Monday, December 5, 2016

Carpe Diem #1087 String Symphony No. 4 in C minor by Mendelssohn

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Welcome at a new episode of our daily haiku meme Carpe Diem. This month I hope to inspire you with classical music from all ages and from all over the world. Let the Music Inspire You ... with a beautiful piece of music by Mendelssohn.

Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy (1809-1847)

Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy

Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy (1809 – 1847), was a German composer, pianist, organist and conductor of the early Romantic period.A grandson of the philosopher Moses Mendelssohn, Felix Mendelssohn was born into a prominent Jewish family. He was brought up without religion until the age of seven, when he was baptized as a Reformed Christian. Mendelssohn was recognized early as a musical prodigy, but his parents were cautious and did not seek to capitalize on his talent.
Mendelssohn enjoyed early success in Germany, where he also revived interest in the music of Johann Sebastian Bach, and in his travels throughout Europe. He was particularly well received in Britain as a composer, conductor and soloist, and his ten visits there – during which many of his major works were premiered – form an important part of his adult career. His essentially conservative musical tastes, however, set him apart from many of his more adventurous musical contemporaries such as Franz Liszt, Richard Wagner, Charles-Valentin Alkan and Hector Berlioz. The Leipzig Conservatoire (now the University of Music and Theatre Leipzig), which he founded, became a bastion of this anti-radical outlook.

Mendelssohn wrote symphonies, concerti, oratorios, piano music and chamber music. His best-known works include his Overture and incidental music for A Midsummer Night's Dream, the Italian Symphony, the Scottish Symphony, the overture The Hebrides, his mature Violin Concerto, and his String Octet. His Songs Without Words are his most famous solo piano compositions. After a long period of relative denigration due to changing musical tastes and anti-Semitism in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, his creative originality has now been recognized and re-evaluated. He is now among the most popular composers of the Romantic era.
Again a composer whose legacy is awesome, but again he also died very young, as we have seen earlier this month. Must be the time in which they lived, but the most of the classical composers we have seen here now died very young. 

I hope this music has inspired you. I couldn't come up with a haiku or tanka immediately, so maybe I will publish my response somewhat later.
This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until December 10th at noon (CET). I will try to publish our new episode, Conquest of Paradise by Vangelis, later on.

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Carpe Diem #1086 Waltz of the Flowers by Tchaikovsky

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

I hope you did like the composition of yesterday. Philip Glass is a great composer and he is from our time. This month we are seeking inspiration through the classical music by the greatest composers of all times and from all over the globe.

Today I hope to inspire you through a beautiful piece of music by Tchaikovsky. Who was Tchaikovsky? Let us take a look into history ...

Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (1840-1893)
Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky

Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (1840 – 1893), was a Russian composer of the late-Romantic period, some of whose works are among the most popular music in the classical repertoire. He was the first Russian composer whose music made a lasting impression internationally, bolstered by his appearances as a guest conductor in Europe and the United States. Tchaikovsky was honored in 1884, by Emperor Alexander III, and awarded a lifetime pension.

Although musically precocious, Tchaikovsky was educated for a career as a civil servant. There was scant opportunity for a musical career in Russia at that time and no system of public music education. When an opportunity for such an education arose, he entered the nascent Saint Petersburg Conservatory, from which he graduated in 1865. The formal Western-oriented teaching he received there set him apart from composers of the contemporary nationalist movement embodied by the Russian composers of The Five, with whom his professional relationship was mixed. Tchaikovsky's training set him on a path to reconcile what he had learned with the native musical practices to which he had been exposed from childhood. From this reconciliation, he forged a personal but unmistakably Russian style—a task that did not prove easy. The principles that governed melody, harmony and other fundamentals of Russian music ran completely counter to those that governed Western European music; this seemed to defeat the potential for using Russian music in large-scale Western composition or for forming a composite style, and it caused personal antipathies that dented Tchaikovsky's self-confidence.

Here is the composition to inspire you, Waltz of the Flowers (video source You Tube)

"Waltz of the Flowers" is part of Tchaikovsky's "Nutcracker" one of his most beautiful ballets.

spring breeze cherry blossoms dance conquering tears

© Chèvrefeuille

In this haiku I have tried to bring the sadness of the cherry blossoms scattered by the wind, but also tried to bring the joy of that wonderful scene of cherry blossom petals dance on the wind. While they dance they make the sadness go away.

