South Wind at Clear Dawn

for soprano and symphony orchestra

Susannah Self

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for soprano and symphony orchestra

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Composer Susannah Self
Year of Composition 2003
Duration ca.10'
Instrumentation Orchestra, Soprano
Forces Picc, 2Fl, 2Ob, CA, 2Cl, BCl, 2Bsn, CBsn, 4hn, 3Tpt, Tbn, BTbn, Tba, Timp, Hp, Perc, Soprano Solo, Strings
Categories (all composers) , , ,
Catalogue ID ce-ss1swcd1


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South Wind at Clear Dawn is a ten-minute tone poem for soprano and symphony orchestra. It is part of a trilogy of tone poems with the overall title of Hokusai Says. The pieces are based on three woodcuts by the 18th C Japanese artist Hokusai. The other two pieces are called Amida Waterfall and Great Wave. The text for South Wind at Clear Dawn is from the Hui Ming Ching (or Book of Consciousness and Life) by Liu Hua-yang, 1794.

Empty Intensity

Without beginning, without end,
Without past, without future.
A halo of light surrounds the world of the law.
We forget one another, quiet and pure,
altogether powerful and empty.
The emptiness is filled by the light of the heart
and of heaven.
The water of the sea is smooth and mirrors the
moon in its surface.
Clouds disappear in blue space; mountains
shine clear.

This work was a finalist in the Vienna Composers competition (2003). The prize was to have it recorded by the Moravian Philharmonic. A recording of this work can be purhcased here:

South Wind at Clear Dawn II composed by Dr Susannah Self from Susannah Self on Vimeo.