Seven Sages of the Bamboo Grove

I’ve just been sent the mp3s from last week’s Oregon Composers’ Forum Concert. Thank you again to everyone who came, and thanks especially to my performers:

Heidi Wait, Flute
Jennifer Love, Clarinet
Ben Krause, Piano
Sidran Olson, Violin
Gracin Dorsey, Cello

The piece is in seven very short movements:

Seven Sages of the Bamboo Grove




  1. Jesse says:

    Wow! This is great, Simon!

    I wish they weren’t so “very short”…

    Pardon my ignorance, but is there any historical significance to the “seven sages”? Are these sort of character sketches?

  2. Chris says:

    Sym, this is nice. The second one grabs me: it’s like it’s gonna go for a whimsical stroll then this mysterious theme from somewhere keeps interrupting it. And those intervals at the end = simple and NICE. And I’ve gotta say that the fourth one is my favorite. It has this like modern spin on “Ancient” China, and it’s lyrical and the melody in the violin is really subdued and beautiful with the counterpoint of the other tones below it; the phrasing is also really natural.

    And I’ll second Jesse’s “very short” comment. I wonder if you plan to pick a couple of these and see what happens if you develop them further? I tell you what, I could listen to the Fourth Sage for another 5-10 minutes.

    This is a *great* recording, too, BTW. Sounds like the OR’s working out nicely, bro!

  3. Simon says:


    Yeah, I’ve kind of been stuck in “miniature mode” for the past few months. I don’t know if I’ll come back to any of the short movements in this piece, but, rest assured, my current two projects are both one movement and should hopefully break the 6-minute mark.

    And, Jesse, there is significance to the “seven sages,” but it has very little to do with this piece… Just exoticism…

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Event Calendar

December 2008
Art, to be fully appreciated, must be true to contemporaneous life. It is not that we should ignore the claims of posterity, but that we should seek to enjoy the present more. It is not that we should disregard the creations of the past, but that we should try to assimilate them into our consciousness.

-Okakura Kakuzo