This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until December 9th at noon (CET). I will try to publish our new episode, string symphony no.4 in C minor by Mendelssohn, later on.

Carpe Diem Special #221 Candy's Showcase first " promise in red clouds "

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Welcome at our first Carpe Diem Special of December 2016. As you all know Candy won our "tribute to Jane" kukai with the following haiku:

morning walk
trailing behind me
only footprints

© Candy

With this haiku she won not only the opportunity to create an exclusive CDHK e- book, but also being our featured haiku poetess of this month. Candy's weblog: Rhymeswithbug you can find by clicking on the link.

This is what Candy says about herself: "I am a reader, writer, and snapper of photos in my garden. The tiny creatures I find there are my muses".

I have already started to create her E-book which I have given the "work-title": footprints and I love to share here a few of Candy's haiku to inspire you.

pray for rain upon
this thirsty patch of terra
promise in red clouds
red clouds
Another nice one, this time a very delicate and fragile scene:

butterfly follows
the scent and hue of flowers
feast on zinnia
And a last one to inspire you:
flock of black birds
origami in the sky
fall migration
© Candy
Candy is a very gifted haiku poet and has written wonderful haiku and tanka, but maybe tanka is for a next CD-Special.
I hope I have inspired you with the beautiful poetry of Candy.
This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until December 9th at noon (CET). I will try to publish our next episode,

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Carpe Diem #1085 The Kiss (Philip Glass)

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Today I have a wonderful piece of music for your inspiration. It is composed by one of the greatest modern composers I know, Philip Glass. At the end of our last century I heard work of Glass for the very first time. I was visiting a friend of mine and he had bought a wonderful modern Opera, as he called it. "You have to listen to this part", he said. He played a part of an Egyptian dead-song. "Awesome", I said. "Who has written this?" He showed me the case of the CD and there it was a beautiful image of Akhnaten, the forgotten pharao who introduced the "one-god" religion of Aton. Maybe you can remember his name from our trip along and over the Nile.
"This is Philip Glass' masterpiece "Akhnaten", my friend said. "I just recently discovered his music". I was immediately a fan of this modern times classical music composed by Philip Glass, but for your inspiration I have chosen another composition by him.

Philip Glass (1937 - )
Philip Glass

Philip Glass (born January 31, 1937) is an American composer. He is considered one of the most influential music makers of the late 20th century.
Although his compositions were often described as minimal music, as were other "minimalists" such as La Monte Young, Terry Riley, Glass has since distanced himself from the "minimalist" label, describing himself instead as a composer of "music with repetitive structures", which he has helped evolve stylistically. Currently, he describes himself as a "classicist", pointing out that he is trained in harmony and counterpoint and studied such composers as Franz Schubert, Johann Sebastian Bach, and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart with Nadia Boulanger.
Glass has founded a namesake musical group, the Philip Glass Ensemble, with which he still performs on keyboards, and has written 24 operas, musical theatre works, ten symphonies, eleven concertos, solo works, chamber music including seven string quartets and instrumental sonatas, and film scores. Three of his film scores have been nominated for Academy Awards.

This video is created by Elliott Walsh, (images and music are copyrighted and the copyright lays with the artists.)

sweet sensations
I kiss the woman of my life
my heart beats again

© Chèvrefeuille

This episode ( a little belated maybe) is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until December 8th at noon (CET). I will publish our new episode, The Waltz of the Flowers by Tchaikovsky, later on. For now .... have fun!

Friday, December 2, 2016

Carpe Diem #1084 Serenade (Schubert)

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

This month, the last month of the year 2016, December its all about music. This month I love to inspire you through beautiful classical music of all ages and from all over the globe. Music ... emotion as is haiku and tanka. Haiku and Tanka are almost the same according to the sphere we want to share ... emotions ...

A beautiful piece of music can bring me to tears, but also to big smiles. A beautiful haiku or tanka does that to me also ... there are several haiku and tanka which brought me to tears, but also brought bright smiles on my face.

One of the haiku which I recently wrote which brought me to tears was the following:

morning dew
evaporates at sunrise
a skylark's song

© Chèvrefeuille

You certainly will remember this one, because I wrote it as response on the death-poem by Jane Reichhold, whom I miss every day. Of course there was the sadness and sorrow for the loss of our beloved co-host Jane Reichhold, but in this haiku I see the disappearing of the (in my opinion) most beautiful part of the early sunrise as the sun rises and brings the dew its light ... making the dew into diamonds or little crystals, but than ... as the sun rises further that fragile beauty disappears, evaporates .... and than there is that song of the skylark ... an intense feeling, an intense emotion ... tears ...

