Sakura (cherry blossoms) are very dear to Japanese culture. I never met anyone who did not enjoy the sakura. I am excited when cherry trees bloom since my birthday is in April, the height of the season. I am awe-struck by the dramatic scenery of full-blown cherry blossoms. Conversely, when the blossoms wither, I feel nostalgic.
The melody at B was composed 15 years ago with the lyrics "Sakura no hana saku koroni" (When the cherry blossoms bloom). I've always wanted to further develop this idea. However, I was kept busy writing for various musical events such as plays and TV shows and was not able to concentrate on composing a "song". In recent years I have used "songs" in wind band composition to stress the importance of singing and cantabile style in instrumental music. This is something I realized after listening to recent wind band performances.
At first glance this work consists of simple melody and harmony with colorful timbre. However, it requires and creates opportunities for various forms of interplay between the melody and accompaniment. Each performance of this piece will be different, as intended. My ultimate goal was to provide performers with their own expressive and artistic opportunities.
Each person reflects different images and feelings when looking at cherry blossoms. Music is the same. I would like for players to reveal their own emotions and create their own "SAKURA Song" just like beautiful full-blown cherry blossoms.
(Adapted from All Japan Band Association Newsletter "Suisougaku (Wind Band)" No. 188Dec. 2011)
Some time has passed since the above was written. This work was fortunate to have had many performances in concert repertoire. I have since made the instrumentation more available to various settings and ensembles.
Many options are available including optional parts, solo or soli, different harmonies, and the use of harp and vibraphone. The work can be performed by a 10-member ensemble. Feel free to make any adjustments depending on your own situation.
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