Wooden Fish

Hyo-shin Na

Wooden Fish
(1999)

  for piccolo/flute, clarinet in B flat, alto saxophone, vln., vc., double bass, and percussion

A large, hollow wooden fish is hung in Korean Buddhist temples; the open eyes of the fish motivate the monks in their ceaseless meditation. The same wooden fish is also struck to announce mealtimes.

WOODEN FISH is made up largely of the intervals of 2nd, 3rd and 4th. These intervals are also predominant in a Korean folk song called CHOONGTARYUNG (Monk's Song). The words for CHOONGTARYUNG are:

A monk is coming
A monk is coming
A monk wearing rags, begging for charity
Na-mu-ah-mi-tah-bul
 

CHOONGTARYUNG is frequently sung in the one-person Korean opera Pansori. The monk appearing in Pansori is almost invariably engaged in helping other people.

                          
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