GRADE 1 & 2
GRADE 3
GRADE 4
GRADE 5&6
CHRISTMAS
SYMPHONY NO. IV
BOOKMARKS FROM JAPAN
A grade 5-6 level work for Symphonic Band in six movements.

Premiered by the
Musashino Academy of Music Wind Ensemble
Ray E. Cramer, Conducting
in the Tokyo Metropolitan Theater Concert Hall
Tokyo, Japan,  July 16 2013


IV. Kinryuzan Temple in Asakusa  
"Thunder Gate"   duration 2 minutes

The name of the print on the bookmark says Kaminari-mon Gate of Asakusa Kannon Temple
but the true name of the print is "Kinryuzan Temple in Asakusa"  by the artist Hiroshige Ando.
Hiroshige died before before the entire collection was completed. Hiroshige II finished it.
The first prints were published in order between 1856 and 1859.








The Temple History

     Originally built in 941 AD,  Kaminarimon is the outer gate leading to the Senso-ji Temple which was constructed around 628 AD near Kamagata and later relocated to its present location in Asakusa, Tokyo, Japan in 1635.  This large gate features 4 statues. The Shinto gods Fujin and Raijin are located on the front of the gate and the Buddhist god Tenryu  and goddess Kinryu stand on the reverse side. Fujin displayed on the front east side of the gate is the god of wind and Raijin on the west side is the god of thunder giving the gate its nickname of “Thunder Gate.” 
    Displayed in the middle of the gate is a giant red chochin (lantern) which weighs approximately 1,500 pounds. Despite its huge size, it is very fragile. The front of the lantern bears the painting of the gate’s name Kaminarimon, and the painting on the back reads Furaijinmon, the official name of the gate. The bottom or base of the chochin displays a beautiful wooden carving of a dragon. Over the centuries the gate has been destroyed and rebuilt many times. The current gate dates to 1960 and the new lantern was donated in 2003.
    As a tourist, you cannot get close to the statues as they are protected by fences and wire and you certainly cannot touch them.  Despite all of that, the magnificence of gate still shines through bearing testament to centuries of humans that have passed through it’s structure and the centuries yet to come.  



Notes to the Conductor

TWO taiko drums must be used of different size.











Please see the individual PROGRAM NOTES BELOW




Molly & Ray Cramer gave me a set of 6 bookmarks they had purchased in Japan.
Each paper bookmark had beautiful color sketches of  scenes or places by famous Japanese artists.
They gave them to me during a lunch outing we took together while at a convention.
I did not eat much of my lunch because I could not stop  looking at the bookmarks.
My imagination was whirling with each scene painted on each bookmark. I knew right then and there that
those 6 little bookmarks would be the subject of my next symphony.
And sure enough, those 6 little pieces of paper with their tiny little purple silk strings
consumed the better part of 6 months of my life.
Thank you Ray and Molly!










   V. "Evening Snow at Kambara"
   "Light is the Touch" duration 3 minutes & 40 seconds

   Based on the bookmark "Evening Snow at Kambara" by Hiroshige Ando
   which is from the series The 53 Stations of the Tokaido Highway






PROGRAM NOTES

Hiroshige Ando (1797-1858) traveled the Tokaido from Edo to Kyoto in 1832. The official party
he was traveling with were transporting horses which were gifts to be offered to the Imperial court.
The journey greatly inspired Hiroshige for he sketched many of its scenes during his journey's round trip.
In all, Hiroshige produced 55 prints for the series The Fifty-Three Stations of the Tokaido.  Fifty three of the
prints represent the 53 post stations along the way. The additional 2 prints are of the
starting and ending points. The post stations offered food, lodging and stables for travelers of the Tokaido Highway.
"Evening Snow at Kambara" was the 15th station Hiroshige visited.


The subtitle "Light is the Touch" refers to snow softly falling on the skin. 
In this piece, the falling snow symbolizes spiritual healing.
The piece starts with solo piano, harp and alto flute. The melody is simple
yet haunting and grows with the slow addition of players.
The piece ends with the same 3 soloists it began with.
It is a song in structure, a song representing the soft touch of healing.


