The Mariko Suite
By Catherine McMichael
For Flute, Soprano or Flute, and Piano
The Mariko Suite is a collection of four traditional Japanese haiku set to to music. The music itself is not intended to sound Japanese, but rather aims, like the haiku itself, to create a mood ofsimplicity, and to let the listener achieve a meditative state of mind through the contemplation of beautiful thoughts.
Pearls – I send you a box of glowing pearls. Wear them with irises and orange blossoms.
Piano and flute interwine like a necklace woven with flowers. The soprano line is the calm face of the beloved, opening the exquisite gift.
In the Rain – a stray cat sleeps on the roof in the spring rain
More like a mist than a shower, the piano plays the rain that softens every image. Soprano and flute blend in gentle dissonance, and finally arrive at a peaceful resolution.
Winter Doves- No earth, no sky, only snowflakes falling, falling.
So still, so shy, winter doves are calling, calling.
The original haiku was only one line long. The composer added the second, to put life into the scene. The piano describes the quiet landscape, drifted with pure snow. The flute has the dove's voice and is eventually answered by the soprano.
A Fisherman- if only the world would always remain this way: A fisherman draws his little boat up the riverbank.
A joyful finale, improvisatory in mood. All three parts blend in three part harmony on this happy thought. The piano is the flowing river; flute and soprano toss the themes to and fro.