WINDOW SEAT (2014) by Thomas Osborne
Yoko Reikano Kimura, James Nyoraku Schlefer, Cassatt String Quartet
There is something both unnatural and transformative in viewing the world from 30,000 feet. Surveying the Earth through the window of a jet, one experiences it from the kind of distance that provides an immense source of perspective. From here, one confronts nature’s beauty and mankind’s effect on the natural landscape. Window Seat is a series of seven portraits as seen from the air, played without interruption.
Ascent and Acceleration: The strings gradually rise and gain momentum, catapulted into the sky.
Breaking Through: The shakuhachi and koto announce themselves by ham- mering their way through dense clouds.
Cloud Sculptures: Here the shakuhachi takes a leading role, floating above a sea of clouds that rises up in billowing pillars.
Crop Circles: The landscape of the American West is dotted with circular agricultural fields, their shapes revealed only from above. The strings begin this section, and their circling patterns are traded
off to the koto before the entire ensemble joins in.
Endless Blue: A meditation on the immensity of the oceans, the strings swell in and out of harmonies like waves.
Rippling Ranges: The shakuhachi and koto begin with rustling, unsynchro- nized patterns, rising and falling like mountain peaks.
Descent: The journey completed, instruments echo each other in gently-fall- ing lines, all converging in the end.
Window Seat was composed for James Nyoraku Schlefer, Yoko Reikano Kimura, and the Cassatt String Quartet.