NOTES TO THE CONDUCTOR

This  movement is to be visually presented as a trio (the piano, harp and alto flute)
accompanied by the concert band. The alto flute should stand like a soloist
not too far from the piano and harpist who should be close together though it is also important
for the alto flute to be fairly close to the conductor, much like a normal soloist's positioning.
All three of them should be on the opposite side of the stage from the flute section.
SEE PICTURE
The Solo 1st flute part should also stand while playing though that player need not stand
the entire piece and can stand just for its solo lines from measure 8 through measure 16,
and measures 33 through 38. Standing for the entire piece is fine. 
Visually the separation will add to the work but the true
importance is the cohesive sounds of the harp, piano and alto flute together, the separation of the
three from the band, and also the separation of those three from the solo flute. This will also
help with the projection of those instruments. If the audience can see the importance, they will
tend to hear the soloist better and the band will play differently, taking a more "accompaniment"
type approach. During the middle sections where it is the full band, there is no need of
seperation sound wise, the band should be full and huge, swallowing the soloists.
Depending on the hall, it may be necessary to pull the two flute soloists forward towards the edge of the stage
for more volume & clarity. In three different halls, this position proved to be the best. Experimentation
on your part will be necessary for each venue.

The alto flute can be replaced with a shakuhachi. A pan pipe would also be acceptable.
ONLY on the opening and closing, and even then the part will have to be altered.
The harp part can be played by a koto or shamisen in part
but the harp will still be needed for most of the middle section. I wanted to give conductors the option.
As the composer I prefer the alto flute and harp.


III. The Great Wave off Kanagawa
"The Life of One Wave" duration 3 minutes & 28 seconds

Based on the bookmark "The Great Wave off Kanagawa" by Hokusai Katsushika
which is from Hokusai's collection The 35 Views of Mt. Fuji.
















PROGRAM NOTES
"The Great Wave off Kanagawa" ( Kanagawa-oki nami-ura,
lit. "Under a Wave off Kanagawa").

The artwork of Hokusai is well known and this particular woodblock print which was published between 1830
and 1833 is well known throughout the world. His series Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji is Hokusai's most famous work. Looking at this stunning print, you can see Mount Fuji in the background but the central focus is an enormous wave called an okinami (wave of the open sea) peaked and curling with several Japanese boats in different stages entering the perilous wave.

In this work, a single wave is depicted from its beginnings far out in the sparkling sun drenched seas all
the way through its final throes onto a rocky beach.  The piece starts in the open sea, fairly calm with sunlight
refracting into thousands of tiny points of light. Depicting this are the woodwinds rippling up and down
with sixteenth triplet variations. The trombones and french horns enter the mix with a solid melodic statement.
The trumpets add in near the end of the phrase all of which depicts the first shaping of the great wave.
This entire section peaks in measure 38 where we get the full rolling motion throughout the entire band.
Just looking at the score, you can see the melodic lines and phrases going up and down the staves.
From measures 40 to 45 the music winds down, ending with only 2 instruments playing.
This signifies the separation of the wave from the open sea as it begins it's final path towards landfall.
Measure 45 to the end is its journey, growing in strength and volume to the final moments of this great wave.



NOTES TO THE CONDUCTOR

The piece is to be performed fluidly with no strong or biting attacks. The up and down motions of the melodic
lines by nature will get louder as they go up and softer as they come down. This is expected and intentional.
Do not level the volume out. As the lines move upward, encourage slight increases in volume, and decreases
as the lines descend but do not over exaggerate, it is a slight and delicate phrasing. 
Please be sure and inform the players of this interpretation.

The "brassy" text for the horns and trombones entrance in measure 9 implies the adding of slight
edge to full solid sound and does not mean for them to play super loudly. The "edge" is to come
from manipulation of tone rather than volume level.

