Ripples in the Sand
Inspirations of a Japanese Zen Garden (Karesansui)
by David Marlatt
for flute quartet
A karasansui is a Japanese rock garden which is an enclosed shallow sandbox containing sand, gravel, rocks, and occasionally grass or other natural elements. The main elements of karesansui are rocks and sand, with the sea symbolized not by water but by sand raked in patterns that suggest rippling water. The most famous Zen garden is at the Ryoan-ji Temple in Kyoto, Japan.
This short work is peaceful and reflective and accessible to young musicians. The major pentatonic scale is used as the basis for this composition which creates an interesting texture and evokes the sound of an ancient Japanese folk song.