Films, Audio & Samples
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I began Suma in Wellington in 1987 but put it aside and didn’t finish it until two years later in New York. The initial idea, and the title, came from the Suma and Akashi episodes of The Tale of Genji. While the pitch material is purely serial, the Japanese influence extends to the structure of the piece. Traditional Japanese music uses a three part principle, called jo, ha, kyu, which shapes all levels of the structure: three motifs or gestures make up a phrase, three phrases make up a subsection, three subsections make up a section, three sections make up a whole piece. In a very Western way, I added a coda to finish the piece.