This haiku could be a serenade ... to the one you loved and lost, but it also brings the idea of rebirth to us again.

Franz Schubert (1797-1828)
Franz Schubert

Franz Schubert (1797 – 1828) was an Austrian composer. Schubert died before his 32nd birthday, but was extremely prolific during his lifetime. His output consists of over six hundred secular vocal works (mainly Lieder), seven complete symphonies, sacred music, operas, incidental music and a large body of chamber and piano music. Appreciation of his music while he was alive was limited to a relatively small circle of admirers in Vienna, but interest in his work increased significantly in the decades following his death. Felix Mendelssohn, Robert Schumann, Franz Liszt, Johannes Brahms and other 19th-century composers discovered and championed his works. Today, Schubert is ranked among the greatest composers of the late Classical and early Romantic eras and is one of the most frequently performed composers of the early nineteenth century.

Today I love to inspire you with a wonderful piece of music composed by Franz Schubert. (Video created by Angelo Vullo)

Listen ... listen to this beautiful piece of music, I think it's one of Schubert's most beautiful pieces.

a new day rises birds sing their own little song leaves joining the mountain stream babbles forth reflecting the sun beams ... a light show

© Chèvrefeuille

Well ... this time I created a tanka inspired on this music, I hope you did like the music and that it will inspire you all to create your beauties through the music ...

This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until December 7th at noon (CET). I will try to post our next episode, The Kiss by Philip Glass, later on.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Carpe Diem #1083 Air (Bach)

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Well ... our first day of December has almost gone. I had a day off, but it was a day planned fully with all other things I had to do, but hadn't time for. Today my mom and I visited the graveyard to see how beautiful my dad's grave has become after placing the tombstone. It has become really beautiful, but it was also very emotional to be there after eight months. We stood there in deep silence, only the sound of nature and the beating of our hearts ... finally we can start to mourn really.

Today I have a nice piece of music for you by one of my favorites composers, J.S. Bach. I have played a lot of his oeuvre and I enjoyed that very much. I played on the organ of our church and I had my own chamber organ with the sound pipes enclosed in its body. I really enjoyed playing it. It brought the church organ into our home.

J.S. Bach (1685-1750)
J.S. Bach

Johann Sebastian Bach (1685 – 1750) was a German composer and musician of the Baroque period. He enriched established German styles through his skill in counterpoint, harmonic and motive organization, and the adaptation of rhythms, forms, and textures from abroad, particularly from Italy and France. Bach's compositions include the Brandenburg Concertos, the Goldberg Variations, the Mass in B minor, two Passions, and over three hundred cantatas of which around two hundred survive. His music is revered for its technical command, artistic beauty, and intellectual depth.
Bach's abilities as an organist were highly respected during his lifetime, although he was not widely recognized as a great composer until a revival of interest in and performances of his music in the first half of the 19th century. He is now generally regarded as one of the greatest composers of all time.

The piece of music which I love to share today to inspire you is Air by J.S. Bach, it's a wonderful composition and I have played it several times myself.

heavenly music
birds praising their Creator
a new day rises

© Chèvrefeuille

I hope the music of Bach will inspire you.

This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until December 6th at noon (CET). I will try to publish our new episode, Serenade by Schubert, later on.

!!! PS. I am hopelessly behind with commenting I hope to catch up soon !!!

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Carpe Diem #1082 Raindrops (Chopin)

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Welcome at the first episode of our new Carpe Diem Haiku Kai month, December 2016. This month it's all about the theme "Let The Music Inspire You" and we start this new month, in which I hope to inspire you through music, mostly classical music from all over the globe and of all times, with a beautiful piece of music by Chopin.

Frédéric Chopin (1810-1849)
Frédéric Chopin:

Frédéric François Chopin (1810 – 1849), was a Polish composer and virtuoso pianist of the Romantic era who wrote primarily for the solo piano. He gained and has maintained renown worldwide as a leading musician of his era, whose "poetic genius was based on a professional technique that was without equal in his generation." Chopin was born in Warsaw. A child prodigy, he completed his musical education and composed his earlier works in Warsaw before leaving Poland at the age of 20.

