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Donald Womack太刀花 (Sword Flower) version for 2 violinsviolin duo6:002014
Original version for shakuhachi duo recorded on the album Breaking Heaven (Albany Records)

The title (pronounced Tachibana) is an invented word derived from the name of the shakuhachi maker and player for whom the original version of the piece was written as a gift. Looking for a title in honor of Tachibana-san, I took characters from different words that are not normally combined and put them together to create a new word (a particular poetic license to which Japanese well lends itself). The characters literally mean “sword” and “flower”, and the piece itself reflects this duality, as the first half is sharp, angular and violent, in contrast to the quiet and graceful second half.

In addition to the version for violin duo and the original version for shakuhachi duo, the piece also exists in a version for shakuhachi and violin.