Measures 45 to 75 there really is no single note melody. The chord blocks themselves are the point of focus.
If you feel the need for a focus note in the chords, then the top note of the chords would be the choice.
The chords should all be balanced, warm and powerful. Care should be taken to rehearse those passages slowly
so performers can hear the chord changes accurately.


   II.  Nihonbashi   
    "Market Bridge"   duration 2 minutes & 30 seconds

    Based on the bookmark "Nihonbashi" by Hiroshige Ando
    which is from the print series
    The 53 Stations of the Tokaido Highway







PROGRAM NOTES

Hiroshige Ando (1797-1858) traveled the Tokaido from Edo to Kyoto in 1832. The official party
he was traveling with were transporting horses which were gifts to be offered to the Imperial court.
The journey greatly inspired Hiroshige for he sketched many of its scenes during his round trip travels.
In all, Hiroshige produced 55 prints for the series The Fifty-Three Stations of the Tokaido.  Fifty three of the
prints represent each of the 53 post stations along the way. The two additional prints are of the starting and
ending points. The post stations offered food, lodging and stables for travelers of the Tokaido Highway.

This is Hiroshige's "Leaving Edo : Nihonbashi", "the bridge of Japan" and is number 1/55 in the series of prints.

The Nihonbashi bridge was the central point of development of which is now a business district of Chuo, Tokyo, Japan
aptly named the Nihonbashi District. For centuries it thrived as a mercantile district. The first department store
ever developed in Japan was by the Mitsui family named Mitsukoshi.  From its early days as a fish market to the current financial district of Tokyo (and Japan), this bridge spanning the Nihonbashi River is a true landmark in Tokyo. In fact,  highway signs that state the distance to Tokyo actually state the distance to the Nihonbashi bridge.
Up until shortly before 1964, you could see Mount Fuji from the bridge however the 1964 Summer Olympics
put in a raised expressway over the Nihonbashi bridge, obscuring its view entirely. Petitions to relocate the
expressway underground in order to regain view of Mount Fuji are continuous but so far have been futile
due to the costs for such a project.


THE MUSIC

This movement is a melody of my own crafting. It is folk sounding in nature as I was
trying to capture the spirit of the bridge going all the way back to 1603  when the first
wooden bridge was built over Nihonbashi River.  It started out as a fish market
but quickly became a place for other merchants to gather.  In this piece, the melody gets tossed
from instrument to instrument representing the continuous street hoking and haggling that was
present. It is light and playful in nature and nearly every instrument gets to hoke their wares.
All in all we get to hear satisfied vendors and customers melodic interpretations
along with several disgruntled buyers and sellers.

VI. Hakone
"Drifting"  duration 3 minutes & 45 seconds

Based on the bookmark entitled  "Hakone Pass" 
which is based on the actual print by Hiroshige Ando
called "Hakone" which is from the print series
The 53 Stations of the Tokaido Highway








PROGRAM NOTES

Hiroshige Ando (1797-1858) traveled the Tokaido from Edo to Kyoto in 1832. The official party
he was traveling with were transporting horses which were gifts to be offered to the Imperial court.
The journey greatly inspired Hiroshige for he sketched many of its scenes during his journey's round trip.
In all, Hiroshige produced 55 prints for the series The Fifty-Three Stations of the Tokaido.  Fifty three of the
prints represent the 53 post stations along the way. The additional 2 prints are of the
starting and ending points. The post stations offered food, lodging and stables for travelers of the Tokaido Highway.

Hakone-juku was the tenth of the fifty-three stationsof the Tokaido. 
At an elevation of 725m, it is the highest post station on the entire Tokaido offering spectacular views.
Hakone-juku was established in 1618 and over the years has proven to be a hard road to maintain due to its elevation.


THE MYSTERY
When I started researching Hakone there wasn't much of anything striking a chord within my creative self. Just a city that had a long road with lots of curves, switchbacks and other hazzards passing through it. It wasn't until I looked at the actual highway on a map that it rang a bell. I had seen this road before. I truly recognized the shape of the entire highway.

