One of the most fundamental and intriguing aspects of nature is the concept of cycles. We are surrounded by natural rhythms, large and small. From the changing of the seasons to our planet’s orbit around the sun, the rising and falling of the tides to the circle of life and death, our existence is dependent on and defined by cycles. Perhaps no cycle is felt more in our daily lives than that of the rotation of the Earth, and this is the cycle portrayed in this work. Haru (Korean for “A Day”) is a series of four portraits, each inspired by a different part of the day.
The opening movement, 해뜨는 아침 (Dawn), portrays a scene of anticipation, one in which the sky's colors gradually become more brilliant until the sun finally emerges over the horizon. The second movement, 한낮의 폭풍우 (Midday Rainstorm), portrays a storm arriving, pouring down its rain from above and growing in intensity. The third movement, 황혼 (Twilight), sets a scene inspired by the muted colors of the sky just after sunset. And the final movement, 보름달 (Full Moon), opens with pensive music as an accompaniment for moon gazing. Celebratory music is then heard in the distance, becoming louder as it nears. This music was inspired by the 대보름 (daeborum, “large full moon”) celebrations that occur on the first full moon after the lunar new year, in which the festivities become raucous at times. In the end, the cycle continues, with the “dawn” music returning amid the celebrations.
Haru was commissioned by the National Orchestra of Korea and is dedicated to this talented and innovative group of musicians.