The Song of Earth

Title

The Song of Earth

Instrumentation

Guitar

Year

2012

Duration

6'

First Performance


14.06.2013
Grieg Academy, Bergen
Thomas Heimstad

«The Song of Earth» is the name of a series of paintings by the japanese artist Shioh Kato (1941). The materials for his paintings were made during a cermony on July 11, 1991, at the time of the century’s last total eclipse of the sun. Kato was handling a giant brush while decending the hill painting calligraphic characters on large canvases along his way:

«As I called out within myself, "Great Nature, Answer me!"
I painted the character "Earth" with all my might on the first canvas.
I painted the five characters: Earth, Water, Fire, Wind, and Sky.
Sound of Origin, Sound of Five Elements,
Song in Praise of Earth, Song of the Earth.
After many more eruptions, this place has been transformed again.
The wind continues to blow through the empty, vast space.»

In my piece, I have tried to give voice to each of the elements but with a strong emphasis on the element of «earth». In Kato’s pictures, «earth» is represented as various nuances of brown, and I wanted to do something similarly musically by using certain harmonies throughout the piece. These harmonies also serves as the base for the music of the other elements; fire, water, wind and sky, creating a image as «earth» as not only an element but also as a entity, indeed in the same way that we talk about earth as our whole planet.