At the End of the Radiance in the Sky
(Am Ende des Strahls in dem Himmeln)

by Terry Winter Owens

For Solo Shakuhachi
(Shakuhachi player also speaks and plays triangle or other percussion)

Poem by Rainer Maria Rilke
English translation by Owens
Duration ca. 6 minutes / WO-1

This work brings together elements from various cultures: A poem in the German language by the Czech poet Rainer Maria Rilke along with an English translation by the composer; an instrument indigenous to Japan, the beautiful Shakuhachi; and music composed in a contemporary Western idiom.

In this work, the Shakuhachi player is called upon to narrate and to play the percussion part.

Terry Winter Owens is an internationally published composer and pianist based in New York City. Her recent music integrates poetry and astrophysics. To read more about her or to listen to samples of her work, click here.

From the performance notes in the score, the composer writes:

THE POEM (which is printed below) is an integral part of the work and is to be spoken by the shakuhachi player as indicated in the score. The poem should also be printed in the program. I have been told that a Japanese translation by Yoshio Koshina is published by Ozawa Shoten and it may be possible to obtain permission to use it. Otherwise, the performer can choose between the original German or the English translation.

THE TRIANGLE or a bell can be suspended from the music stand or from a percussion stand placed in easy reach of the shakuhachi player. Rests preceding and following the speaking or percussion passages may be moderately extended as needed for the convenience of the shakuhaci player.

Optionally, the speaking and/or triangle passages may be performed by a second person.

The composer would appreciate notification of readings or performances of this work and would be deeply grateful for a tape or a DAT.

By Rainer Maria Rilke

O wie ist alles fern
und lange vergangen.
Ich glaube, der Stern,
von welchem ich Glanz empfange,
ist seit Jahrtausenden tot.
Ich glaube, im Boot,
das vorüberfuhr,
horte ich etwas Banges sagen. .
Im Hause hat einer Uhr
In welchem Haus?
Ich m_chte aus meinem Herzen hinaus
Unter den grossen Himmel treten. .
Ich mochte beten.
Und einer von allen Sternen
Müsste wirklich noch sein.
Ich glaube, ich wusste ,
welcher allein
gedauert hat,
welcher wie eine weisse Stadt
am Ende des Strahls in den Himmeln steht.

By Rainer Maria Rilke
(English translation by the composer)

O how distant is everything
and long, long gone,
I think that the star
whose brilliance I now receive
has been dead for a thousand years.
I think that from the boat which
just now passed
I heard something frightening being said.
In a house, a clock
In which house?
I would like to step out of my heart
and walk beneath the great heavens.
I would like to pray.
One among all the stars
surely must still exist.
I think, I do know
which alone
has endured,
the one that stands like a white city
at the end of the radiance in the sky

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