At 21 he settled in Paris. Thereafter, during the last 18 years of his life, he gave only some 30 public performances, preferring the more intimate atmosphere of the salon. He supported himself by selling his compositions and by teaching piano, for which he was in high demand. Chopin formed a friendship with Franz Liszt and was admired by many of his musical contemporaries, including Robert Schumann. In 1835 he obtained French citizenship. After a failed engagement to Maria Wodzińska, from 1837 to 1847 he maintained an often troubled relationship with the French woman writer George Sand. A brief and unhappy visit to Majorca with Sand in 1838–39 was one of his most productive periods of composition. In his last years, he was financially supported by his admirer Jane Stirling, who also arranged for him to visit Scotland in 1848. Through most of his life, Chopin suffered from poor health. He died in Paris in 1849, at the age of 39, probably of tuberculosis.

Chopin's music, his status as one of music's earliest superstars, his association (if only indirect) with political insurrection, his love life and his early death have made him a leading symbol of the Romantic era in the public consciousness. His works remain popular.

In my teenagers time I fell in love with the music of Chopin through my music teacher who was "prepping" me for the Conservatory. Chopin really created wonderful pieces of music mostly love-themed.

Beginning in D-Flat Major, this piece focuses on inner confliction and the contemplation of the solitary self. The composition was born from the mind of Frédéric Chopin. (Video created by Undying 23)

raindrops they fall one by one and become one

© Chèvrefeuille

In this haiku I have tried to bring the inner conflict to an image of nature. Raindrops (inner conflicts) fall one by one, but at the ground the become one ... and that makes the conflict solved and brings peace of mind.

This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until December 5th at noon (CET). I will (try to) publish our new episode, Air by J.S. Bach, later on. For now ... enjoy the music and have fun.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Carpe Diem Tanka Splendor #30 pilgrimage

!! The first seven (7) prompts for December 2016 Let The Music Inspire You are NOW ONLINE you can find them in the menu above !!

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Well ... this is it ... our last episode of our Tanka Splendor month. This month I hope you had a lot of fun and that you have learned something. Through the Ten Tanka Writing Techniques by Teika we explored the beauty of Tanka. It was a real adventure and a journey, because tanka isn't easy and as you all know not really my "cup of tea".

As I started this Tanka Splendor month I introduced to you a tanka which I had written and I asked myself the question if this tanka would change after this month ... well let's look at that tanka again.

lost in the woods
searching for a new path
between ferns
the early light of day
points the way to leave

© Chèvrefeuille

This tanka wasn't strong but it was the "scene" to explain why I choose to do a Tanka month. It gives words to my struggle with tanka, to me tanka is a new path, because I am a "real" haiku poet. This month was the light that poiinted me the way to leave the safe grounds of haiku and I hope that I have improved my tanka writing skills.
This tanka I will not change, but I will try to create a new tanka here with our theme for today ... pilgrimage ...
Maybe you can remember our journey back in 2014, our two month pilgrimage following in the footsteps of Kobo Daishi on Shikoku Island were we visited the 88 temples. This pilgrimage is a once in a lifetime must for the Buddhists and we made that pilgrimage virtually. We were two months on our way on Shikoku and almost on the same time we walked to Santiago De Compostela together with Paulo Coelho (one of my favorite authors).

Here is the tanka which I wrote inspired on "pilgrimage" :

pilgrims transformation
as buds burst open in spring
flowering cherry trees
dancing naked to honor them
the beauty of the Sakura

© Chèvrefeuille

I think this tanka is close to the beauty of the real tanka written by a lot of you. It has the beauty of nature, but also the beauty of love. I think this tanka is one of my best. Did I succeed to find my path to tanka writing? Tanka ... it still isn't really my "cup of tea", but it is a poetry form which I will try more often ...

This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until December 4th at noon (CET). I will try to post our first episode of December later on ...

Monday, November 28, 2016

Carpe Diem Tanka Splendor #29 autumn's voice

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Welcome at the penultimate episode of our Tanka Splendor month. It was really a joy to create this special Tanka month and I am so glad that I dare to do it, because (as you all know) I am not a great tanka-poet. Haiku is more my "cup of tea", but I just had to do this month, not only for myself, but also for you and most of all for Jane Reichhold. Jane once said to me "you are a very sensitive guy and tanka is your kind of poetry, go on try it ..."

