & Seishi Shinoda)
44. Lovely,/the tiny feet of a child (Yosano Akiko/trans. Goldstein & Shinoda)
45. Yet I remember once (Yosano Akiko/trans. Goldstein & Shinoda)
46. Spring is short! (Yosano Akiko/trans. Goldstein & Shinoda)
47. To punish (Yosano Akiko/trans. Goldstein & Shinoda)
48. Hide and Seek Piece (Yoko Ono)
49. Actor (Yuko Otomo)
50. Sheep (Kazuko Shiraishi)

5 Pomes Penyeach (James Joyce) [2011] baritone or mezzo with cello
1. Alone
2. She Weeps over Rahoon
3. Nightpiece
4. Watching the Needleboats at San Saba
5. Bahnhofstrasse

Songs of Death (Fumiko Nakajo, in Japanese) [2011]
1. shi ni chikaki
2. yo no kaze ni
3. no wo kesh'te

Songs of Mortality (Fumiko Nakajo, trans. Hatsue Kawamura & Jane Reichhold) [2011]
1. a lighthouse
2. ice patterns on the sea
3. unseen things
4. shining scissors
5. after death
6. as I tried to touch
7. without comfort
8. a day of budding
9. Live as long as you can
10. close to death
11. lost under the cover of the night wind
12. with the light off
(10-12 are translations/adaptations of Songs of Death)

Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird (Wallace Stevens) [2012]

Of the Surface of Things (Wallace Stevens) [2012]
1. In my room
2. From my balcony
3. The gold tree is blue

For Jeff & Brooke (Anon. Japanese/trans. Rexroth) [2012]
1. Like the tides' flood
2. We are, you and me

Bells [2012]
1. As I approach (Noin/trans. Rexroth]
2. Clear full moon (Anon. Japanese/trans. Rexroth)
3. Does the bell ring? (Anon. Japanese/trans. Rexroth)

A Shimmering Bell: Poems of Gary Snyder [2012]
1. Issa's Haiku
2. An autumn morning in Shokoku-ji/December at Yase
3. Lying in Bed on a Late Morning
4. from Little Songs for Gaia
5. from Regarding Wave

The Sound of a Bell: Six Poems of Yuko Otomo [2012]
1. Cornell Box #5: Celestial Navigation by Birds
2. Shoes
3. A Rose Is a Rose #4
4. Wind and clouds
5. Moonlit night
6. Coming full circle

Individual songs – soprano and piano except as indicated

You (Holtje) [1987-89]
Later (Holtje) – solo vocal
From the Book of Ice (Steve Dalachinsky) - soprano and double bass [2006]
Naga Uta "Utsusemito omoishi" (Hitomaro) baritone & piano [2010]
Eternity (William Blake) [2011]
Elegy for Eiji (wordless) [2011]
from The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock (T.S. Eliot) [2012]

Yes, I know that anyone who sets passages of Wittgenstein to music is probably not right in the head.

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