Hope is the Hardest Love We Carry

  • 03 Dec 2017
  • 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM
  • Museum of Fine Arts, Harry and Mildred Remis Auditorium (Auditorium 161), Avenue of the Arts, 465 Huntington Avenue, Boston, MA 02115

Hope is the Hardest Love We Carry

Sunday, December 3, 2017 from 2PM – 3PM

Museum of Fine Arts, Harry and Mildred Remis Auditorium (Auditorium 161) Avenue of the Arts, 465 Huntington Avenue, Boston, MA 02115

Although the wind
blows terribly here,
the moonlight also leaks
between the roof planks
of this ruined house.
(Shikibu)


Museum of Fine Arts, Boston and New England Conservatory Present ‘Hope Is the Hardest Love We Carry’ featuring poet Jane Hirshfield and composer and flutist Linda J. Chase

 

Hope Is the Hardest Love We Carry, a chamber composition by Linda J. Chase, features poet Jane Hirshfield reading her own poetry and her translations (with Mariko Aratani) of thousand-year-old Japanese poems by Izumi Shikibu and Ono no Komachi. The chamber composition and improvisational piece explores timeless themes of impermanence, beauty, resilience and awe through translations of Heian-period Japanese poems by Izumi Shikibu and Ono no Komachi.

Hope Is the Hardest Love We Carry is a collaboration between composer and flutist Chase and poet Hirshfield conceived in the aftermath of the 3/11/11 Great East Japan earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear disaster. In March 2011, Chase was invited by the Japan Foundation to explore the relationship between sound and silence in the music of shakuhachi, the traditional Japanese bamboo flute, and to experience the deep respect for nature reflected in Japanese music and arts. Her journey unexpectedly became a parable for her search when, on March 11, her train suddenly derailed, sixty miles from Fukushima. 

Immediately following the event, Chase took refuge in a book she had been carrying throughout her trip, The Ink Dark Moon, a translation by Jane Hirshfield and Mariko Aratani of thousand-year-old Japanese poems by Izumi Shikibu and Ono no Komachi. Chase wrote an essay that reflected on and drew from her encounter in Japan which she sent to Hirshfield with whom Chase had no prior interaction. Hirshfield, happened to return from Japan just two weeks prior to the disaster, was inspired by Chase’s pilgrimage and resulting meditation. The two artists began a correspondence that led to the collaborative concert, Hope Is the Hardest Love We Carry, based on both Hirshfield’s translations and her own poetry. 

Hope Is the Hardest Love We Carry crosses between notated and improvisational music through vocal and instrumental pieces and poetry recited by Hirshfield. The performance features CI co-chair and pianist Hankus Netsky, CI faculty and students with instrumentation including flute, piano, violin, cello, marimba, percussion, voice and shakuhachi.

Tickets, available at the MFA or online, are required for this event.

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