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Donald WomackBreaking Heaven 破天shakuhachi, violoncello, koto (13-string ) 尺八、チェロ、十三絃箏13:002010
Recorded on the album Breaking Heaven (Albany Records)

Commissioned by Kunihiro Ohta for his Bushidou Concert Series

The title refers to the seeking of balance amidst disruption and inevitable change. It is about finding a balance of natural harmony between the familiar and the unknown, which must, at some point, become the (new) familiar. Throughout much of the work the koto presents a gently undulating figuration over which the shakuhachi and cello sing long-breathed lines. Tension gradually builds and discord enters as “Heaven is slowly broken.” In the middle section the instruments struggle for amity, exchanging various ideas, sometimes in accord, sometimes in opposition. The final section sees a return to the opening material and a settling into a new balance in the “broken Heaven.”