The Willow Bay where Eagles are heard

17/7/97 for orchestra

Composer’s note

‘The Sung painter… would listen to what nature had to say, until his soul was filled with its spirit. Then he would go home or retire to his hut, place a piece of paper or silk on a table and tell with his brush the story of what he had seen and felt…’Dagney Carter China Magnificent

The painter & poet Mu Ch’i was a thirteenth-century Cha’an (Zen) Buddhist of the Southern Sung dynasty. It is said that he sat for two years contemplating the blank paper for his masterpiece Six Persimmons, and then completed the painting in minutes using a few deft strokes. ‘The Willow Bay where Eagles are heard’ is one of a famous set of views of the West Lake at Hangchow, painted by Mu Ch’i and others.


One of my favourite pieces, with, regrettably, rather little prospect of performance. A new score is in preparation, which I may well put up here as a pdf.

Duration ~9′