Today our prompt is autumn's voice, but what do I mean by that? With this prompt I hope to challenge you to create tanka in which you are listening to autumn's voice. Autumn's voice ... is the tough wind, the rustling of the fallen leaves, the hard smashing rains, the sound of birds on their way to warmer places and more.

A wonderful piece of music created by Nujabes in which he has tried to bring the voice of autumn. Maybe this music can help to awaken your muse.

just the wind
the rustling of fallen leaves
and the soft rain
together with the one I love
I discover the voice of autumn

© Chèvrefeuille

Well ... I hope you did like this episode and of course I hope that it will inspire you to create tanka. This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until December 3rd at noon (CET). I will (try to) publish our new episode, the last of this Tanka Splendor month, pilgrimage, later on. During lack of time, I have a very busy week, I will not publish a Universal Jane episode this Wednesday. So only the regular prompt.

I am busy with the new prompt-list for December and I hope to publish it on time. As you all know in December we will explore classical music of all times. I am looking forward to this new month. I also hope to launch a new challenging kukai.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Carpe Diem Tanka Splendor #28 Teika's Tenth Tanka Writing Technique "Demon-quelling" (prompt: autumn departs)

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

This is the last Tanka Writing Technique by Teika, it's very specific for that time as I look at the "name" for this Tanka Writing Technique "demon-quelling". It will not be an easy task to explain this Tanka Writing Technique, but I will give it a try together with Jane Reichhold.

Demon-quelling - onihishigitei (or kiratsu no tei), characterized by strong or even vulgar diction and terms

Because its methods are at odds with the classical poetical values of beauty, elegance, and grace, Teika said the style to be "more difficult" and should be attempted only when the student has become proficient in the other methods. One of Teika's examples is taken from the Man'yoshū, #4:503 which is a more violent version than a similar poem in the Shinkokinshū, #10:911:

kamikaze ya / Ise no hamaogi / orishikite / tabine ya suran / araki hamabe ni

divine winds
reeds on the Ise beach
are broken
to make a traveler's bed
on this rough shore

The operative words to demonstrate the demon-quelling style are "divine winds" the breaking off of reeds, and the rough seacoast. Teika taught that even though the poet put these elements into a poem, they should be treated with sensibility and gentleness however, it seems this has been most easy to ignore.

Let me try to explain this idea. As you maybe know in ancient Japan, as in many other ancient cultures, there were stories about demons, devils and ghosts, but in Japan and for example China they made these "oni" look like monstrous creatures.
Oni are a kind of yōkai from Japanese folklore, variously translated as demons, devils, ogres, or trolls. They are popular characters in Japanese art, literature and theater.

Oni (demons) woodblock print

Depictions of oni vary widely but usually portray them as hideous, gigantic ogre-like creatures with sharp claws, wild hair, and two long horns growing from their heads. They are humanoid for the most part, but occasionally, they are shown with unnatural features such as odd numbers of eyes or extra fingers and toes. Their skin may be any number of colors, but red and blue are particularly common.

They are often depicted wearing tiger-skin loincloths and carrying iron clubs called kanabō. This image leads to the expression "oni with an iron club", that is, to be invincible or undefeatable. It can also be used in the sense of "strong beyond strong", or having one's natural quality enhanced or supplemented by the use of some tool. In addition to this, it can mean to go overboard, or be unnecessarily strong or powerful.

It's the looks of these "oni" which Teika uses to describe this "demon-quelling" Tanka Writing Technique.

So the goal is to create a tanka characterized by strong or even vulgar diction and terms. Not easy I would say, because my goal for tanka (and haiku) is elegance and beauty and not anti-beauty or anti-elegance. But I have given it a try:

broken wings a butterfly crushed under my feet fragile beauty gone leaving me with a broken heart

© Chèvrefeuille

Huh ... the idea of this "anti-beauty and anti-elegance" is really not my "cup of tea", but I think this tanka fits the Tenth Tanka Writing Technique. As you can read the prompt for today is "autumn departs", so I have tried to create a tanka with that prompt too:

broken branches
last leaves ripped apart
autumn departs
the first snow starts to fall
cuddling in front of the hearth

© Chèvrefeuille

This episode is open for your submissions tonight at 7.00 PM (CET) and will remain open until December 2nd at noon (CET). I will try to publish our new episode, autumn's voice, later on. For now ... have fun!

PS. I had a CD Special Japanese Poetry In The Lowlands planned, but during lack of time I have decided to drop that episode, maybe I will publish it next month.