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Updated: Nov 15, 2019

One of the most popular tourist spots in Kyoto, Japan is Arashiyama. It means "storm mountain" in Japanese, but whenever I've gone there it has always been a placid and idyllic place. One of the most beautiful and intriguing parts of the area is the famous bamboo forest. I decided to write a piece about this place for my upcoming EP Japonica.

Original art by Vanessa Wingo inspired by the bamboo forest at Arashiyama

After I moved to Japan, Arashiyama was one of the first sightseeing places I visited. It was in November but already quite cold for a Florida boy. On a recent trip my family had the opportunity to go there together and ride the rickshas into the bamboo forest. It was a wonderful experience and one I'm sure we won't soon forget. You can hear my kids talking about it in the video below.

For this piece of music I decided to include solo violin in addition to piano. The original intent of this piece was to be very minimalistic as you can hear in the opening chords. But I find that the music I am drawn to the most is usually melodic, so the song quickly turned into a thematic piece with a clear melody.

This is my first piece using solo violin, and it was exciting for me to hear it played on the real instrument after I had mocked it up with plug-ins. There's no substitute for the real thing. This experience has me looking forward to writing more for string ensembles. I hope you find this piece as moving as the place for which I wrote it. Look for it here November 15, 2019, and follow me on Spotify to keep up with my new releases.

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