Toro nagashi (Lantern-floating) (Peter Bird)

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  • CPDL #23379:        (Sibelius 5)
Editor: Peter Bird (submitted 2011-04-16).   Score information: Letter, 22 pages, 234 kB   Copyright: CC BY SA
Edition notes: Japanese and English text underlay. Text and piano part follow the 16-page choral score in the PDF file. MusicXML source file is in compressed .mxl format.

General Information

Title: Toro nagashi (Lantern-floating)
Composer: Peter Bird

Number of voices: 4vv   Voicing: SATB
Genre: SecularPartsong

Languages: Japanese, English
Instruments: Piano

Published: 2011

Description: May be sung in either English or Japanese (Romaji). This piece is dedicated to the victims of the 2011 tsunami, and to their surviving relatives. The first two poems were selected because they serve as metaphors for the disaster, and the last three poems were selected because they serve as metaphors for the summer Obon festival observances that may provide a measure of healing for some.

External websites:

Original text and translations

Five short tanka poems from the 13th-century “Ogura Hyakunin Isshu”. English translations (based on those of Clay MacCauley, 1917).

Japanese.png Japanese text

Yama kawa ni
Kaze no kaketaru
Shigarami wa
Nagare mo aenu
Momiji nari keri
(Harumichi no Tsuraki)

Kaze o itami
Iwa utsu nami no
Onore nomi
Kudakete mono o
Omou koro kana
(Minamoto no Shigeyuki)

Wata no hara
Yasoshima kakete
Kogi idenu to
Hito ni wa tsugeyo
Ama no tsuri bune.
(Sangi Takamura)

Se o hayami
Iwa ni sekaruru
Takigawa no
Warete mo sue ni
Awan to zo omou
(Sutoku In)

Tachi wakare
Inaba no yama no
Mine ni oru
Matsu to shi kikaba
Ima kaeri kon
(Chunagon Yukihira)
 

English.png English text

In a mountain stream
There is a tangled barrier
Built by busy wind.
Yet it's only maple leaves,
Powerless to flow away.


Like a driven wave,
Dashed by fierce wind on a rock,
So am I: alone,
Crushed and broken on the shore,
Thinking of what used to be.


Over the wide sea,
T’ward its many distant isles,
Sailing to the door.
Those ahead will lead me on;
Heavenly fleet of stars.


Swiftly rushing stream,
Divided by a boulder
In its headlong flow:
Though divided, on it runs,
And at last unites again.


Though we are parted,
If on Mount Inaba's peak
I should hear the sound
Of the pine trees growing there,
I will come back to you.