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"Winter" from Four Mountain Songs

by Hannah Selin

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about

"Winter" is one of Four Mountain Songs, a choral song cycle based on poems from each of the four seasons by Sōtō Zen Buddhist poet-priest Ryōkan Taigu (1758-1831). The lyrics are in English, following translations by Nobuyuki Yuasa. "Winter" is based on an untitled poem. Yuasa's translation preserves much of the rhythm and meter of the original, but adds an extra layer of sibilance and more closed vowel sounds.

As global warming causes increasingly drastic changes in weather patterns around the world, seasonal cycles are becoming more a nostalgic fantasy than a reality. How will seasons be experienced by future generations? What kinds of activities will be associated with them?

lyrics

Lyrics:

In soft spongy snow,
Wrapped entire in its fullness,
Stands the universe,
And within its boundless space,
Soft spongy snow keeps falling.

- Ryōkan Taigu, trans. Nobuyuki Yuasa

credits

released December 21, 2020
Vocals, video and composition by Hannah Selin
Mixed & mastered by Hannah Selin

Text from THE ZEN POEMS OF RYOKAN by Nobuyuki Yuasa.
Copyright © 1981 by Princeton University Press. Reprinted by permission.

© 2020 Hannah Selin, ASCAP
© 2020 Pyxidata Publishing, ASCAP

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Hannah Selin Brooklyn, New York

Hannah juxtaposes acoustic instruments with voices, electronics, and field recordings to create strikingly vibrant sound-worlds. She is a founding member of the band GADADU (www.gadadu.com), and Xanthoria Quartet (www.xanthoriaquartet.com).

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