"Heaven, Earth, and Man" for Orchestra
MetadataShow full item record
Heaven, Earth, and Man for Orchestra is based on both Korean shaman ritual ("Kut") and Zen Buddhism. My intention was to integrate Western musical elements with East Asian traditional concepts. The overall structure of the piece is related to the procedure of Korean shaman ritual ("Kut"). There are three movements: Evocation, Dance, and Enlightened. The first movement, "Evocation", is designed to evoke Heaven, Earth, and Man. The distinctive features of Heaven and Earth are composed of two different octatonic scales, while Man is depicted by a whole-tone scale. The motive of "Earth" is treated and elaborated in cello and double bass with dark sonorities. Then this motive reemerges in the harp and woodwinds in a high register in the last section, "luminous". The second movement, "Dance", represents everything in the Universe (i.e. Heaven, Earth, and Man) communicating with each other through the dance. Overall, the actual rhythm of "Kut" appears in the percussion (mm.2-3). The motives of Heaven, Earth, and Man appear with same scales as in the first movement, but with different pitches. And a climactic high Gb connects the second and third movements. In the last movement, "Enlightened", all things in the Universe come together to be connected and reconciled. The melody, introduced by an alto flute, is derived from the "Kut" ritual of the last stage. Spiritual enlightenment is described through the sound of crotales and a triangle off-stage. Although "Kut" influenced the compositional structure and musical elements of the piece, the last movement, "Enlightened," presents the main philosophy underlying this piece, namely, "Buddhism." Buddhist teaching states that "fundamental mind, your true self, is invisibly connected to the Universe and through it all things communicate with each other and work together as one mind."