Travellers of Eternity

Travellers of Eternity is a work for mixed choir and chamber orchestra, written for the 35th anniversary of Gemengd Koor Malkander. The lyrics are the introductory sentences of Matsuo Bashō’s (1644-1694) oku no hosomichi (The Narrow Road to Oku), as translated by Donald Keene. Bashō was a Japanese writer, poet and traveller, best known from his haiku (hokku) like furu ike ya (the old pond). Oku no hosomichi is his most famous writing and was written on one of his last travels. This travel was no ordinary one: it was above all a spiritual journey. I am inspired by Bashō’s storytelling and recognise the individuality and universality of his experience. Hence, I myself set out to explore temporality and eternity in Travellers of Eternity.

When reading the introduction, I notice that the first part is contemplating and philosophical, the second is dormant and restless, and the third is driven and determined, matching obsession. The concluding haiku then again makes me halt and wonder. Travellers of Eternity is shaped so that pulse and form keep accelerating, but separated and connected by the lines of the haiku. Throughout the work, the exploration, confrontation and convergence of relations like together and alone, sustained and interrupted, complex and simple, reoccur.

Clarinet in Bb
Horn in F

Pedal timpani (4)
Percussion (one player)

Pedal Harp
Classical guitar

Strings (minimum

Triangle, Glockenspiel, Bongos and Castanets.