Look on Glass

  • A man may look on glass,
  • On it may stay his eye;
  • Or if he pleaseth through it pass
  • And there the Heaven espy.

- George Herbert “The Elixir”, ca.1630

Look on Glass is a concertino for marimba solo and small a ensemble consisting of harp, guitar, violin, a 13-string Koto and two sho. The sonic textures of this unusual combination of Western and Japanese instruments drifts within a restrained melodic contour in which each instrument reflects the other - like a conversation taking place on either side of a glass. The glass acts as a mirror, keeping each half of the conversation one-sided, but occasionally it is penetrated, allowing for a dialogue. The piece is in four miniature movements, each structured like a musical haiku. The piece was composed in early spring; it reflects the annual promise of emergence from beneath what seems an impenetrable and unforgiving surface of hardened earth and snow.

(c) Michael Oesterle

Continuum performed the World Premiere of this arrangement on May 26, 2016 as part of Japan:NEXT at The Royal Conservatory.

Michael Oesterle CA

Michael Oesterle, born in 1968, is a Canadian composer who lives in Deux-Montagnes Québec.

Michael Oesterle