Like many, I’ve always been fascinated by air travel. There is something both unnatural and transformative in viewing the world from 30,000 feet. Surveying the Earth from the window of a jet, one witnesses it from the kind of distance that provides an immense source of perspective. One confronts nature’s beauty, and Mankind’s marks 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, leading to the thrill of being catapulted into the sky
Breaking Through: The shakuhachi and koto announce themselves by hammering their way through dense clouds.
Cloud Sculptures: Here the shakuhachi takes a leading role, floating above a sea of clouds that rise up in billowing pillars.
Crop Circles: The landscape of the American West is dotted with circular agricultural fields which are revealed only from above, appearing like a canvas painted with geometric patterns. The strings begin and then trade their circling patterns 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 chords like waves.
Rippling Ranges: The shakuhachi and koto begin with rustling, unsynchronized patterns, rising and falling like mountain peaks.
Descent: The journey completed, instruments echo each other in gentle falling lines, all converging in the end.
Window Seat was composed for James Nyoraku Schlefer, Yoko Reikano Kimura, and the Cassatt String Quartet.