1. Myotokuji

From the recording Touch Wood

Myotokuji was inspired by a tour of Japan I made in the fall of 1998. After visiting a variety of Zen Buddhist temples, I was impressed with the elegance and simplicity of their architecture (in particular, the temples Myotokuji in Amakusa and Ryoanji in Kyoto stood out) and through these experiences, some compositional ideas began to come to mind. It was also at this time that Japanese marimbist Mika Yoshida first asked me to write a piece for her. My intention was to distill those experiences into a work for solo marimba that would be reflective of the mental process and physical phenomenon of meditation. My interest was in the contrast of the serene, outer aspect of the practice with the inner agitation it attempts to address.