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The island swims…

For piano and several percussion instruments, written for the Ensemble Konflikt (1997)

I have been planning a series of compositions for my good friend of many years, Gaya Han, and the percussionist Nakamura Isao, for a long time. Sadly, I have only gotten to finish one of these pieces, “The island is swimming…”

I took the title for this piece from a poem by Rose Ausländer, who despite facing a life of persecution and exile as a Jewish poet, left behind an important body of work. I have already incorporated one of her poems into my 1996 piece “Yet…” for mezzo soprano and viola, which I dedicated to Isang Yun.

Whenever I read her poetry, I feel like I am reading traditional Korean lyrical verses.

The island swims
To my chest
I caress
Golden trees

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