Selections from “Mariko Suite”

Composed by Catherine McMichael (b.1954)

Winter Doves
No earth, no sky, only snowflakes falling, falling.
So still, so shy, winter doves are calling, calling.

The Mariko Suite is a collection of four traditional Japanese haiku set to music. The music itself is not intended to sound Japanese, but rather aims, like haiku itself, to create a mood of simplicity, and to let the listener achieve a meditative state of mind through the contemplation of beautiful thoughts. The Winter Doves haiku was originally 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 doves’ voices, and is eventually answered by the soprano.

I send you a box of glowing pearls. Wear them with irises and orange blossoms.

Piano and flute intertwine like a necklace woven with flowers. The soprano line is the calm face of the beloved, opening the exquisite gift.

Catherine McMichael

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