This brief (2:00) unaccompanied solo is a transliteration from English to Morse Code of haiku by Ryuho (17th C.):
I scooped up the moon
In my water bucket
And spilled it upon the grass
Words are articulated by one eighth note of rest, while quarter rests separate the three lines of the poem. An oriental pentatonic scale known as the 'Pelog' (mi-fa-sol-ti-doh) restricts the melodic palate to five "white" notes (e-f-g-b-c), making this little essay feasible for a wide range of players. Absent any meter, the main challenge lies in maintaining a steady tempo. Using C-fingerings, one may play on the alto or sopranino quite satisfactorily. Players are encouraged to use a broad, undulating range of dynamics. Tempo indications are merely suggestions, but the middle section should be livelier than the first, and the last section, the most relaxed. This solo is meant as a meditation for the performer more than for an audience. A lively outdoor acoustic (egs. cave, canyon) on a clear moonlit night is the perfect venue.
The Morse is simply a means of generating rhythms. There is no expectation that a listener, even one familiar with Morse, could follow the text! The affect of the poetry is communicated through the choice of mode and scale, as well as through dynamics and articulation.
The composer plays the alto (C fingerings) on the recording. He has contributed other unaccompanied solos to the ARS collection, as well as other Morse-based compositions, including Mayday!, Haiku in Morse Nos. 9 & 11, and S-O-S (Members' Library).
-- Anthony St. Pierre
Another contemplative solo based on writing out a haiku using Morse Code as the rhythmic scaffolding wrapped in a Japanese scale. As in the composer’s Haikus in Morse No. 9 and No. 11, starting with the Morse skeleton and adding back the melody develops a layered familiarity with the piece that will reward the player further down the road. A great feature is that any instrument can play it, providing opportunities to enrich the sound between lines of the poem, if you are so moved.