Seven Thousand Paper Cranes

for Orchestra

duration 8' 15"

written 2023

orchestra details: - - timp - strings

program note:

This piece serves as a sort of collage of my thoughts and feelings on my family's history. As Japanese-Canadians living in British Columbia, my ji chan (grandfather) and ba chan (grandmother), along with their families and community, were forcibly sent to internment camps by the Canadian government during World War 2. This event halted tens of thousands of lives and forced them to start over upon the dissolution of the internment camps - either in Japan or east of the Rockies, but not their former home. I don't intend to re-tell or speculate on my grandparents' experiences in this piece, but rather express my feelings as someone who has grown up listening to their stories. The stories told by history textbooks on the Japanese-Canadian internment camps are impersonal by necessity, and, in some cases, largely end with the war. But the lives of the people impacted by the camps have continued and span across generations. These continuing stories are the ones that I am interested in throughout this piece. Within them, despite the hardships endured, I find resilience, gratitude, and hope. The title Seven Thousand Paper Cranes refers to the Japanese legend that gifting one thousand paper cranes to someone will wish them peace, health, and prosperity. The number seven refers to each member of my immediate family on my dad's side: my ji chan (Tsutomu / Tom), ba chan (Kazuko / Esther), uncle (Ron), dad (Mark), mom (Andrea), my sister (Emily), and myself. Commissioned by the Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra as part of the Composer Fellowship Program. Premiere on November 11th, 2023 by the Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra at the First Ontario Performing Arts Centre.

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