Welcome to the sixteenth iteration of the Haiku Music Challenge, hosted by Naviar Records.
A poet who doesn’t need introduction, Kobayashi Issa (1763 – 1828) was one of Japan’s most prolific poets and is considered one of the four haiku masters in Japan, together with Bashō, Buson and Shiki. His real name was Kobayashi Yataro, but eventually took the pen name Issa, which means “cup of tea”.
waking from summer sleep —
on the levee
Naviar’s community responded with twenty-three compositions inspired by Issa’s haiku. Here are some of my favorites:
Track: The Bear
We start our selection with a soothing jazz piece by Australian composer SityPhoxx. Here the author plays all the instruments, which I think is impressive considering the rhythmic complexity and how the melodies of piano and sax are gracefully blended together.
Track: Dancing Lights, Dancing Shadows
This ambient piece by DesuExSounds starts from simple ambient layers and progresses until it becomes a full and immersive electronic composition.
Track: Moon Gazing
Artist: Corine Bicadeideias
Corine combined an upbeat rhytmic section with the more traditional koto, the national instrument of Japan. Koto (string instruments) are about 180 centimetres length, and made from kiri wood.
Thank you for listening. Next week we’ll be posting music inspired by Masaoka Shiki’s haiku:
a mountain stream splashes out
The deadline to submit your track is 1 May. To find out more and participate, please visit the Naviar Records site.