Nokomis Falling from

the Moon into Lake Gitchigumi

Title Nokomis Falling from the Moon into Lake Gitchigumi
Year 2009
Composer Martin Schreiner
Instrument/s shakuhachi, koto
First Performance (date, performers, venue) November 22, 2009, Marco Lienhard, Yuki Yasuda, Afternoon of Shakuhachi and Koto Music #11, Public Library of Brookline, MA
Contact Info
Notes This composition is, essentially, a set of variations in its form. It integrates elements of music from the Anishinaabeg (native Americans of the Great Lakes region), Japanese and European traditions. The title is intended to create a framework for hearing the musical unfolding of this work and suggest, perhaps, a kind of sonic abstract painting or story. The long melodic decent of the opening shakuhachi solo, its ultimate impact into the sounds of the koto’s entrance and the suggestion of the flexible surface tension of water in the ornamental pitch bending technique of the koto strings are the kinds of elements used to suggest a musical image. The abstract title of this piece may vaguely suggest a link to Longfellow’s poem Song of Hiawatha and the Nokomis legend. However, there is no intention of the music being programmatic.
Instead, each person is invited to hear his or her own musical story through experiencing this music and using this experience to find meaning in the title–and vice versa.