Having never been on that actual highway in real life I knew I had to unravel the mystery.
A few more searches on the internet and there it was. I am an avid "gamer" and though I tend to play
all types of games both on the computer and on consoles, I have always played racing games
and that is where I had "driven" it before,  in a video game. The drifting I did on that highway in the game
mostly sent me sailing off the road, flying through air  and ultimately landing in a fiery, end over end wipeout.
And as with any search on the internet,  Youtube offered up a seemingly endless supply of videos featuring not one, but long parades of cars in single file drifting on the Tokaido Highway as it runs through Hakone.

THE MUSIC
Subtitled "Drifting" this piece reflects my love of fast cars doing crazy fun things. In this instance
that would be drifting. Drifting is the art of manipulating the brakes, the gas and precise
steering wheel positioning keeping the car in a controled skid/slide while traveling around curves. 
The music depicts the adrenaline racing, heart pumping action of drifting cars
on the Tokaido Highway through Hakone and beyond.  It is fast, furious, full of odd meters and features
nearly every instrument in the band at least once. My version of musical drifting.
Lets just hope there are no wipeouts or fiery crashes.

Drifting on the Tokaido Highway will be on my "To Do" list during my next visit to Japan.



    I. Mount Fuji - "Fuji-san"


    Based on the bookmark " Fine Wind, Clear Morning" by Hokusai
     Katsushika which is a woodblock sketch from Hokusai's collection
     The 35 Views of Mt. Fuji.






PROGRAM NOTES
The sketch Fine Wind, Clear Morning (Gaifu kaisei), also known as South Wind, Clear Sky or Red Fuji,  by Hokusai Katsushika is the  inspiration for this work which is subtitled "Fuji-san." In early autumn when, as the original sketch title specifies, the wind is southerly and the sky is clear, the rising sun can turn Mount Fuji red. Fuji-san has many different looks depending on the viewers vantage point, time of year, weather and even time of day.
Big, bold and easily recognized yet shrouded in mystery and lore, Mount Fuji offers a multitude of inspirational facets.
This piece is based on one view of Mt. Fuji covered in mist and low clouds which slowly burns off as the day progresses.
Orchestration and composition techniques follows this scenario starting off with mysterious, unfocused scoring.
As the piece progresses, the scoring gets more focused and bold with the final statement representing Fuji-san in a totally clear view.



NOTES TO THE CONDUCTOR
No instruments are optional.

I. Mount Fuji
"Fuji-san"   duration 2:20                                 I.

II. Nihonbashi   
"Market Bridge"   duration 2:40                     II.


III. The Great Wave off Kanagawa   III.
"The Life of One Wave" duration 4:00

IV. Kinryuzan Temple in Asakusa      IV.
"Thunder Gate"   duration 3:06

V. Evening Snow at Kambara            V.
"Light is the Touch"  duration 4:05


VI. Hakone                                             VI.
"Drifting"  duration 4:00 minutes
Taiko Drum I
Two Shime Daiko drums of
different sizes are preferable.
Taiko Drum II
Two Taiko Drums of different sizes.

Bookmarks from Japan has two taiko drum parts (a total of 4 taiko type drums). To the right of this text are pictures of the drums used for the premier. This combination of drums is preferred.
    If these drums are not possible for you to aquire, please listen carefully to the recordings, especially "Thunder Gate" and get as close in sound and pitch as you can.

RECORDINGS ARE IN!
The Following recordings are from the Live performance
of the Musashino Academy of Music Wind Ensemble
conducted by Ray E. Cramer
on July 16, 2013 in the Tokyo Metropolitan Theater of the Arts.


Bookmarks has SIX MOVEMENTS
ALL MOVEMENTS CAN BE PERFORMED AND
PURCHASED SEPARATELY
(programmatically think of it like Grainger's Lincolnshire Posy)
All movements are fairly short in time length.
A performance of the entire symphony can be performed in under 22 minutes.















A Special thanks to Molly & Ray Cramer
who gave me the Bookmarks and turned my life
upside down for 6 months. Love you both!



The Premier performances of Bookmarks
set to video by Youtube  Subscribers.
Very nicely done!