L’archipel des saisons
(The archipelago of the seasons)

Sixteen concertante miniatures for cello and mixed choir
Haïkus by Kobayashi Issa, Murakami Kijyô, Yosa Buson and Matsuo Bashô
Duration : 16’
Commissioned by the association “Vocello”
First performance on may 22d 2014 in Abbaye de L’épau, by Henri Demarquette and Ensemble Sequenza 9.3 directed by Catherine Simonpietri.

Zansétsou-ya” :

” Hareu-no Oumi” :

“Yaré Outsouna” :

“Ishi Kawa-wo ” :

“Oô-Botareu” :

“Ori-tori-tè” :

“Kouroganè-no” :

“Tsouya Tsouya-to” :

“Youki Dareuma” :

To get the score, send an email to the association Alcmène : Contact

L’ARCHIPEL DES SAISONS (The archipelago of the seasons)

Sixteen concertante miniatures for cello and mixed choir

Haïkus by Kobayashi Issa, Murakami Kijyô, Yosa Buson et Matsuo Bashô

1-4 →  Spring for cello and female choir

5-8 →  Summer for cello and mixed choir

9-12 → Autumn for cello and male choir

13-16 → Winter for cello and mixed choir

The image of an archipelago is a good definition of the concept behind this work which can be perceived either as a group of islands – short, independant pieces – or as one single entity in which all kinds of musical arrangements can be found within.

In view of the subject matter, the most logical order will, of course, always be determined by the natural cycle of the seasons.
Nature and climate are permanent features in traditional Haiku poetry, not least with these 4 poets of the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries.

For them, one line (3 verses of 5, 7 and 5 feet) is enough to simply paint one moment of eternity.
The choice of the texts was determined by the subtle use of onomatopoeia and alliteration – such a lively and inspirational source for sound.

The cello soloist, symbol of permanence amidst a sea of changes, meanders through this work of multiple seasonal colours.
Here the vocal ensemble plays the role of the orchestral concertos, presenting various interpretations according to the season in question : female voices for the awakening in Spring , male voices for the nostalgic colours of Autumn, mixed choir for the intensity of summer and the resigned lethargy of winter.

My warm thanks go out to Kaoli Isshiki for his help and precious advice.

Patrick Burgan


I – Spring (cello and 6 female voices)

1 – Zansétsou-ya / Goô Goô-to Foukeu / Matsou-no Kazè 50 sec
残雪や ごうごうと吹く 松の風 (Haïku de Murakami Kijyô)
The wind blows strongly (Fffffff) on the pine where snow lingers

2 – Patchi Patchi-to / Tsoubaki Saki-keri / Soumi Kébeuri 20 sec
ぱちぱちと椿咲(さき)けり炭けぶり(Haïku de Kobayashi Issa)
Floup, camellia blooms and charcoal crackels

3 – Hareu-no Oumi / Hinemoseu Notari / Notari kana 1 mn 50 sec
春の日のつるつる辷る樒(しきみ)かな (Haïku de Yosa Buson)
The sea, at Spring, wave lazily all day

4 – Horo horo-to / yamabouki tchir(l)ou-ka / Takino oto 1 mn 15 sec
ほろほろと 山吹(やまぶき)散るか 滝(たき)の音(Haïku de Matsuo Bashô)
Plucking flower (Flllllll) in a cascade noise

 II – Summer (cello and mixed choir)

5 – Yaré Outsouna / Haè-nga Té-wo Sseureu / Ashi-wo Sseureu 1 mn
やれ打つな はえが手をする 足をする(Haïku de Kobayashi Issa)
“Hey ! Do’nt kill me !” The fly rubs hand and feet (Bzzz) as to beg

6 – Gari Gari-to / Takè Kadjiri-keri / Kiriguiriseu 55 sec
がりがりと竹かじりけりきりぎりす(Haïku de Kobayashi Issa)
Crunch! The grasshopper crunches bamboo

7 – Ishi Kawa-wo / Dzabeu Dzabeu Watareu / Kiguiseu kana 1 mn 30 sec
石川をざぶざぶ渡る雉(きぎす)哉 (Haïku de Kobayashi Issa)
Splish splash ! The pheasant crosses the river vigorously

8 – Oô-Botareu / Yeurari Yeurari-to / Toôri kéri 20 sec
石川をざぶざぶ渡る雉(きぎす)哉 (Haïku de Kobayashi Issa)
Sssssss… The large firefly glide ; it passed before my eyes

III – Autumn (cello and 6 male voices)

9 – Kaido-ô-wo / Kitchi kitchi-to Tobeu / Battta kana 1 mn
街道を キチキチととぶ ばったかな(Haïku de Murakami Kijyô)
The grasshopper jumps (Tic tic) on the large deserted road, front of me

10 – Ori-tori-tè / Harari-to Omoki / Seuseuki kana 50 sec
おりとりて はらりとおもき すすきかな (Haïku de Murakami Kijyô)
I took in my hand a heavy rod (Brrouou) of Elephant grass

11 – Kouroganè-no / Aki-no Fou-ou-rin / Nari-ni keri ca 1 mn 40 sec
くろがねの 秋の風鈴(ふうりん) 鳴りにけり (Haïku de Murakami Kijyô)
Well ? The black iron bell rang this fall ? summer sound…

12 – Karè Seuseuki / Kasari Kasari-to / Yoakè tari 35 sec
かれ芒(すすき)かさりかさりと夜明たり(Haïku de Kobayashi Issa)
Here the blade, the rod is dead (crac crac) ; it is late fall

IV – Hiver (violoncelle et choeur mixte)

13 – Tsouya Tsouya-to / Tsouyou-no Ori-tareu / Yakèno kana 1 mn
つやつやと露のおりたるやけ野哉 (Haïku de Kobayashi Issa)
In a bright sound (Crrrrrr!), frost fell on the prairie of dead grass

14 – Youki Dareuma / Hoshi-no Oshaberi / Pètcha Keutcha-to 1 mn
雪だるま 星のおしゃべり ぺちゃくちゃと (Haïku de Kobayashi Issa)
Snowman, alone, you listen to the chatter of stars (bla bla bla…)

15 – Yoî-sougui-ya / Hashira Miri Miri / Kan-nga Ireu ca 1 mn 30 sec
宵過(すぎ)や柱ミリミリ寒が入(いる)(Haïku de Kobayashi Issa)
Far into the night, cold penetrates (crrrrac) the pole

16 – Fouyou garè-ni / Mera Mera Kiyeureu / Warabi kana 1 mn 30 sec
冬枯にめらめら消(きゆ)るわら火哉 (Haïku de Kobayashi Issa)
Already the dead of winter ; wildfire is extinguished (Shric Shric) slowly

 Vocello Project